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Today's Chord

Music Basics
Published: 2014-06-24 13:22:13

Lessons in the General Music series. The principles of how music works.

12 Lessons in the “Music Basics” Series

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Glossary of Music Terms

A glossary of common music terms. Common and not so common music terms. Knowing the language and terms used with music aides in your own understanding when exploring your music potential.

Whole Steps and Half Steps Explained

The distance between any two notes can be defined by steps - half steps and whole steps. From this series of steps you can get the names of the notes of ANY of the fifteen major scales.

The Chromatic Scale

The only scale in music with ALL twelve notes of one octave. Not much use for improvisation or solos – but a great scale for learning the notes of the next, figuring out scales, chords and more...

A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#

Enharmonic Equivalents

An Enharmonic Equivalent is where a musical pitch can have different names depending on the context in which it is functioning. An example is G# produces the same pitch as Ab.

The Major Scale

Not called the learning scale for a reason. The major scale is a great scale for learning how music and chords work. It’s a core scale from which a majority of your core, essential scales can be derived. There are 15 major scales.

Key Signatures and the Cycle of Fifths and Fourths

There is a load of information in traditional Key Signatures. Unlocking the principles in this circle leads to a better understanding of music and how things work.

A key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating the notes that are to be consistently played higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation. Each major and minor key has an associated key signature that sharpens or flattens the notes which are used in its scale.

Ear Training

Ear Training is the development of the active and passive capability to relate to music aurally. This includes the ability to recognize melodic and harmonic intervals, chords, chords progressions, rhythm, melody, and harmony.

Chord Spelling - Triads

This lesson presents the traditional approach for learning the chord tones of chords with a little twist to make it a bit easier.

A Chord is three or more notes sounded simultaneously. The minimum number of notes required for a chord are three. These three note chords are called triads. Two notes are usually referred to as an interval or dyad. Each note of a chord is called a chord tone.

A chord is a chord, regardless of what instrument it is being played on or whether all the notes are played together, as single notes or even on the different instruments.

Chord Building and Spelling?

The best way to get the chord tones of any chord are to take the scale degrees of a major scale. For a major triad the scale degrees are the 1st, 3rd and 5th scale degrees. For a minor triad flat the 3rd.

Chord Spelling - An Alternate Approach

An alternate approach to determining the chord tones of any chord. Bottom-line is, it's the notes that make the chord, not the shape. A C chord is C, E, G - NOT this or that shape.

Metronome - Playing in Time

There is no way around it. A musician must be able to play in time. Playing in time is an important musical skill for ALL musicians. A metronome is an external time device for developing an accurate internal time.

Demystifying Cut Time by Chuck Anderson

_This is a guest lesson/article by internationally renowned jazz guitarist and educator _Chuck Anderson__

Cut Time is a source of confusion for many musicians. What exactly does it mean and how do you apply it?

Too often cut time is thought of as having two beats in a measure. There are not two beats in a measure of cut time - there are four beats in a measure of cut time. So what makes this different than common time ie four beats in the measure?

Practice, Play and Rules (Theory) - The Three Words

Chuck Anderson wrote a great blog entry about the three words Play, Practice and Theory that send the wrong message to players and the general public.

With Chuck's permission I've reproduced it here.

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