Wishing you a beautiful holiday season!
After you learn the root position of triads in both major and minor keys, you can move to inversions.
I made the following graphics so you can play the 1st inversions and 2nd inversions around the circle of fifths. Click the thumbnail for a bigger image, which you can download and print.
First Chord Inversion
C major is built out of the following three notes: C, E and G. Playing the notes in this order you play the root position of the chord. In order to move to the first chord inversion, simply place the root note (C) above the notes E and G so it looks like this: E, G and C.
Second Chord Inversion
For the second inversion, repeat the same methodology by replacing the E chord, which is now the lowest note of the first inversion, above G and C. The second inversion of C major is G, C and E. Note that the 3rd finger is on the root (C). That is how you know you are playing the second inversion. It’s that simple!
A drill you can do is play the root chord of C, 1st inversion of C and 2nd inversion of C then move around the circle and play the root chord of G, 1st inversion of G and 2nd inversion of G and so on.
Note that triads are referred to as having only two inversions. The reason is that when you invert a triad a third time you return to the root position an octave higher.
I made the following graphic for people who are interested in playing augmented, diminished and dominant seventh chords around the circle of fifths. Click the thumbnail for a bigger image, which you can download and print.
An augmented chord is a major chord with a raised fifth; thus an augmented chord consists of a root, a major third, and an augmented (raised) fifth. This is sometimes notated 1-3-♯5.
The C augmented chord includes the notes C, E and G♯.
A diminished chord is a minor chord with a lowered fifth. You play a diminished chord with a root note, a minor third, and a diminished (lowered) fifth. This is sometimes notated 1-♭3-♭5.
The C diminished chord includes the notes C, E♭ and G♭.
Dominant 7th Chords
A dominant seventh chord is a chord composed of a root, major third, perfect fifth and minor seventh. It can be also viewed as a major triad with an additional minor seventh.
I made the following graphic for people who are interested in playing scales around the circle of fifths. Click the thumbnail for a bigger image, which you can download and print.
I just loaded an interactive sight-reading software called Jalmus. It is free and is designed for Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
The great thing is that I can connect my instrument to my laptop, via a MIDI cable, and get feedback from the software. When I play the notes right, they disappear. When I do not, they remain until I either get it right or the “game” is over.
1. Download Jalmus from http://www.jalmus.net/?lang=en.
2. Connect a MIDI cable from your instrument to your computer. Here is the one I bought from Amazon:
USB MIDI Cable Converter PC to Music Keyboard Window Win Vista XP, Mac OS X (Click the link to go to my affiliate account.)
3. Launch Jalmus.
4. Go into the settings. This is where you can set the speed, clef and notes. Choose “Line Game” under Game. Click OK.
5. Click Start and begin playing the notes that appear.
I made the following two graphics for people who are interested in playing major and minor chords around the circle of fifths. Click the thumbnail for a bigger image, which you can download and print.
A major chord consists of a root, a major third, and a perfect fifth.
The C Major chord includes the notes C, E and G. The E is a major third above the C; the G is a perfect fifth above the C.
The difference between a major and minor chord is the third. Although a major chord utilizes a major third, a minor chord flattens that interval to create a minor third. The fifth is the same.
In other words, a minor chord consists of a root, a minor third and a perfect fifth. This is sometimes notated 1-♭3-5. The C minor chord includes the notes C, E♭ and G.
Music, derived from the Greek word mousike, or “art of the Muses,” has had important influence on cultures dating back to prehistoric times. Ancient Greek and Indian philosophers considered music the “harmony of the spheres.” When the spheres turned, they made sound. Music was constitutional in the universe.
Plato put it beautifully when he wrote:
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
Although music is changing, there is still an element of connection that flows through pieces. Particularly when musicians presence their sounds and pour devotion into them.
In music, you can’t afford to think. Especially when you are improvising. Your fingers just do. They play the music. And when they get in a flow, it is out-of-this-world beautiful.
I have been learning the keyboard so I can get to the point where I can improvise. I started by going through major and minor chords on the circle of fifths. I am now practicing diminished and augmented chords, over and over again. That is not all. I am learning the about different musical eras and instruments. Music is a complex field of study!
In this series, I am going to share what I’m learning with hopes to inspire you. I would love to receive feedback so as to build more knowledge.
If you are new to music, you can consider starting with the following gear. Click on a link to be taken to Amazon through my affiliate account.
Here is a great manual that shows fingering for each scale, chord, arpeggio, etc…
This is the latest electric keyboard by Yamaha:
Electric Keyboard Cover
Here is the cover I use to keep it new:
Electric Keyboard Carrying Case
This is a solid carrying case if you need to transport your keyboard like a rockstar:
So you don’t drive your flatmates crazy, here is a really comfortable headset. The quality is great. I have this one:
Electric Keyboard Stand
If you don’t want to sit on the floor like I do to play the keyboard, here is a stand:
Electric Keyboard Seat
And an accompanying seat:
I ran across Rachel Brice’s Tribal Fusion belly dancing style and really like it!
It is slow and sensual.
Rachel has a calm demeanor. Her style fits well with someone interested in becoming more grounded and flexible.
Check out her videos on Amazon:
Thank you Creative Spirits for your generous donation!!!
Her nurturing qualities make me melt. There is a softness in her voice even when she needs to be strict. And, she listens attentively to what her kids have to say.
I cracked up laughing when I saw one of her girls climb on the back of her car, proceed up the window to the roof and run back down the other side. Martina didn’t scold her. Now that’s a cool mom!
Martina and I met at a meditation workshop 9 years ago and we were insta-friends. I love her dearly!