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Thread: Writing chord progressions

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    ssalvia is offline Registered User
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    Writing chord progressions

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    Hey guys,

    Thought I would share a vid on chord progressions:

    Check it out and let me know what you think. Cheers.

    S.

  2. #2
    dintymoore Guest
    That's excellent chord progression stuff!

    But there was some hand technique there I found hard to watch.

    When you play a 3 note triad with the spacing of a C maj chord, don't use your 4th finger like in that vid. He should be using his pinky! So when you play a C maj chord use your 1,3 and 5 fingers, not 1, 3 and 4 like the guy in the video.

    The back of your hand should be parallel with the top of the keys, not slanted down like that guy looks like he's doing. That's a very common mistake.

    Plus don't ever stick your pinky out like that guy does! It tenses up your whole hand. Same for drummers, and I've seen some famous drummers do that.

    When you look at a good piano player, his hands are elegant. It looks really, really smooth. There's absolutely no hiccups. If you just decide that you are going to play that way and never go into that jerky mode you are so much better off. It's sort of a mind decision. Some people never get it.

    Sorry to rant about this 'cause I know this thread is on chord progressions and the vid is great in that respect.

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    miroslav's Avatar
    miroslav is offline Cosmic Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by dintymoore View Post

    When you play a 3 note triad with the spacing of a C maj chord, don't use your 4th finger like in that vid. He should be using his pinky! So when you play a C maj chord use your 1,3 and 5 fingers, not 1, 3 and 4 like the guy in the video.
    I'm not sure how critical that is...?
    I play a lot of 4-note chords...and for them, the pinky has other duties than playing the third note of the triad (which gets played by the middle finger of the right hand, leaving the pinky free). Over time...it just becomes comfortable to simply drop the pinky for triads and use the thumb, fore and middle fingers.
    Though I agree, the 4th finger is kinda odd for the triad....though some days, I use whatever finger falls in place easier.
    Like for tighter-spaced triads, it's 1-2-3...for the wider spaced triads it might be 1-2-4....and yeah, sometimes it might also be 1-2-5.

    You are right about the other things...keeping the hand level and not tight/cramped.
    I don’t play keys as much as I use too…these days I just play them enough to bang out some chords and lines when needed for a song.

  4. #4
    dintymoore Guest
    I agree - you should learn the stock "right" way but when it comes time to play forget the rules and just play. Whatever happens is ok.

    It just struck me odd that for a demonstration he'd use his 1, 3 and 4 fingers to do the "chords in a key". People will see that and think it's the normal way.

    The place to start to me is you put your 1,2,3,4 & 5 fingers on C,D,E,F & G, and then lift up your 2 & 4 fingers (D & F), which feels a little awkward at first.

    The reason I think that this is important is because sometimes people will adopt some oddity when they're staring out and it can really limit them.

    It took me years to stop sticking out my pinky when I would do press rolls.

    So if I was starting an instrument I'd play on my own for maybe a year or so and then get some lessons from someone who can really play, or better yet from several people. Good hand position is so worth it.

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    miroslav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dintymoore View Post

    It took me years to stop sticking out my pinky....
    Are you one of them small teacup users?

    Switch to a mug...and the pinky will stay curled in.


  6. #6
    dintymoore Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Are you one of them small teacup users?

    Switch to a mug...and the pinky will stay curled in.


    Pip -pip!

    or was it "Oh, Rot!"

    Actually I'm more of a gatorade guy.

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    ssalvia is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all the feedback!

    To address the 1,2,4 fingering on chords, I learnt to play piano by taking piano lessons from a young age, and I learnt all the right finger technique etc. The reason I use 1,2,4 is because my hands are big and I found that If I played the chords with 1,3,5 fingering then my 2nd and 4th fingers would get in the way of the shot and it was harder to see what notes I was playing.

    I suppose my aim isn't to teach people about piano technique, more to teach them about the music theory and songwriting side of things. But having said that, I will keep it in mind for future videos! Thanks again.

    S.

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    grimtraveller's Avatar
    grimtraveller is offline If only for a moment.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssalvia View Post

    I suppose my aim isn't to teach people about piano technique, more to teach them about the music theory and songwriting side of things.
    Interesting.......but I'm kind of at a loss as to what to feel about this. I appreciate theory and support those that live by it (and those that don't) but I can't help thinking that if so many songs use these standard chord progressions, that's a good enough reason to run to the hills from them. That's not to decry their usefulness in some situations and I can see that they can make a good starting point. Perhaps because my way has always been more instinctive (I've never looked for a standard progression), I tend to think in terms of a more organic way of music flowing out. There again, I've probably used hundreds of standard ones while not realizing it !

    I'm laying it down, but the mice ain't picking it up !

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    ssalvia is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by grimtraveller View Post
    Interesting.......but I'm kind of at a loss as to what to feel about this. I appreciate theory and support those that live by it (and those that don't) but I can't help thinking that if so many songs use these standard chord progressions, that's a good enough reason to run to the hills from them. That's not to decry their usefulness in some situations and I can see that they can make a good starting point. Perhaps because my way has always been more instinctive (I've never looked for a standard progression), I tend to think in terms of a more organic way of music flowing out. There again, I've probably used hundreds of standard ones while not realizing it !
    I used to think exactly the same when I was a bit younger. What I found is that because our ears are used to listening to those kinds of progressions (through simply listening to lots of music), when we write we automatically gravitate towards them.

    I just decided to formally figure out what patterns were there, so that I could make educated choices on how I want to change up these common patterns and make them my own.

    Personally, I believe it can only help if you know which patterns to look for.

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    grimtraveller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssalvia View Post
    I just decided to formally figure out what patterns were there, so that I could make educated choices on how I want to change up these common patterns and make them my own.

    Personally, I believe it can only help if you know which patterns to look for.
    Oh, I don't disagree on one level. But for me, "pattern" kind of implies something pre-existent, something that is already there. And while there's a degree, I guess, of familiarity that even an avant garde player will employ, I find that I've never looked for 'patterns' as such. If I'm playing around and something goes from C to F# to C#m to Em to Bb and finishes at Cmaj7, then so be it ! My approach would be "I like this - there's a melody for this somewhere within me !".

    I'm laying it down, but the mice ain't picking it up !

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