2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
50 members (beginagain, CentauriB, BarryR, An Old Square, 36251, 11 invisible), 594 guests, and 462 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 34
R
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 34
So Amy Nolte offers this 5 page exercise for practicing chords. The purpose was that her son felt if he had a way of memorizing all these chords it would help him at jazz jam sessions.

So, about a year ago I was looking for ideas to vary my practice sessions: two ninety minute sessions a day. I bought her pdf.

It took a year of two 10 minute sessions a day to get through the whole thing. Then I lost interest. Maybe if I were actually working with other musicians this practice my come in handy. But I see no way I’ll remember much about these chords unless I rediscover them in the context of a song I’m learning.

I know a lot of people believe their is no value in learning chords this way. I thought some of the chord changes were intriguing, but I don’t know enough about music to put them to use.


Last edited by risusSardonicus; 09/25/21 05:58 PM. Reason: Faulty URL
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,629
Silver Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,629
Me too I got the pdf and practiced a few months and I lost interest. Like any other exercises, they are not the purpose of learning the piano but only tools.

All I remember is 2 5 1 chord progression and 1 5 left hand and right hand 3 7.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
The best way to learn music is to play music. I "know" every chord there is theoretically (as in if you tell me to play an Eb7#9/G7 or some nonsense, I could figure it out and play it, but it's not immediately in my muscle memory yet), but what point is there to that if I don't put it to use?

It's best to just learn tunes. Then, learn to solo over those tunes, figure out what does and doesn't work. I still find new was to play the blues. How does that happen? I still just play simple blues progressions in C or F on the piano and always find new ways to phrase, arpeggiate, voice, whatever it might be.

I'm also just biased as I've never been one for exercises like these. I get bored of them very, very quickly (within a week or two of picking them up) and they also cause me to dread playing/practicing piano. I would rather just learn music!


My youtube channel where I discuss theory, performance, cover some tunes, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCruDLJseRHB_04Zwz0NXVGg
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
Also, what I tell my students is that it's really the relations that matter. It doesn't matter that you know C Am F and G for your favorite pop song. It matters that you know it's in C and that those are I vi IV V chords. Then that idea can be applied to other tunes.


My youtube channel where I discuss theory, performance, cover some tunes, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCruDLJseRHB_04Zwz0NXVGg
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,498
S
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,498
Not sure what would be the purpose of learning all those chords; each line is structured exactly the same way with a descending 5th (except one). Once you can execute one line you can do it starting with any note.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,629
Silver Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,629
One of the purposes of learning chords is to play from lead sheets, where nothing is written only the melody and the chord name.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by Serge88
One of the purposes of learning chords is to play from lead sheets, where nothing is written only the melody and the chord name.
Even then I think it's better to learn how to construct chords, and have that knowledge for when you play through a lead sheet. I really doubt memorizing every single chord will make you magically play a lead sheet...


My youtube channel where I discuss theory, performance, cover some tunes, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCruDLJseRHB_04Zwz0NXVGg
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 320
T
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 320
The formula for building chords in any key and with any root is simple and easy to memorize. I think the value of practicing chords is giving your hands "positional memory" so that they get to automatically open up to the exact shape you'll need to land all notes of the chord down together. Once you get good at that, then start with different voicings: sound bottom note louder, sound middle note louder, sound top note louder, etc. (if there are 4 or 5 notes on the chord then there are more voicings to worry about). The latter part, having this fine control to be able to voice any note in a chord exactly the way you want is a super advanced skill that takes many years to develop (not speaking from personal experience; just passing on what I have learned from talking to my teacher).


Talão

Yamaha U3 and P-125
Playing since July 2019
My piano journey
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,629
Silver Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,629
Originally Posted by CodySean
Originally Posted by Serge88
One of the purposes of learning chords is to play from lead sheets, where nothing is written only the melody and the chord name.
Even then I think it's better to learn how to construct chords, and have that knowledge for when you play through a lead sheet. I really doubt memorizing every single chord will make you magically play a lead sheet...


I disagree, knowledge is not enough, to become a jazz pianist or just a pianist, you need to practice, practice and more practice. There is some great blues and jazz pianist who don't know anything about music theory.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 481
P
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 481
I did purchase this and like it with the goal being to help to get up to speed playing lead sheets. I know the theory and given a few seconds can construct just about any chord but when playing a lead sheet with just chord symbols I found I was too slow. However after spending the $5 for the PDF I soon realized all I was doing was playing the sheet music and not really learning the chords. I played classical for several years and reading sheet music has never been a problem except I think it can get in the way of learning how to play Jazz at times. Instead I did a screen shot of the written out chord symbols and work from that. So far that seems to help. And has someone else said it's practice, practice, practice.


Yamaha NU1X, Sennheiser HD 599 headphones, PianoTeq Studio Steinway Model D and Petrof instrument packs
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by Serge88
Originally Posted by CodySean
Originally Posted by Serge88
One of the purposes of learning chords is to play from lead sheets, where nothing is written only the melody and the chord name.
Even then I think it's better to learn how to construct chords, and have that knowledge for when you play through a lead sheet. I really doubt memorizing every single chord will make you magically play a lead sheet...


I disagree, knowledge is not enough, to become a jazz pianist or just a pianist, you need to practice, practice and more practice. There is some great blues and jazz pianist who don't know anything about music theory.
I didn't say not to practice. In fact, I said to learn music.


My youtube channel where I discuss theory, performance, cover some tunes, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCruDLJseRHB_04Zwz0NXVGg
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,697
G

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,697
Originally Posted by Serge88
Originally Posted by CodySean
Originally Posted by Serge88
One of the purposes of learning chords is to play from lead sheets, where nothing is written only the melody and the chord name.
Even then I think it's better to learn how to construct chords, and have that knowledge for when you play through a lead sheet. I really doubt memorizing every single chord will make you magically play a lead sheet...


I disagree, knowledge is not enough, to become a jazz pianist or just a pianist, you need to practice, practice and more practice. There is some great blues and jazz pianist who don't know anything about music theory.

They know how to build chords though, so just enough theory.

As was mentioned, the theory to build any chord from any starting point is not that complex. Learn it and take it with you. Don't try to memorize all chords of every possible inversion, that's crazy. Since you don't even know what orientation you'll need yet, you could still not have a suitable voicing memorized.

So, I would agree with build them as you need them. With enough practice, they come much faster and in the orientation you need. And also, real material I have always found is the best way to learn chords and the transition between them. It is really the chord changes we are after and how smoothly we can make the transition from one chord to the next. So the actual movement of chords in the context of real music, is perfect practice material.

Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by Greener
Originally Posted by Serge88
Originally Posted by CodySean
Originally Posted by Serge88
One of the purposes of learning chords is to play from lead sheets, where nothing is written only the melody and the chord name.
Even then I think it's better to learn how to construct chords, and have that knowledge for when you play through a lead sheet. I really doubt memorizing every single chord will make you magically play a lead sheet...


I disagree, knowledge is not enough, to become a jazz pianist or just a pianist, you need to practice, practice and more practice. There is some great blues and jazz pianist who don't know anything about music theory.

They know how to build chords though, so just enough theory.

As was mentioned, the theory to build any chord from any starting point is not that complex. Learn it and take it with you. Don't try to memorize all chords of every possible inversion, that's crazy. Since you don't even know what orientation you'll need yet, you could still not have a suitable voicing memorized.

So, I would agree with build them as you need them. With enough practice, they come much faster and in the orientation you need. And also, real material I have always found is the best way to learn chords and the transition between them. It is really the chord changes we are after and how smoothly we can make the transition from one chord to the next. So the actual movement of chords in the context of real music, is perfect practice material.
Exactly. This is the same argument I was making, but you said the last part a bit better :P


My youtube channel where I discuss theory, performance, cover some tunes, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCruDLJseRHB_04Zwz0NXVGg
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,174
J
jjo Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,174
I would never suggest memorizing every inversion of certain chords. What my experienced jazz teacher did to get me started was:
1. Give me a voicing that will work in most circumstances for the 2-5-1 progression.
2. I learned that voicing in all 12 keys.
3. Then when I went to a lead sheet, I wasn't trying to work out voicings for the first time; I had a voicing I was comfortable with that I could apply to most lead sheets.

Of course, I did not start by just working on these voicings in all 12 keys. I simultaneously began to work on lead sheets, with her help, that showed how to apply these voicings in real situations. I think if you just work with lead sheets, you'll figure something out that works for that tune, but may not work in many other situations. It's more efficient to have some basic voicings ready to go.

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,697
G

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,697
This sounds reasonable, jjo. The only thing I don't get is the all 12 keys business, since I've never seen lead sheets using more than half of them. The other thing is that these standard progressions and cadences they usually get us to rehearse, don't show up in 90% of what I play.

Just think that if you exercise the building process all the time, is what makes it stronger. But, it never hurts to have ideas at the ready and good advice.

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,174
J
jjo Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,174
Greener: Two thoughts:
1. It is critical, for jazz, to learn chords in all 12 keys because, while most pieces are written is certain keys, you will encounter chords in all 12 keys with some frequency. For example, Have You Met Miss Jones, which is generally played in F, has a bridge with Ab-7 to Db7 to Gbmaj7. Or take a look at Joy Spring.
2. When you say that the "standard progressions" don't show up in 90% of what you play, that's a very important observation. My teacher drilled me on the 2-5-1 progression because I'll see that in 90% of the tunes that I want to play. It's crucial, in my view, not to learn chords, but to learn progressions because you have to learn how to move from one chord to another. The predicate for that is knowing what progressions are used in the kind of music you want to play. Obviously those are the progressions you want to practice.

That said, there is nothing inherently flawed about learning chords solely from actual pieces. It'll probably work. That's not what my teacher recommends, but I don't see any harm in going that way. In addition, a big reason for learning chords in the abstract is if you want to jam with other musicians. It's quite common for me to be playing with other people and someone calls a tune I've never played. But I have no problem pulling up a lead sheet and comping the chords because I'm very comfortable playing any possible chords. But I sense you're not doing that, so that wouldn't be relevant to you.

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,697
G

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,697
I assume when you say play in all 12 keys, you are referring to just the major keys. There are of course 12 more minor keys. I've seen plenty of lead sheets in A minor, but not C# minor. It's pointless because you can get the same effect by playing in an easier key.

5-1 progressions show up all the time, sure but if you rehearse and voice them always the same, things start to sound the same. That's all I'm thinking. If you add a Db9 before you resolve to C, might be a nice affect for some tunes, but not all. Plus, you don't know where the melody is yet, which could change the inversion and chord voicing.

I would prefer to always customize the chords to the piece and not try to fit in pre-rehearsed progressions. Why drill a 13th chord in all keys, when you may see one in one out of 100 chords you come across. But, nothing wrong in either approach.

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,174
J
jjo Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,174
greener: I don't disagree with you because I think the big difference is that I play in lots of combos and I sense you don't. Last night, for example, I played with one of my swing big bands. We've got a couple of hundred charts of big band standards and you don't get to take the music home. The director calls a number and you need to play the tune, which mainly means comping the chords. I can assure you I see all 12 major and minor chords during the course of an evening. Sometimes they are even notated weirdly like Cb7! So when I talk about the need to know how to play chord progressions in all keys, and yes, and have voicings ready to go on auto pilot, and that unfortunately includes minor 2-5-1s, I think it's because you and I are playing in very different contexts.


Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
Pianos - Organs - & Keyboards, Oh My!
My first professionally recorded piece
---------------------
Visit Maine, Meet Mr. Piano World
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai VPC-1 or Roland A88 MKII (or FP30X)?
by detektorosradio - 12/08/21 06:03 PM
Birdcage Piano Tuner needed in Virginia
by zander35 - 12/08/21 04:45 PM
Another "Which Midi Controller Should I Buy"
by cody.carrig - 12/08/21 04:05 PM
Chopin's Polonaise 26/2 and staccato duration
by Mati - 12/08/21 04:04 PM
How good is a Chickering 105 B concert grand?
by tommyhaha - 12/08/21 02:34 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics210,462
Posts3,151,652
Members103,560
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5