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Developing triad chord fluency

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Like language students who have memorized vocabulary but are not yet conversant, pianists who have learned to construct chords may not yet be "chord fluent." So how do we help our students move beyond music theory worksheets to being able to interpret chord symbols and identify underlying harmonies in literature more easily? One approach involves a...
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Teaching with backing tracks

​ B acking tracks (pre-recorded or  automated instrumental accompaniments) are inherently motivational. Why? Because playing with a snazzy drum groove is simply more compelling than practicing with a metronome. Here are suggestions for integrating backing tracks into your curriculum to enhance technique, timing, and creativity—all at the same ...
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Eleventh chords in jazz and popular music

There is a swath of New York's Catskill Mountains, a two-to-three hour drive from Manhattan, that until recently was euphemistically known as the Borscht Belt. As a teenager I spent my summers playing in dance bands in the area's resort hotels. The predominant clientele were middle-class Russian Jews-one of their favorite dishes, beet borscht, was ...
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You can't lose with the blues

The blues has been an important part of American music for more than 100 years. In fact, no one truly knows exactly how or when this indigenous art form originated. However, by 1912 it was well enough established that W. C. Handy successfully began publishing blues compositions. Vocalists, including Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, made blues recordings...
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Just a second... added notes enhance basic harmonies

Of all the seductive elements in the jazz idiom, it was the harmony that attracted me in the beginning. I really can't say when I first heard these  sounds, but I have spent a lifetime listening and adapting them into my own keyboard playing. Jazz and pop players tend to speak  in the language of chord symbols, so it is very helpful to be...
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About The Piano Magazine

The Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to the Piano Magazine in 2019.

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