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Marycliff Piano Lessons
Ipswich Suffolk UK
Clifford Evans FISM
Maryvonne Evans MISM
Tel: 01473 253217 9am-9pm or voicemail
Contact

Chords in music for piano or keyboard

Degrees ?
Each note of the scale is a degree.
Semitones and tones ?
The distance between each note is 1 semitone. For example black to white, white to black. Go up 2 notes for 2 semitones or one tone. For example F to G or F# to G#.
Build a chord
by grouping notes together as illustrated.
Name a chord
by its main note - then the type of chord.
Major, minor, diminished
Chords with different note spacings and sounds.
To form a chord, take some notes from the scale of C major - all white notes on the keyboard.
A scale is made up of semi tones and tones.
A semitone or half a tone is for example from E to F or B to C. It can also be from a white note to the next black note or vice versa.
An example of a tone is from C to D or F to G. It can also be from one black note to the next black note for example from F# to G# (F sharp to G sharp).
By the way a sharp (#) makes the note higher by 1 semitone and a flat (b) makes the note lower by 1 semitone.
This will all help you to understand better what you are playing.

Here is the whole scale of C major...

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
C D E F G A B C
Pick a main note or root (C for example), put another note above it (the third - E) - 2 notes above - having missed out a white note on the keyboard, then a further note 4 notes above it (the 5th - G), having missed out another white note. Place each of these extra notes depicted here by a letter, by stacking them on top of the root and forming a 3 note chord called a triad.
Fifth G A B C D E F G
Third E F G A B C D E
Root C D E F G A B C

To make a chord, add another root on top of the triad:

Root C D E F G A B C
Fifth G A B C D E F G
Third E F G A B C D E
Root C D E F G A B C
Sharps and flats A sharp (#) makes the note higher by 1 semitone and a flat (b) makes the note lower by 1 semitone. As well as from white notes C to D, a tone can be from one black note to the next black note for example from F# to G# (F sharp to G sharp). Lastly a tone can also be from B to C# or Bb to C and from E to F# or Eb to F.
Three different chords ....
Major sounds happy and bright.
Minor sounds a bit sad.
Diminished 7th sounds gloomy.
Why? ...The distances between the notes make these different chords. For example, the distance between the root and third of the major chord is 4 semitones, whereas the third of the minor chord is 3 semitones above the root. All the notes of the diminished chord are equidistant - they are all 3 semitones apart.
Building a chord on each note of the scale ... Chords can also be identified by the name of the root they are built on the notes of the scale CDEFGABC. In the column on the right you see them named as guitar symbols used also in Jazz where the letter on its own means major and Cm means C minor. B dim or B dim7 means the diminished 7th chord built on B.
Chord
Symbols
C major
C
D minor
Dm
E minor
Em
F major
F
G major
G
A minor
Am
B diminished
B diminished
Now try this learning project ...
Start with the C major scale
Learn about semitones and tones
Build up the triad on each note
using major, minor and diminished
Add another root at the top
Add C F and G chords to your tune
Great! You completed the tutorial.

The Freebie first meeting

piano teacher Clifford Evans"The first (free) piano meeting is not an actual lesson, although there might be some sample tuition so you can see how it goes. An opportunity for us to meet and get used to each other. You ask any questions you like and we show how the teaching of piano keyboard begins, learn about your musical aims and tastes, design your first lesson and suggest a couple of books you will need to start with. It takes about an hour and is absolutely FREE. Just pick up the phone to arrange your piano freebie" ..... piano teacher Clifford Evans.
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piano teacher Maryvonne Evans"The first (free) piano meeting is informal and friendly - a get to know each other - either for a child beginner with parent or an adult beginner. I explain how the piano keyboard and your fingers work together and encourage you to play the piano a little. You ask any questions and remember that I'm here to help and guide you along with enjoyable progress. Don't be nervous - just relax and enjoy the piano lessons. Give us a ring to arrange this piano freebie. See you soon " ..... piano teacher Maryvonne Evans.
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Contact
MCPL 141 Westerfield Road
Ipswich Suffolk IP4 3AA UK
tel: 01473 253217 9am-9pm or voicemail
www.marycliff.co.uk © Clifford Evans
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