Keyboard Theory and Piano Technique

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1 Keyboard Theory and Piano Technique Copyright Longbow Publishing Ltd PRINTED IN CANADA First printing, September 2008 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this work may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, web distribution, or information storage or retrieval systems without the written permission of the publisher. Please contact us for permission requests: Street Surrey, BC V4N 0T Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Clark, Lauren Schack, Keyboard theory and piano technique [music] / Lauren Schack Clark ISBN Piano--Studies and exercises. 2. Musical intervals and scales. 3. Chords (Music). I. Title. MT231.C ' C

2 Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction and Warm-up Exercises Posture and seating position at the piano... Down-ups exercise.... Fingers exercise... Speed drills exercise Chapter 2: Major Scales and Triads Major pentascales Minor pentascales..... Major and minor triads... Tetrascales... Major scales formed by joining tetrascales ( no-thumbs scales )... Major Bunny scales B, Db, F#. Major scales, C major group: C, G, D, A, E F major scale. B-flat, E-flat, A-flat major scales group. I, IV, V triads.. Triad inversions Augmented and diminished triads Chapter 3: Minor Scales Forming natural minor scales using tetrascales Forming harmonic minor scales using tetrascales.... Forming melodic minor scales using tetrascales..... Harmonic minor scales on white-note keys... Minor scale harmonization Natural minor scales on white-note keys Melodic minor scales on white-note keys

3 ii Chapter 4: Chord Progressions Root position chord progressions... Major chord progressions.... Inversions of the dominant 7 th chord... Harmonizing with 7 th triads in root position..... Minor chord progressions... Harmonizing a melody by ear Chapter 5: Progressive Technique Cross-hand chords... Cross-hand arpeggios... Major arpeggios. C major scale, contrary (opposite) motion... Modes... The chromatic scale... Dominant seventh arpeggios... Diminished seventh arpeggios... More chord progressions Chapter 6: Advanced Technique Advanced technique, in four suggested levels. Level 1 practice charts... Level 2 practice charts... Level 3 practice charts... Level 4 practice charts... Blank practice charts Appendices Appendix 1 - The tonic Sol-fa method... Appendix 2 - Circle of fifths explanation and diagram... Appendix 3 - Scale fingering rules and practice suggestions... Appendix 4 - List of suggested resources for each topic in the book... Blank staff paper for writing out exercises

4 Chapter 2: Major scales and triads 6 Ex. 2.2 a. Play Ex. 2.2 in C, G, D, A, F, E, B, hands separately (HS) b. In Db, Eb, Gb, Ab, Bb, HS c. Play all keys above hands together (HT) Don t Forget to Check Your Posture, Seating Position and Hand Position! Sing the following major pentascale interval exercise on the indicated syllables, in steady quarter notes, without pausing between lines (read from left to right, top to bottom). The first few times, you may play the pitches on the keyboard using the fingering in Ex. 2:2. Then sing without playing. Ex. 2.3 Do re do me do fa do so do fa do me do re do Re do re me re fa re so re fa re me re do Me do me re me fa me so me fa me re me do Fa do fa re fa me fa so fa me fa re fa do So do so re so me so fa so me so re so do

5 Chapter 2: Major scales and triads 8 III. Major and minor pentascale patterns Play the following pentascale exercise with a triad ending: Ex. 2.5 a. Play in all white-note major keys, HS b. Play in all black-note major keys, HS c. Play in all major keys, HT d. Play in all white-note minor keys, HS e. Play in all black-note minor keys, HS f. Play in all minor keys, HT Ex. 2.6 a. Play in all major keys that begin on a white key, HS b. Play in all major keys that begin on a black key, HS c. Play all keys, HT Don t Forget to Check Your Posture, Seating Position and Hand Position!

6 Chapter 2: Major scales and triads 14 VII. Major scales, C major group: C, G, D, A, E Rules: 4 th finger goes next to the tonic Thumbs play tonic, except for LH bottom note of scale and RH top note of scale 3 rd fingers play 3 rd and 6 th scale degrees C major scale: (you do not need to repeat the top note - it is written at the end of the ascending scale). Ascending, right hand: RH: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C Descending, right hand: RH: B A G F E D C B A G F E D C Ascending, left hand: LH: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C Descending, left hand: LH: B A G F E D C B A G F E D C

7 25 Chapter 2: Major scales and triads a. Play Ex in C, G, D, A, E, and F hands separately. Notice the finger numbers! b. Sing Ex in C, G, D, A, E, and F on solfegg syllables (eg. do mi so mi do ). c. Sing Ex in C, G, D, A, E, and F on finger numbers, for RH and then for LH. d. Play Ex in B, F#, Ab, Bb, Db, and Eb hands separately. Notice the finger numbers! e. Sing Ex in B, F#, Ab, Bb, Db, and Eb on solfegg syllables (eg. do mi so mi do ). f. Sing Ex in B, F#, Ab, Bb, Db, and Eb on finger numbers, for RH and then for LH. IX. Augmented and Diminished triads To form the augmented triad in any key, begin with a major triad and raise the 5 th scale degree a half step. To form the diminished triad in any key, begin with a minor triad and lower the 5 th scale degree a half step. Ex. 2.14: Ex. 2.15: a. Play the above exercise in the pattern major augmented major minor diminished minor major in C, G, D, A, E, and F. a. Play the above exercise in the pattern major augmented major minor diminished minor major in B, Bb, Db, Eb, F#, and Ab.

8 Chapter 4: Chord progressions 56 Ex. 4.4 a. Play the previous progression, LH alone, in these major keys: C, D, E, F, G, and A b. Play the progression, HT, in these major keys: C, D, E, F, G, and A c. Play the progression, LH alone, in these major keys: B, Bb, Eb, Ab, F#, and Db d. Play the progression, HT, in these major keys: B, Bb, Eb, Ab, F#, and Db e. Improvise a RH melody and play the LH chords as written, in a repeating ostinato pattern. Repeat in all other keys. Ex. 4.5 a. Play the previous progression, LH alone, in these major keys: C, D, E, F, G, and A b. Play the progression, HT, in these major keys: C, D, E, F, G, and A c. Play the progression, LH alone, in these major keys: B, Bb, Eb, Ab, F#, and Db d. Play the progression, HT, in these major keys: B, Bb, Eb, Ab, F#, and Db e. Improvise a RH melody and play the LH chords as written, in a repeating ostinato pattern. Repeat in all other keys. Ex. 4.6

9 Chapter 4: Chord progressions 62 Ex Try transposing this into the key of C major, then into other keys. As Forrest Kinney writes; Being able to find song by ear is not merely a starting point for arrangements, but a valuable and enjoyable skill on its own, especially if you want to play with other musicians. 1 1 Quote and Amazing Grace excerpt from the Pattern Play series by Two Streams Press - book titles listed in Appendix 4.

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