The Chord Doctor - Expand Your Chordal Command Gresham OR

The chord chart for what I play could be the same for accompanying a number of different artists, but how I voice those chords may be radically different depending on the music. To illustrate that, Examples 1-5 present the same eight-bar chord progression in a variety of contexts — proof positive that the same chord can sound completely different depending on how you voice it.

Sonoma County Children's Music
(360) 798-8888
Camas, WA
 
Mark W.
(877) 231-8505
NE Wasco St
Portland, OR
Subjects
Music Theory, Theatrical Broadway Singing, Opera Voice, Piano, Singing, Violin, Music Performance, Songwriting, Speaking Voice
Ages Taught
6 to 99
Specialties
My emphasis is classical or Fine Art music. I am a classical singer, and I sing in several professional ensembles in Portland. In graduate school I studied and taught Music Theory and Composition. I am also an active pianist, and have accompanied singers visiting the Portland area in local recitals. My expertise is both wide and specific within the European classical tradition. That said many of my recent voice students have been singers in local rock bands. All musicians, regardless of their…
Education
Raytown High School - General Studies - 1996-2000 (High School diploma received) University of Central Missouri - Bachelor of Music - 2000-2005 (Bachelor's degree received) University of Missouri - Master of Music - 2005-2009 (Master's degree received)
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TakeLessons Music Teacher

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Joseph W.
(877) 231-8505
SW 30th Ave
Portland, OR
Subjects
Piano
Ages Taught
1 to 99
Specialties
Utilizes the pedagogical approaches of Ingird Clarfield.
Education
Westminster Choir College of Rider University - Music (piano emphasis) - 2001-2005 (Bachelor's degree received)
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TakeLessons Music Teacher

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Kallie H.
(877) 231-8505
NE 96th St
Vancouver, WA
Subjects
Piano, Acting, Flute, Singing, Theatrical Broadway Singing
Ages Taught
5 to 99
Specialties
I love to use games and activities to engage my younger students. I also have them study a different composer each month. I teach my students about all music and how to identify musical styles and instruments. Composition and improvising is another method I stress with my students.
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TakeLessons Music Teacher

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Joseph W.
(877) 231-8505
SW 30th Ave
Portland, OR
Subjects
Piano
Ages Taught
1 to 99
Specialties
Utilizes the pedagogical approaches of Ingird Clarfield.
Education
Westminster Choir College of Rider University - Music (piano emphasis) - 2001-2005 (Bachelor's degree received)
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TakeLessons Music Teacher

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Jeremy N.
(877) 231-8505
SE Reedway St
Portland, OR
Subjects
Drums, Music Theory, Songwriting, Music Recording, Music Performance, Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Bass Guitar
Ages Taught
5 to 50
Specialties
Drum: beg to adv Piano: beg to adv Guitar and bass: beg to inter Piano: I teach a method that my father--a professional music teacher in the Phoenix valley--has developed for 37 years which includes original exercises, music and books by Pace, Noona, Faber, Minsky and more. Drums: I developed a creative approach to drumming incorporating reading from the beginning. I use Syncopation by Ted Reed and the Breeze Easy methods to start. Also have play along CD's and playlists. Guitar: I took lesso…
Education
Univ of Arizona - Music - 08/1992-06/1997 (Bachelor's degree received) Univ of Arizona - Music - 08/2001-06/2003 (Master's degree received)
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TakeLessons Music Teacher

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Landon S.
(877) 231-8505
Se 8th Ave
Portland, OR
Subjects
Cello, Classical Guitar, Organ, Theatrical Broadway Singing, Music Theory, Drums, Guitar, Singing, Music Performance, Songwriting, Speaking Voice, Bass Guitar, Piano, Music Recording
Ages Taught
5 to 99
Specialties
Blues Guitar, Folk Guitar, Composition.
Education
Westmont College - Music - 2005-2009 (Bachelor's degree received)
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TakeLessons Music Teacher

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Christina's Piano Studio
(360) 882-0501
Vancouver, WA
 
Jeremy N.
(877) 231-8505
SE Reedway St
Portland, OR
Subjects
Drums, Music Theory, Songwriting, Music Recording, Music Performance, Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Bass Guitar
Ages Taught
5 to 50
Specialties
Drum: beg to adv Piano: beg to adv Guitar and bass: beg to inter Piano: I teach a method that my father--a professional music teacher in the Phoenix valley--has developed for 37 years which includes original exercises, music and books by Pace, Noona, Faber, Minsky and more. Drums: I developed a creative approach to drumming incorporating reading from the beginning. I use Syncopation by Ted Reed and the Breeze Easy methods to start. Also have play along CD's and playlists. Guitar: I took lesso…
Education
Univ of Arizona - Music - 08/1992-06/1997 (Bachelor's degree received) Univ of Arizona - Music - 08/2001-06/2003 (Master's degree received)
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TakeLessons Music Teacher

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UpBeat! Music and Drama Studio
(541) 393-2453
Pleasant Hill, OR
 
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The Chord Doctor - Expand Your Chordal Command

by Clifford Carter

You hear that the government is contemplating another multi-billion dollar stimulus package. That’s an intimidating number I can’t even digest. A much kinder, gentler number is 12 — the number of notes in the chromatic scale. This month, we’ll scratch the surface of combining those notes into chord colors appropriate for different styles of music.

The chord chart for what I play could be the same for accompanying a number of different artists, but how I voice those chords may be radically different depending on the music. To illustrate that, Examples 1-5 present the same eight-bar chord progression in a variety of contexts — proof positive that the same chord can sound completely different depending on how you voice it. Example 6 gives you hands-on practice material to start expanding your chord comfort zone. The ultimate goal is that regardless of whatever curve the music throws you, you can choose your next voicing without overthinking.

One last thing: Notice the simple left hand parts in the bass clefs throughout. It’s good to practice more than one thing at a time, and you don’t want an idle hand. By playing a bass line, you give the right hand a musical context, while developing hand independence. You’re also working on your timing, and making what could be a somewhat tedious exercise a bit more fun and musical.

Click the sheet music thumbnails for super-size versions suitable for playing! Click the example headers for audio clips.

kb0210 Plat It Chord Doc 1 Ex. 1 - click for audio. Here’s an eight-bar progression I’d play on, say, the first verse of a Patti Scialfa song. It’s simple and sparse with not a lot of movement — a nice bed. All chords are either triads or four-note chords with one of the triad’s notes doubled. The exceptions are bars 3 and 6, where I’m just playing the root and fifth in each hand. Why? Because Nils Lofgren is next to me playing some fat, soulful chords unique to the guitar, and I want to get out of his harmonic space. By eliminating thirds at that moment, it avoids any clashes or unnecessary doubling.

0210 Play It Chord Doc 2 Ex. 2 - click for audio . I’d play in the second verse with more character and rhythmic action. By simply using the ninth of each chord, we get a new sound, moving the piano a little more to the forefront.

0210 Play It Chord Doc 3 Ex. 3 - click for audio . In this variation on Example 2, I add the fourth in addition to the ninth. It’s similar in style but adds new harmonic identity. This style of adding fourths and ninths (or “twos and fours”) is very guitar-like, and a signature sound of guitar bands like the Byrds and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Many pianists have taken cues from guitar-oriented voicings when playing triad-based music. Listen to Elton John, Billy Joel, Matt Rollings, and the E Street Band’s Roy Bittan to get these new sounds into your hands and ears.

0210 Play It Chord Doc 4 Ex. 4 - click for audio. Here’s the same basic progression, played with a gospel or R&B style. I recently played in the Baltimor...

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