The Chord Doctor - Expand Your Chordal Command Lansing MI

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.

Marilyn Howington
2909 Evergreen Drive
Royal Oak, MI
Instruments
Piano, Theory
Styles
Classical, Kids
Experience Levels
Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$25
Years of Experience
12 Years

Data Provided by:
Jodi Jones
1025 S. Hanover
Hastings, MI
Instruments
Piano
Styles
Blues, Classical, Other
Experience Levels
Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$37
Years of Experience
6 Years

Data Provided by:
Anne G.
(877) 231-8505
Tawas
Hazel Park, MI
Subjects
Singing, Piano
Ages Taught
7 to 99
Specialties
Voice, Beginning Piano I teach a classical method of singing which gives a wonderful foundation for vocal technique. However, it is up to the student how they would like to build on this foundation. After classical, I am most qualified in musical theater, though I also have experience in pop, jazz, rock, country, and R & B. I also am available to teach beginning piano as I have experience accompanying my voice students.
Education
Henry Ford the Second - Diploma - 08/1999-05/2003 Oakland University - Music Education with a Choral Emphasis - 08/2003-08/2008
Membership Organizations
TakeLessons Music Teacher

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Anne G.
(877) 231-8505
15 Mile Road
Sterling Heights, MI
Subjects
Singing, Piano
Ages Taught
7 to 99
Specialties
Voice, Beginning Piano I teach a classical method of singing which gives a wonderful foundation for vocal technique. However, it is up to the student how they would like to build on this foundation. After classical, I am most qualified in musical theater, though I also have experience in pop, jazz, rock, country, and R & B. I also am available to teach beginning piano as I have experience accompanying my voice students.
Education
Henry Ford the Second - Diploma - 08/1999-05/2003 Oakland University - Music Education with a Choral Emphasis - 08/2003-08/2008
Membership Organizations
TakeLessons Music Teacher

Data Provided by:
Janet T.
(877) 231-8505
Whitmore St.
Oak Park, MI
Subjects
Music Theory, Music Performance, Acting, Songwriting, Piano, Singing
Ages Taught
5 to 99
Specialties
I have been performing as well as teaching for the past 30 years. I have specialized in jazz and pop for voice, classical and jazz genres for piano. For beginning piano students I have the David-Carr-Glover books but am not adverse to using other methods. Also when a student shows interest I have made them practice CDs in the music minus one fashion. This makes their practice in voice and/or piano more interesting and helps them to keep tempo (especially if they don't have a metronome) and he…
Education
Ohio State University - Fine Arts - 1969-1970 (not complete)
Membership Organizations
TakeLessons Music Teacher

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Michael Sanchez
4249 Abby Lane
Grandville, MI
Instruments
Guitar, Piano, Viola, Violin, Voice
Styles
Classical, Folk - Country - Bluegrass
Experience Levels
Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$35
Years of Experience
10 Years

Data Provided by:
Robert Gallagher
25850 Concord Rd
Huntington Woods, MI
Instruments
Cello, Drums, Electric Bass, Guitar, Piano, Stand Up Bass, Theory, Viola, Violin
Styles
Blues, Classical, Folk - Country - Bluegrass, Jazz, Kids, Rock - Alternative
Experience Levels
Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$45
Years of Experience
25 Years

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Nicholas C.
(877) 231-8505
Barton
Garden City, MI
Subjects
Piano, Guitar, Music Recording, Bass Guitar, Upright Bass, Music Theory, Trumpet, Music Performance
Ages Taught
1 to 99
Specialties
Jazz Studies major at Wayne State University. Have a firm understand of Latin and Caribbean grooves and how to apply them.
Education
Columbia College Chicago - Jazz Studies - Instrumental Performance - September 09 - Present (not complete) Rudolf Steiner High School - - Sep 05 - Jun 09 (High School diploma received)
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TakeLessons Music Teacher

Data Provided by:
William Emerson
21817 MacArthur
Warren, MI
Instruments
Audio Recording, Chorus, Composition, Drums, Dulcimer, Ear Training, Early Music, Guitar, Handbells, Harpsichord, Mallet, Marimba, Organ, Other, Percussion, Piano, Recording, Theory, Timpani, Voice
Styles
Blues, Classical, Folk - Country - Bluegrass, Jazz, Kids, Other, Rock - Alternative, World
Experience Levels
Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$25
Years of Experience
27 Years

Data Provided by:
Al McKenzie
PO Box 760573
Lathrup Village, MI
Instruments
Cello, Drums, Flute, Guitar, Oboe, Other, Piano, Saxophone, Trumpet, Violin
Styles
Jazz
Experience Levels
Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$0
Years of Experience
20 Years

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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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