The Chord Doctor - Expand Your Chordal Command Springfield IL

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.

Michael M.
(877) 231-8505
W Greenleaf Ave
Chicago, IL
Subjects
Music Performance, Flute, Music Theory, Oboe, Piano
Ages Taught
5 to 99
Specialties
Classical music.
Education
University of Iowa - Piano, Oboe, Composition - 1984-1988 (Bachelor's degree received) New England Conservatory - Oboe [but also played much piano] - 1989-1991 (Master's degree received) University of Iowa - Composition [also played much piano] - 1992-1994 (not complete)
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Thomas W.
(877) 231-8505
South Halsted St
Chicago, IL
Subjects
Music Theory, Guitar, Piano
Ages Taught
5 to 99
Specialties
I am most well versed in jazz guitar and pop/blues guitar. I also have a strong background in classical piano and am a strong sight reader. I teach Music composition, music theory, beginning banjo, music performance, and music recording.
Education
Columbia College Chicago - Instrumental Performance - 2005-present (not complete)
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Shanta N.
(877) 231-8505
S. Ridgeland Ave.
Chicago, IL
Subjects
Bass Guitar, Music Performance, Piano, Speaking Voice
Ages Taught
5 to 99
Specialties
improvisation in jazz and world music
Education
Carleton College - English - 1967-1971 (Bachelor's degree received) Western Governors Univ. - Elementary Education - 2003-2006 (Master's degree received)
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Yusef M.
(877) 231-8505
Sibley Blvd
Calumet City, IL
Subjects
Speaking Voice, Music Performance, Songwriting, Music Recording, Saxophone, Organ, Piano, Music Theory, Singing
Ages Taught
5 to 99
Specialties
Gospel Jazz Play by Ear
Education
University of Dayton - Psychology - 94-98 (Bachelor's degree received) Keller Graduate School - Business Administration - 02-04 (Master's degree received)
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Christian R.
(877) 231-8505
W. Mclean
Chicago, IL
Subjects
Music Theory, Piano, Percussion, Music Performance, Speaking Voice
Ages Taught
5 to 99
Specialties
Rock and Jazz drum-set studies and performance. Afro-Cuban and Southern Indian hand-percussion studies and performance. Symphony percussion studies and performance. Classical piano studies and performance. Alternate drum-set and hand-percussion arrangement and instrumentation designed for recording and performance.
Education
Jacobs High-school and Dundee Crown High-school - General ED. and Music - 1995-1999 (High School diploma received) Berklee College of Music - Professional Music - 2002-2005 (Bachelor's degree received)
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Sheri Pape
3646 Cavalier Court 3646 Cavalier Court
Rockford, IL
Instruments
Chorus, Composition, Ear Training, Early Music, Electronic, Musicology, Other, Piano, Theory, Voice
Styles
Blues, Classical, Electronic, Folk - Country - Bluegrass, Jazz, Kids, Other, Rock - Alternative, World
Experience Levels
Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$30
Years of Experience
31 Years

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G.R. S.
(877) 231-8505
W. 95th Street
Hickory Hills, IL
Subjects
Organ, Piano, Music Theory, Singing, Opera Voice
Ages Taught
9 to 67
Specialties
Church organ, either classical or gospel; operatic, oratorio and Broadway singing; classical piano. I can teach other genera, but these are my specialties.
Education
Knoxville High School - Music, writing - 1979-1982 (Honors Diploma) Illinois Wesleyan University - Religion/Music dbl maj - 1982-1986 (B.A.) Western Illinois University - Organ/Voice/Conducting - 1987-1988 American Conservatory of Music - Vocal Performance - 2008-Nov 2009 (M.M.)
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Rick Kissinger
6646 N. Glenwood Ave ste 3S
Chicago, IL
Instruments
Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Other, Piano, Piccolo, Saxophone
Styles
Blues, Classical, Jazz, Kids, Other
Experience Levels
Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$60
Years of Experience
10 Years

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Daniel K.
(877) 231-8505
N Janssen Ave
Chicago, IL
Subjects
Bass Guitar, Piano, Guitar, Saxophone, Flute, Dance, Music Theory, Singing, Songwriting, Music Recording, Trumpet, Music Performance
Ages Taught
8 to 60
Specialties
Customized approach to the individual based on needs and goals.
Education
Argo Community H.S. - Academic - 1974-1977 (High School diploma received) Columbia College - Music Composition - 1987-1990 (Bachelor's degree received) DePaul University - Music Education - 2001-2001 (not complete)
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Judy Lei
9500 S Avers
Evergreen Park, IL
Instruments
Cello, Guitar, Piano, Viola, Violin, Voice
Styles
Classical, Kids, World
Experience Levels
Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$50
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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