Friday, July 11, 2014

How safe is your mind from info overload?

You can simplify things immensely by playing with chords and using fakebooks!

First, some definitions:

Chord: ANY group of three or more notes. The ones we like get names, naturally.
Fakebook: A book of written music that ONLY contains a single note melody, lyrics to the tune and the chords that go with the melody.

Now what do YOU need to "play with chords" and "use a fakebook?"

You need to be able to read the RH of the music. NOT hard to learn.

You need to know what chords are used in whatever book you have. NOT hard to learn.

It WILL require some effort, however, as most decent and interesting things in this life do. What's in it for you?

Well, that's simple to answer: Fun. It's much more fun to MAKE music rather than merely listening to it like a rock or a stump.

Disagree? If you do, or you agree strongly, I'd love to hear from you. My personal email address is   !

Friday, July 04, 2014

Chords, More About

Let's do a batch of posts about chords!

Now our western "Major Scale" is all over the planet. What's a "Major Scale," you ask? It's "Do-Re-Mi etc. like in "The Sound of Music." And most folks can't define "scale" very well either, but I have to say it makes more sense in Italian where it means "ladder" So a scale, any scale, is a "ladder of notes"

But as I say, our western major scale is taking over Earth. Other scales (and there are many, especially in the orient) simply can't compete.

Thus, most chords, in order to be harmonious with a tune built on such scale notes (for example: C Major Scale is composed of the notes played all on the white keys of a keyboard: C, D, E, F, G, A, B and usually the final C is added to that.) are made only of the white key notes. Now any group of 3 or more notes is technically a chord but some sound good and some do NOT and thus we only name the ones we will use, which is to say the good ones.

The chords that are commonest for a tune built on the C Major Scale are C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am and G7. Of these the major chords are usually lumped together (C, F, G, and G7) and called the "Primary Chords."

Some theory books (although not all of them) call Dm, Em, and Am the "Secondary Chords."

Every scale has a group of chords made of the same notes as the scale. That's why these chords sound so good when used with the melody of the song.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

When Can You Simplify Chords

Too many demands on your resources, such as requests for money and/or time? I am not playing that game. Instead, today's post is about "chords."

When can they be simplified? Chords, I mean...

Most chords are based on either Majors or minors. There are a few based on other basic chords but we are not here to discuss those.
If the chord you are considering learning is based on one of two essential chords then you can simplify it down to that one.

Look, it's much like Major chords are hamburgers and minor chords are hot dogs. You can put all the condiments you want on these items (musically, this would be things like 7ths, 9ths, which are called "extended chords" or flatted 9ths, 11ths etc, which are called "altered chords") but the main taste (if you will) is still that hamburger or hotdog you are dressing up.

Get me?

Now, for a person to know what Major or minor chords they must learn for sure, for sure, you will have to email me. I might have some questions for you about what instrument you play. This includes vocalists. There is no way to do it otherwise.

Monday, May 26, 2014


What the are and why they are so common!

Chord: (Music) any group of 3 or more notes which may be named.

Now this might not apply to guitarists many of whom think TWO notes make a chord, as in power chord. (Note to guitarists - the rest of the music world disagrees with this definition. A "power chord" such as an A5 is held to be an "Interval" despite what you might have been told or read. This would make it really, really hard to comprehend music "theory.")

When I say "named" I mean has a common name. Some chords sound just plain lousy and thus don't get names.

Most all chords simplify to basic, three note chords. You can go through any chord list and x out anything you don't want to do this way and you'll still retain much of the "flavor" of the chord. The 9's, 11th's, and so on are mere condiments added to the basics. They do take a lot of time, time better spent learning some new material, I'd wager.

Also, despite some older books, the common keys are C, F, G, Bb, and D. I have found nothing to dissuade me of this. Older books use other, less common keys, and many a learned paper has been written why.

I place anything like this in the rack of "little rewards for a lot more work" and simply don't do it at all.

This is a good thing, because that means that there are a more reasonable number of common chords (a topic I cover thoroughly in my ebook about chords which I highly suggest you purchase at amazon if you are serious about chords! It's called How to Use Chords and Fakebooks by me, of course.) These are chords you CAN learn in a reasonable amount of time. For the first 5 keys I've listed there are 19 of them: 7 Major chords, 7 Minor chords, and 5 7th chords.

The key to playing these depends totally on what instrument you are playing. Of course, instruments that DO not make more than one or two notes can NOT play chords. The popularity of chord instruments like guitar, piano, and keyboard attests to strength of chords.

Chords are part of harmony, however, NOT melody and thus are not actually tunes (another name for a melody!) However, unless you want to hear a bunch of single note instruments you will have some sort of harmony.

That means chords. They are the accompaniment to almost everything written these days.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How to Have an Intimate Concert and Have the Attendees Pay for It!

Many people want more friends but dread the expense!

I'm good, especially at re-creating the music of the 50's and 60's! Of course, I can perform pretty much anything that you might want. The above is simply my preference. Go to my website for proof. I provide the url at the end of this very short essay.

What will allow you to gain friends is a House Concert. To accomplish one you must actually know 10-15 folks you'd like as friends (or are friends with already) who would pay $15 each for an intimate 1 and 1 half hour concert in your living room. You also need a living room (but I can help with that, too!).

Go to my website: for all the data. Then you will contact me to finalize arrangements.