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Piano and Music Theory Part 03

Posted on 27th April 2012  · 
Last week in Piano and Music Theory 02 I shared with you some controversial ideas about the 'talent myth' and the 'power of practice' which I have found to be great motivators for attainment of my own goals. I hope these ideas inspired you in some way and helped you to 'put in the hours' with your own piano practice.

Hopefully some of you will be well on your way to playing the C Major scale forwards and backwards with both hands separately and together. This is a great way to develop playing technique and finger dexterity as you progress with your playing.

As I said last week, once you know the tonal pattern of the C Major scale (T, T, s/t, T, T, T, s/t) you can begin to experiment with a range of Major scales by choosing a different start note (known as the root) and playing up/down the keyboard whilst keeping the above tonal pattern the same. For example here is the D Major scale which as you can see runs onto the black keys (F# and C#) in order to keep the same tonal pattern.

From Major to minor

The great news is that once you know the Major scales it becomes easy to manipulate them to create minor scales giving us plenty of new musical paths to explore. One way to do this is to take any Major scale and 'flatten' (lower the pitch by a semitone) the third, sixth and seventh notes of the scale. If you do this with the C Major scale you will find the C 'natural' minor scale (C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab and Bb).

Of course once you know this technique you can now change any Major scale to a natural minor scale with ease!

Next time... more on minors

Written by Steve Heath of Wave Alchemy




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