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#1123020 - 12/09/04 01:21 PM reading both clefs vs. playing chord charts
chprout Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 33
Loc: Northern Virginia
HI again. I am a beginner and know how to read the treble clef, as I already play a couple of different instruments. But boy that Bass clef is a monster at 40 years old.

Some methods out there say they teach you to read a chord chart, so you can play from a fakebook or something. I'd love to do this. But there's also an advantage to reading the bass cleff as well.

What do you guys do? Any of you play only from a chord chart? If so, how did you learn all those variations of the chord, such as "Fmaj7#11" and so forth? I can piece together a three note chord, but once I get past adding on a 7th, I get confused which notes it is. Anyone found any great teach yourself methods on how to play with chords and their variations?

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#1123021 - 12/09/04 01:28 PM Re: reading both clefs vs. playing chord charts
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
Depending on your goals, I'd recommend being able to do both. If you can piece together a triad or a 7th chord, you should be able to figure out the rest assuming you know what the constructs are (aug, dim, min, etc.) and how they're noted. It might just take a while. Or you can get a chord chart/book.

I just started (yesterday in fact) a method that I think/hope will increase my facility with chords. It's called the Keyboard Accompaniment Method (see www.quenmar.com). I really can't provide a whole lot of feedback yet since I'm only in the first Basics book. There are a total of four books in the Basics section and then six in the advanced section. I'm also hoping to find some other books/methods that address this topic, as I find that I can select the information that is most useful/pertinent to me.
markb--The Count of Casio

#1123022 - 12/09/04 01:37 PM Re: reading both clefs vs. playing chord charts
chprout Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 33
Loc: Northern Virginia
Thanks. Please let me know as soon as you've tried this out. Someone else on here is also trying out the Sudnow method and I'm interested in hearing how that's going as well. Please keep me posted as quickly as possible.

#1123023 - 12/09/04 09:29 PM Re: reading both clefs vs. playing chord charts
Hububer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 149
Loc: Virginia
Learning to play from a fake book is skill upon itself, but well worth the effort. But you still need to learn the bass clef....no way around it. Check out "How to Play from a Fake Book".

Typically you are going to start by learning to play just block chords in the left hand and the melody in the right hand, and then you will probably want to start to learn 7th and 9th chords by splitting the chord up into both hands. And then rootless 11th and 13th chords. etc. etc. Then you can start to learn to "improvise" on the piece to fill in those big "empty" spaces. It also not to unusual with chords like the one you mentioned FMaj7#11 where that #11 is the melody note itself. Fake books can be a lot of fun. But you still learn that bass clef. \:\)

And for what it's worth, you can check this previous topic.


#1123024 - 12/11/04 05:31 AM Re: reading both clefs vs. playing chord charts
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
It just takes time, stick with it.

I work each hand separately for a brief period of time then start brining them together. Depending on the piece I usually work on a phrase at a time (sometimes just a measure) until I get it right.

It depends what your goals are but I would learn both clefs. This will give you the option of much more literature to work with.
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".



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