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#1573736 - 12/10/10 02:04 AM Playing a chord, confused
Artur Gajewski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 336
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
So I wathed a video on youtube about piano improvization and I got confused.

Lets say I want to play a chord of C-major. So there are two ways among others I can play it?

C-E-G and C-G-C

Am I corrent or did I miss something here?

Would E-major then also be E-B-E in addition to E-G-B?

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q2yQKXRRTs&feature=fvsr


Edited by Artur Gajewski (12/10/10 02:05 AM)
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#1573763 - 12/10/10 03:58 AM Re: Playing a chord, confused [Re: Artur Gajewski]
Tobiasm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Denmark
No you're correct. It's a matter of what is called voicing - how you play a given chord. If you play a chord like c-major in the left hand C-E-G it will often sound "muddled" because the notes are to close, so you omit the 3rd( E in this case) and play C-G-C instead.
The E will then often be played by the right hand. Or you could voice the chord C-G-E.

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#1573764 - 12/10/10 03:58 AM Re: Playing a chord, confused [Re: Artur Gajewski]
Dror Perl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 272
Loc: NY
Hello Arthur

You are right there are many ways to play a C major chords.

C-E-G is a basic C major chord and C-G-C is indeed another way to accompany yourself when playing C major.

As for the E major, E-B-E would work (the parallel to our C-G-C from earlier)

however, E-G-B is actually an Em chord and if you want to play an E major you need to play E-G#-B
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Sheer Piano: The First Full Color Piano Music Books





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#1573780 - 12/10/10 05:13 AM Re: Playing a chord, confused [Re: Artur Gajewski]
Artur Gajewski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 336
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Thanks for the clarification guys, I have heard of open voicing before but never understood it.
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Author of Piano Lessons Package & Child's Piano Play
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#1573832 - 12/10/10 08:03 AM Re: Playing a chord, confused [Re: Artur Gajewski]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3263
The C major chord has three notes....C - E - G.

When played like that, it is called "root position."

If you take the C from the bottom of the chord, and put it on top, so the chord is E - G - C, that is called "first inversion."

If you take the E from the bottom of the first inversion, and put it on the top, so the chord is G - C - E, that is called "second inversion."

As was mentioned in a post above, that is called the "voices" of a chord.

You can also mix the notes up in other ways, such as playing C - G with your left hand, and the E, and perhaps another C and/or G with your right hand an octave higher...still technically a C chord.

That is because when you play music, you are much of the time playing some combination of the notes of a chord, with some other non-chordal notes mixed in.
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#1574004 - 12/10/10 12:56 PM Re: Playing a chord, confused [Re: Artur Gajewski]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
Another reason to be familiar with inversions is that when following a chord progression, you smoothly move the minimum number of notes between chords rather than going clunk - root position chord - clunk - another root position chord - clunk - etc
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#1574059 - 12/10/10 02:24 PM Re: Playing a chord, confused [Re: Artur Gajewski]
Maharishi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 439
Loc: France


Hello Artur,

I don’t know what resources you have available to you but I wrote these chord sequences out for someone on this forum a few weeks ago. They demonstrate a little of what has already been talked about here and might help you.






There are a few more examples here (with higher definition).

Good luck!!
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A mere novice..

And my faithful friend..


Hellas upright, CP5
Some of my practice sessions : Grieg, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann

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#1574064 - 12/10/10 02:31 PM Re: Playing a chord, confused [Re: Artur Gajewski]
carpediem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/07
Posts: 65
Loc: Midwest
Thanks for a good question and an interesting thread. I agree with the comments above, but would clarify one thing. If you choose to play the C-G-C version in the left hand, you have to have an E as one of your right hand notes. The reason is that in any chord triad, the 3rd note (E in the example of C-E-G) gives the character of the chord, namely whether it will be a major or minor chord. A C major is C-E-G (the 1, 3, and 5 notes of that scale), a C minor is C-E flat-G (the 1, flatted third, and 5th), so you need the third note somewhere to know whether you are playing a major or minor key. The C and G are common to both.
When using Arabic numbers like that you are referring to the steps of the scale (a C scale of C-D-E-F-G-A-B means C=1, D=2, etc.) When using Roman numerals in Maharishi's posting you are referring to the comparable chords. So, in key of C the IV chord is a F, the V chord is a G chord, and the I chord is back to C major.

Hope this helps.

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#1574105 - 12/10/10 03:24 PM Re: Playing a chord, confused [Re: Maharishi]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
Nice!
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#1574134 - 12/10/10 04:06 PM Re: Playing a chord, confused [Re: carpediem]
Maharishi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 439
Loc: France

Hello again!

Yes, there are some more of these inversions further down the page of my original file – If you click on the link in my post above!

Happy playing!
_________________________
Maharishi wink
A mere novice..

And my faithful friend..


Hellas upright, CP5
Some of my practice sessions : Grieg, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann

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