Everything You Play is Wrong: Smoke on the Water

Invert the Chords > Lose the Pick > Play Smoke on the Water Montreux, Switzerland: 1971.  Frank Zappa and the Mother's of Invention play a concert in the theatre of the  Montreux Casino on Lake Geneva.  Deep Purple is in attendance, preparing to record Machine Head using a mobile studio rented from the Rolling Stones.  [...]

By | August 12th, 2010|Guitar, Songs|

Theory 101: Stairway to Sevenths

By combining what we learned in how to Build Piano Chords with our knowledge of Basic Intervals, we are ready to move beyond the triad. First stop: seventh chords. Take a basic triad and add a note that is a seventh above the root to form a seventh chord. There are several different types of [...]

By | July 5th, 2010|Theory|

Theory 101: Chord Inversions for Piano

From our last post on Building Piano Chords, you should be able to form root position chords in any key.  Root position simply means that the chord is played with the root as the lowest note.  (The root is the reference note for a chord: the tone the chord is built on and named after.  [...]

By | April 5th, 2010|Piano, Theory|

Practice > 8 Essential Guitar Chords

If you're a beginning guitarist, this is the place to start.  Do as Justin suggests and learn the open D, A, and E chords first.  With those, you can play a few hundred songs.  Add the next five, and you can play a few thousand.  As always, the video supplements are thorough and helpful.  Here's [...]

By | April 3rd, 2010|Guitar|

Theory 101: Building Piano Chords

Here's Nate again, this time with a lesson on building chords in the key of G Major.  From the last lesson on scales and the circle of fifths, you'll remember that the key of G Major has one sharp: F#.  So the scale runs as follows: G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G. The most basic chord is a triad, which [...]

By | March 28th, 2010|Piano, Theory|