3 hours







Duncan Millar

Intro to Pop and Jazz Piano chords, progressions, inversions, seventh chords, melody, tensions, bass-lines and the Blues

Expected learning & outcomes

  • • Play different types of three and four-note chords commonly found in pop and jazz styles, understanding their construction and how they relate to a particular key
  • • Play and create chord-progressions, understanding chord-function and how progressions work
  • • Play chords studied in different shapes and apply this to achieve musical playing of chord-progressions
  • • Understand special qualities of dominant 7ths chords, including secondary and extended dominants, and also other types of 7th chord
  • • Understand the relationship between a melody and its accompanying chords and be able to use this practically
  • • Understand how to create different kinds of left-hand bass-lines and play these to accompany right-hand chords
  • • Understand the different characteristics of a Blues; creating and playing one, and improvising over it to a basic level

    Skills you will learn

    Book Writing, Construction, Jazz, Make up, Music, Writing

    About this course

    • In this course you’ll study pop and jazz keyboards both to improve your playing in those styles and at the same time get to the heart of what makes the music tick, its chords, scales, keys, melodies and more,  - simply put, all the things that make up its Harmony. The aim is for you to immediately be able to use the theory practically and creatively in your own playing and writing

    Study Pop And Jazz Keyboards and Really Understand How The Music Works  

    • Play many different kinds of chords (triads and sevenths) in both hands,

    • Use chords in chord progressions, and understand how they work

    • Play chords in inversions and play chord progressions smoothly

    • Learn how to write a chord progression

    • Write effective and interesting melodies to chords

    • Learn about left-hand Bass-lines and The Blues

    Learn and Play Like a Working Pop or Jazz Musician  

    Learning to play keyboards can be an end in itself, but is also a great way to understand how music works, an aim of this course.

    Instead of learning set, notated pieces, you’ll be using the keyboard to play and study chords, progressions and other harmonic-elements, learning how they work together. Then, apply this to your playing so that you improve not just your keyboard-playing, but can develop skills vital to the pop and jazz keyboardist.

    That could include playing from a chord-chart in a band; creating an accompaniment to a singer; making keyboard arrangements using chord-symbols; writing songs and keyboard music, jamming, and starting to improvise and solo.  

    Many working pop and jazz musicians learned to perfect the same skills in the same way, all things that require as good an understanding of Practical Harmony as possible.  

    Content and Overview

    The course has 12 lessons and 2.75 hours of video, starting with basic concepts and progressing through more sophisticated ones in a logical way. The aim is to keep playing ability in line with what has been learned theoretically.

    The first few lessons explain simple chord-types  that can be found in different keys, also how these work together to create strong chord-progressions. Later, you’ll learn to play them in different shapes, enabling smooth playing of progressions.

    Subsequently, you’ll study richer, more advanced four-note seventh chords, and what they can do within a chord-progression.  

    In the final few lessons, you’ll branch out to explore how right-hand melodies relate to the left-hand accompanying chords, and what are the components of a melody. Then, how a left-hand bass-line (or one played by a bassist) relates to a chord progression and in general the different types there are.  

    Lastly, you’ll study how a Blues works, a musical-form that exists in many styles and one which, in a clear way, brings together all the different topics studied in the course.  

    Please note: “Pop” as used in the course-title is a loose-term  for many possible styles, e.g.  rock, country, r&b etc. “Jazz”, similarly.  

    Theory-content is stated succinctly, and accompanied by keyboard demonstrations. How chords can be used in a typical progression is always shown. Details spoken are reinforced by written text, and lessons conclude with a “practice” segment listing things to work on.  

    The Beginner level course is part of a larger course, including Intermediate and Advanced levels (not yet published), structured in the same way.




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