Showing articles 1-10 of 29

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Standard Blues Progression

Why do we teach the 12-bar blues with CFCC as the first 4 instead of the standard CCCC that is everywhere else? Personally I like the F added in as it makes it more interesting. But does SM have a reason? I’m guessing congruency, so that there’s a pattern for beginning players. Remember that the blues is a folk tradition, not some formal music theory…
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Blues Scale Fingering

I am doing the Blues Improvisation ‘Blues Scales’ and have a question about fingering patterns. In the C scale we use F1 on White notes and F3 on Black notes but what about in other keys? I don’t know if I’ve missed it somewhere... but that combination doesn’t seem to work with all keys. The Scale Journey approach is relevant with regard to a visual map. I've always involved my students…

Blues Scale Fingering

Is there anywhere in the program that explains how to count and play triplets? (of quarter, eighth or 16th notes)? When doing the blues improv in some keys, like Eb, the blues scale notes don't seem to fit with I, IV, V. In other keys they do. Is there a reason for that or is it just our (my student and my) bad ears? When doing the Eb blues scale, does anyone have any suggestions on…

Struggles with Alma Mater Blues

I need suggestions about an 11-year-old girl in a shared lesson with another 11-year-old. They both benefit from the shared setting (both were private until 2 months ago). She practices more since being in the shared situation, and the other student (a boy) is learning to slow down his playing more. The girl is having a much harder time with Alma Mater Blues than the boy is because she is not wanting or willing to slow…

Bishop Street chords: identifying and playing with small hands

I'm trying to figure out the I, IV, V chords in Bishop Street Blues. I know how to play it, but what are these chords? What makes it a I, IV, and V? Are the inverted/suspended/diminished chords? I wouldn't explain it to my students at this stage, but I'm trying to understand for myself. Also, tips for teaching a 6-year-old with small hands to play Bishop Street Blues? They're blues chords,…

Webinar Series: 04/19/2018 – Piano – Ask Neil Anything

This webinar is driven by teacher questions. Topics range from the rationale behind some of the curriculum to supporting coaches to the future of Simply Music. Enjoy! Topics include: Intro: Funny Story About Neil (00:05) Helping Parents be ‘Requirement-Based’ (2:06) How Teachers Can Improve Their Rhythm Skills (12:55) Engaging All Students in Shared Lessons (20:04) Rationale for Repertoire of 30-40 Songs (28:13) Reason for Notation Changes in Foundation Music (31:23) Blues Songs – More Common Keys Used (33:58) Developing Our…

Blues & Improv question

In project 7C of Blues & Improv, students work towards inventing phrases spontaneously. With the invention part (when students start to vary the rhythm in each measure), is it expected that students play the 4 notes in the same order each measure and only vary the rhythm for each measure? Example: BMTM each time, but different rhythm per measure. Or can they mix both order and rhythm each measure? We…

CAGE chord question

I have a student who is asking regarding the CAGE chord: why is it called a IV and V chord when it's not really in the position of IV and V? Maybe say they're extensions of IV and V., Different shapes for the RH, but the LH is in the IV and V positions and we're building off of that They're technically 9th chords. I thought…

Hand position on blues chords

A student asked me if it is okay for her to pull her hand back a bit when switching between chords. She's learning Alma Mater Blues. Is this a technique no-no, or is it okay? This is on CAGE chords and also on the shift from I-IV-V in the 12-bar blues. I don't believe it is a problem to do so. I tend to do it myself a little to accommodate…

Playing LH finger 5 in blues

In the 12 bar blues pieces (starting with Jackson Blues), I have several students who hold down finger 5 in the LH and just move the thumb up and down. Even after I've shown them the correction, they are not repeating the finger 5 on every beat. I think I've missed teaching that somehow. Suggestions? I tell my students "Now don't let the pinkie be lazy and make your thumb do…

Showing articles 1-10 of 29