The many ‘realisations’ of the Pyramids chord sequence
explored in the Pyramids Variations workbook by no means exhaust the
possibilities. Committed students will find many more at their fingertips if
they take a conscious decision to give their creativity free rein and ‘just sit
down and play’.
Here are some suggestions.
The Pyramids Diaries are Pyramids variations which
Mister Musicarta has stumbled upon since the first publication of this
Workbook. They have been left as stand-alones to inspire and to offer less analysed
examples to copy. See the playlist at MisterMusicarta YouTube and individual
web pages as applicable.
Feel free to experiment with the Pyramids ‘form’.
Different structures, such as a possible A1 A2 B
A1 A2 version, can be tried out. Extended
endings, repeating the F/E pair of chords in bars 13/14 of an A1 A2 version, or the comparable pair in a 32-bar version, can
also be tried out. For performance, prolonged medleys of variations can be put
together, with transitional phrases between, or even modulations into other
Melodic variation hasn’t been explored much in this
Workbook. Try playing any accompaniment texture and listen internally for a
different melody which fits with the Pyramids chord sequence, and then pick out your ideas at the keyboard.
The rhythms and textures which the Pyramids
chord sequence can support are, of course, endless. There are chord textures in
this volume which have been only partially explored and other time signatures which have not been examined at all.
Visit the Pyramids sections of the Musicarta
website and YouTube channels for more developmental material, such as the three
'seed versions' on Variations Sample page deliberately
left incomplete for pupils to finish. A committed composition or improvisation
teacher can easily provide similar examples.
As suggested on the same page:
Make ‘B sections’ to pattern for any variation
which doesn’t already have one, and
Enhance them with just the right amount of
circle of fifths harmony.
The Pyramids melody (with or without variations
and improvisations) can be played by any solo instrument with free keyboard accompaniment.
Two keyboard players who know the material can work up keyboard duet
arrangements. The material - especially in four-four - could even be performed by a rock combo.
Where two keyboards are available, multiple
four-hand possibilities arise. In addition to ‘duetting’, the teacher or more experienced player can provide a background accompaniment to lend security to practising
Once known, the Pyramids chord sequence can be
the focus of intensive ear training, either ‘freestyle’ or in line with exam
syllabi. In a two-keyboard teaching situation, copying melodic fragments and
textures in a call-and-response texture is particularly fruitful.
forward, Musicarta hopes that Pyramids Variations students will understand
the advantage of having examined the Pyramids chord sequence in such depth, and
use the Pyramids Variations as a springboard into their own creative futures by
going on to apply the skills learnt to other material.
Try two Musicarta Pyramids Variations video lessons on Skillshare absolutely free. Use these links to Lesson One and Lesson Two and watch your keyboards skills grow – and get three months' Skillshare Premium membership for less than a dollar!