Key Chords home page here.
This and the other sampler pages are here to give you an idea of how Key Chords will help you learn to play great riffs with just the four most used chords in popular music.
Click through to the other sample pages using the series navbar in the right hand column to decide whether Musicarta Key Chords Volume 1 is the keyboard creativity course for you!
Musicarta Key Chords shows you how to find the
essential chords in any key and how to practice moving freely between them. So
far, these sample lessons have covered pairs I and IV (C and F in our easy key
C), I and V (C and G), and the combination of pairs in a I–IV–I–V–I chord sequence
(the Afro-jazz riff).
Key Chords develops one more I–IV–I–V–I riff
before moving on. The chords are the same (C–F–C–G–C) but the feel is very
different. This riff ‘walks’ pairs of notes (intervals) between our three chords
– and takes the opportunity to develop the syncopation involved methodically.
Here’s an example of the gospel-style I–IV–I–V–I riff you might end up playing
You develop the riff from (for example) plain crotchets in sixths…
…through these (sample) graded rhythmical stages. Try tapping along!
This is the smart way – the MUSICARTA way – to learn!
The Afro-jazz and gospel riffs are I–IV–V ‘lite’ – they both pass through the home chord I on the way somewhere. Now it’s time to make the leap to straight I–IV–V changes.
A vast amount of popular music uses only – or very nearly only – these three chords. Take these versions of the famous pop song ‘La Bamba’, for example, by
(Note that Musicarta cannot guarantee the legality of any internet content.)
Both these version are in C and use only C, F and G chords – I, IV and V in key C. If you master these changes in all three inversions, you have a very good popular music foundation – both in theory and practice.
You tackle the task in the usual way. Working from the written music or keyboard illustrations (see thumbnails below), you find and drill the three closest-inversion sets of C, F and G chords:
Then you start building on these basic chord changes with syncopated right hand and bass line development. Here are a few samples:
These examples are up to speed, but you start off with practice-speed build-ups and exercises – and they all come with loop-able (repeatable) step-by-step audio and MIDI files (as well as the written-out music) to ensure you ‘get there’ in the end!
Here’s the kind of performance you’ll be working towards:
That's a full-on solo-style version - if you play in a band, you'll probably not need to work quite so hard!
Or click through to Sample Lesson Four to hear what you can be playing when you add the first minor chord to our 'Big Three' I, IV and V chords.
And whatever you do - stay posted!