March 2, 2018

The Modes

The Ionian Mode is the mode built on the first degree of the Major scale. In C, CDEFGABC. The characteristic pitch (what makes it unique) is the natural 4th degree. The Dorian Mode is the mode built on the second degree of the Major scale. In C, DEFGABC. The characteristic pitch is the natural 6th…[READ MORE]

June 17, 2017

The Double Harmonic Major Scale

  The Double Harmonic Scale is a fun scale that has a sort of exotic sound to it. This is also known as the Gypsy Major Scale or the Byzantine scale. The scale is built with the minor third in two places (between b2 and 3, and between b6 and Major 7): Root, b2, 3,…[READ MORE]

June 2, 2017

Diatonic 7th Chords

Once a student has mastered the diatonic series in triads and is ready for four part chords, moving on to the 7th chords is an important next step.

Diatonic Series: Triads

  Learning the diatonic series is an essential fundamental in understanding chord and chord theory. This handout will help. Memorize the chord types (major, minor, diminished) and their function related to their position (I is major, II is minor, etc.). Here is a printable Diatonic Triads PDF.

January 18, 2017

Major Scales for Piano

All of our students learn their Major scales. For some, a visual may help beyond reading the notation. Here is a fun one that is easy to follow. And here is a two octave fingering chart with all the Major Scales. We recommend just one octave for beginners, and we suggest not repeating the top…[READ MORE]

The Circle of Fifths

All of our students learn the circle of fifths. Here is a good colored visual for your reference. And here is a printable PDF version great for laminating to use for study and memory.