Modes and Chord Scales (Part 1)

Probably the most common question I get regarding theory comes from students who want to understand modes and chord scales. This information is very important to jazz players because of the nature of improvisation, a central aspect of jazz playing. Most beginner (and even intermediate and advanced) jazz players are accustomed to asking themselves “What scale…

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Trick For Reading Key Signatures

Learning all of your key signatures is important if you want to master all of your major and minor scales, or if you’re someone who enjoys improvising and wants to know about chord scales. Understanding which key you are in is a crucial first-step when learning to play any new piece of music, largely because you…

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Relative and Parallel Minor

There are a lot of descriptive terms that are associated with minor scales. For example, you’ve probably hear the terms “relative” minor, “parallel” minor, “natural” minor, “harmonic” minor, and “melodic” minor. What does it all mean? What are the differences between each? Do I really have to memorize all of them? Students generally get confused because…

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Learn Major Triads At The Piano

Playing music without understanding how major triads work is like building Ferraris without caring what’s under the hood – you’re missing an opportunity to understand one of the most important building blocks of ALL of Western music…major triads! Thankfully, you’ve discovered this blog post so that you can now fully comprehend the intrinsic POWER of this little…

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The Confusing Lingo Of Music Theory

We recently got an excellent music theory-related question from a student which reflected a misunderstanding of terms that confuse many students and wanted to share it with everyone (because as we all know, if one student has a question, others do, too!) [From the student]: I noticed the [theory] course does not cover any understanding…

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