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Popular Piano Lessons: Improvisation Exercise: 10,000 Reasons

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[MUSIC]
10,000 Reasons is a gorgeous
worship song that's very popular today.
Let me start by playing through
the song so you hear how it goes.
Then, we're gonna break it down and
give you some ideas for improvising on it.
[MUSIC]
In this
song
there
are more
chords
to
analyze
and to
understand.
In Amazing Grace, our previous lesson,
we had just three and
they were all chords in the major mode.
Here, we're gonna be taking a look
at some other types of chords.
So this is a great exercise and great
introduction to some more chord theory.
So let's take a look at the chords that
we're gonna be using in this song.
So once again
[MUSIC]
you can construct a chord also by knowing
the first five notes of that scale.
So from C, this is the third note
[MUSIC]
this is the fifth note of the C
major scale.
C major.
G major we've seen a G major chord before,
again looking for a G
[MUSIC]
first note,
third note [SOUND] and
the fifth note, okay?
The next chord that's going to be used
a lot in this song is a D major slash F
sharp.
What does that mean?
We touched on this briefly in
the previous lesson series.
Let's take a look at
the D major chord first.
Now, remember how we constructed it
from the first of the middle note?
Whole note and then another whole,
excuse me, a whole step and
then another whole step.
Now watch carefully, half, half.
Half step plus half step
equals a whole step.
Here, there is no black keys so
here half goes to here.
And the next half step goes
to the next black key.
So that middle note is actually F sharp,
okay?
And from here to the top whole step,
whole step and
generally a half step and
then one more whole step.
So three and a half steps to the top.
[MUSIC]
All right,
that is a D major chord in root position.
What they want is a D major chord but
with the F on the bottom.
Okay, so instead of playing this [SOUND]
you would play this [SOUND] you see how I
shifted the chords so
that the D moves to the top?
[MUSIC]
The other two notes stay the same but
now the F sharp is on
the bottom set of the D.
So, this is a D slash F sharp chord.
Okay, the next chord is an E minor chord.
All right.
So, an E minor chord is constructed
of a whole step and a half step.
Okay, so
it's different already from a major chord.
Remember a major chord has two
whole steps to the middle note.
Here whole step, half step so
it's a slightly smaller interval or
space from the bottom to the middle
note here for D minor chord, okay.
And for the top note,
it's the same distance as a major chord.
Whole, whole, half, whole.
Three and a half steps, okay.
[MUSIC]
The fifth step in the scale over
an E minor scale.
All right, so it's gonna be very useful
for you to understand how major and
minor scales and chords work.
So here's an E minor chord.
Our next chord is an interesting chord,
it's a D suspended chord.
The abbreviation is Dsus.
Okay.
A sus is an abbreviation for suspended.
Because we have this [SOUND] note
that is suspended through and
generally gets resolved immediately after,
okay.
It's kind of a cool effect.
[SOUND] You hear that tension, and then.
[SOUND] That's what the suspended
figure is implying.
Okay, so how do we make a Dsus?
You take the fourth note of the scale.
Here's a D major scale,
here's the fourth note, and
then you add that with the fifth note.
So instead of a D major,
remember how we made that?
This would be a Dsus.
Dsus almost always goes, or resolves,
the suspension resolves to D major.
So Dsus is pretty easy to find.
It's just these two notes on top together,
with a fourth from
the bottom to the top here.
Excuse me, fourth from
the bottom to the middle, here.
The opening of this song kind
of already begins harmonized.
It's a very
[MUSIC]
beautiful opening here.
You have a C major
[MUSIC]
with the melody and
then you resolve to a G major here.
Here, D major with F sharp on the bottom.
[MUSIC]
Now the opening is purposely very simple,
very reverent, so you don't need
to add a whole lot of extra notes.
You want to keep it very simple.
[MUSIC]
That would sound just fine.
Now here's our Dsus,
which I can take with my right hand.
And it resolves to that
D major chord over here.
All right, melody comes in and
this would be a great way for
you to practice harmonizing
with the chords.
[MUSIC]
Here's a C major.
[MUSIC]
Went over the tie.
[SOUND] You basically wanna put a chord
every time you see a chord symbol.
[SOUND] C major.
[SOUND] Now here's a tricky progression,
we have C major [SOUND],
D major [SOUND], then [SOUND] E minor.
So, [SOUND] try to combine
[SOUND] all of those [SOUND].
E major Here C with the G on the bottom
will be taken with your left hand.
So you don't have to worry about that,
okay?
Good let's just put that much
together with your left hand.
After you have your right hand
harmonizations kind of worked out then.
At the very least.
[MUSIC]
Play the notes that are indicated by
the chord.
So for example here C for C major.
[MUSIC]
G for G major.
Now here D with an F sharp at the bottom.
[MUSIC]
That's why we play that on the bottom
here.
E minor.
[MUSIC]
Dsus and that will mean that the D is
on the bottom somewhere, okay?
So again, look for harmonies to fill
with the right hand and left hand.
[MUSIC]
For the time being try to see
if you can just get comfortable
finding the chords in both hands.
[MUSIC]
And filling up as many notes as you can
between the hands with
the harmonies that are indicated.
[MUSIC]
All right now this middle section there's
some opportunities to get
things moving a little bit.
You can play the opening
perhaps as a very simple block.
You know say there's a block chords.
The middle
[MUSIC]
See what I'm doing?
Now I'm gonna try to simulate a little
bit of the rhythm of a band that might be
playing underneath the melody.
The way to do that is to add
some extra eighth notes and
some syncopations.
And syncopations are simply notes
that fall in-between the beats, so.
[MUSIC]
See what I'm doing?
[MUSIC]
So yeah I'm looking for
opportunities to put
little notes in between
[MUSIC]
And sometimes before
[MUSIC]
the beat, the octave break,
that's a great technique.
[MUSIC]
You hear usually,
there's an instrumental kind of a rhythm.
[SOUND] Either the drum beat or
the bass drum, kind of gets hit over here,
but you can use this opportunity
[MUSIC]
to play pieces of the same harmony you
just left.
[MUSIC]
Or just play as an outline of it.
[MUSIC]
So this is a great piece for
you to practice finding those chords,
filling it in with interesting rhythms.
And again, a lot of it will be your
ear feeling where you want to go.
So I really recommend that you
Listen to a recording of this song,
play it through for yourself.
And again try to make it different
every time you play this song.
Have fun.
[MUSIC]