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Country Vocals Lessons: Piano 101

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[MUSIC]
In this lesson is where you're going to
really need your piano, or your keyboard,
or your handy-dandy piano app,
so make sure you've got that
somewhere in the vicinity, so
you can use it as a reference and work
with it while we are exploring the piano.
The piano has a beautiful layout
to learn the theory of music,
because all the notes are layed out so
clearly on the piano.
Really, I think more clearly than on any
other instrument, you can actually see and
identify every note that a human
being is capable of singing.
It's especially good for singers because
it covers every note any singer can sing.
And a little bit below and
quite a bit above.
So we're going to start just
by identifying every note
by name on the piano because
we will be referring to
these notes and from a lot of different
angles for the entire course.
We're gonna start on
the piano with middle C,
which is right smack dab in
the middle of the keyboard.
Everybody can sing it, men and women,
kids of all ages, guys and girls.
[MUSIC]
Play your middle C and sing it.
[MUSIC]
La la la la, that is middle C.
What we wanna do is make a connection
between what the note looks like,
where it lands on the piano, and
how it feels when you sing it.
So this is middle C.
We're gonna start by identifying
every note by name on the piano.
If you look at the piano,
you'll notice a pattern.
From middle C, you have this
pattern of black and white keys.
Here are two black keys, and
then three black keys, and
then the pattern repeats.
Two black keys, three black keys,
two black keys, three black keys.
Up and down the keyboard.
Three black keys, two, three, two.
It's the same pattern.
And we call each space
between the interval,
or going from one note to the adjacent
note, we call that a half step.
So a half step from this note, middle C,
a half step up, or
to the right on the keyboard.
Which is a little bit higher pitch,
is going from C to the adjacent note,
which is a black note here,
the first black note in the pattern.
So this is C.
We would call this note C sharp.
It's sharped.
A sharp version or a half step higher
is what we refer to as a sharped note.
So the sharped version of
C is gonna be C sharp.
[SOUND] So a C, [SOUND] C sharp,
D is our next note.
So adjacent to C is D, so
you'll notice that each
of the white keys will
have a discrete name, an alphabet name.
So C, D.
The black notes are always
referred to as sharps, or
sometimes flats, so we identify this as C.
A half step up from that was C sharp.
You can also refer to this note.
It goes by another name,
it's like an alias.
[SOUND] This is D.
A half step below D,
a half step below any note is called
the flat version of that note.
So if this is D,
which is a half note lower in pitch or
to the left on the keyboard
is called also D flat.
[SOUND] So
you can sharp a note by going a half step
higher from C, for example, to C sharp, or
you can go from D,
a half step below or lower, and
call that the flat version of that note,
D flat.
So we're gonna play all of the named
alphabet notes of the keyboard first.
We'll start with all the white keys,
and then we'll name the black keys.
So here's C, D, E, F, G, A, B,
C, and then you'll see the pattern
starts again an octave higher.
C, D,E, F, G, A, B, C, that pattern
repeats all throughout the keyboard.
So if you find the note that lives
inside the pattern, let's say this note.
[SOUND] This is an E.
You can find all the E's on the piano
by finding that position in
the pattern of black and white keys.
So E is two whole steps above C or
a half step above this two black
note pattern, so here's an E.
Look, it happens again here.
That's another E, and you can hear
the pitch matches, except one's
higher than the other, so this is
different octaves of the same pitch.
[MUSIC]
And E.
So you see that the pattern repeats
all the way up and down the keyboard.
C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C.
All the way down at the bottom,
C, D, E, F, G, A, E, C.
And we can sing them,
C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C.
Now, we're gonna look at the black notes.
This is C sharp or D flat.
This is a half step above D,
so it's D sharp, or
a half step below E, it's E flat.
Here's a half step above F,
F sharp, otherwise known as G.
Half step lower, G flat.
A flat, half step below A,
G sharp, half step above G.
And this, that's right, A sharp or B flat.
So C, C sharp, D, D sharp, E, F,
F sharp, G, G sharp, A, A sharp, B, C.
Now, let's go down, and
we'll call them by their flat names.
C, B, B flat, A, A flat,
G, G flat, F, E, E flat,
D, D flat, and C.
Now, you can identify every
note on the keyboard.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
A major scale is always composed of
a pattern of whole steps and
half steps in this order.
[SOUND] A whole step.
[SOUND] Another whole step.
[SOUND] A half step, a whole step,
a whole step, a whole step,
and another half step.
That's the pattern of every major scale.
You can build a major scale
on any note anywhere.
No matter which octave,
no matter what frequency,
where it lies on the keyboard you can
build any major scale with that pattern.
Whole, whole, half, whole,
whole, whole, half.
Here again, the C major scale on middle C.
[SOUND] whole, whole, half,
whole, whole, whole, half.
[MUSIC]
That is a C major scale.
So, we can build, just like that
they did in The Axis of Awesome,
we can build four chords in the key of C,
which is all the notes
in the C major scale.
[MUSIC]
We can build our own four chord
progression in the key of C using the
notes that we just played in that scale.
Here's a demonstration
of The Axis of Awesome,
four chords built in the key of C.
First, there's a C chord.
[MUSIC]
Then there's a G chord.
[MUSIC]
Then what we call an A minor,
[MUSIC],
and then an F.
[MUSIC]
So C,
[MUSIC]
G, A minor, F.
Every one of those chords is built on
notes that lie in the C major scale.
C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C.
[SOUND] C major,
G, A minor, F.
See if you can build a C major scale.
Whole, whole, half, whole,
whole, whole, half.
Now, we're gonna take a look
at a minor scale, and
the pattern of whole steps and
half steps that make up a minor scale.
And we're gonna use A minor
as our building note.
Our key that we're gonna
build a minor scale in.
So the pattern of notes for
a minor scale are,
starting on [SOUND] A, whole, half,
whole, whole, half, whole,whole.
That's the pattern of whole steps and
half steps for a minor scale.
Starting on the tonic,
starting on the root, or the one.
Whole, half, whole, whole,
half, whole, whole.
[MUSIC].
You can build a minor
scale on any key anywhere
using that pattern of whole steps and
half steps.
A minor
[MUSIC]
is one of the chords in The Axis of
Awesome four chord progression,
so we got C, G, A minor, F.
And now you know how to build
a major scale, C major.
[SOUND] Build a major scale on F.
[MUSIC]
whole, whole, half, whole,
whole, whole, half.
That's a major scale on F.
Lets build a major scale on G, [SOUND] G.
Whole, whole, half, whole,
whole, whole, half.
[MUSIC]
Now,
let's build a minor scale on D,
[SOUND] D minor.
Whole, half, whole, whole,
half, whole, whole.
[MUSIC]
Now you know
how to build major scales and
minor scales on any note.
[MUSIC]