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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: Finding Chords: Minor

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The only one note difference
between a minor chord and
a major chord is the third.
The major third is going to
become a minor third and so in D,
the minor third is F natural.
And we can play that with second
finger on the D string, so
that our hand shape is one, one, two.
[SOUND] This will work in any octave
in any key, because on a cello we
are lucky enough to have all the same
intervals between the strings.
[SOUND] You can walk this up and
get a lot of nice qualities.
Again, you can add a fourth note to your
minor chord by adding the fourth
finger on top, which is the root.
[SOUND] And this is just your
default minor chord hand position.
When we add a seventh to this,
which again,
will be a common thing for jazz music.
In particular, our default three note,
minor seven hand shape is one, four, two.
So the C natural is the seventh in D.
[SOUND] One, four, two.
It sounds like this [SOUND].
Make sure you kind of pull the hand back,
so that you're not pressing too hard.
This is actually, it's worth pointing out
that a lot of the hand position videos I
had in the beginner curriculums
are specifically for melodic hand shape.
When you're playing a lot
of notes in chords,
you actually want to put your thumb
around the fingerboard a little bit more.
So that you can really hang and
pull with the full arm.
Because your arm can pull down
the three of weight of three strings
much better than your tiny finger muscles.
So you might be noticing a different
hand shape for chordal playing.
this is a nice seventh chord here,
I'll walk this around, so
you'll hear the quality [SOUND].
The other more difficult way to play minor
seventh chord is with the fingering one,
one, two, two.
[SOUND] One, one, two, two.
Much like the four note major seventh
chord, I have to bar two fingers,
the first finger and the second finger.
So I really have to destroy my hand
position in order to pull the whole arm
straight back, so
that both of those fingers can be flat.
It's kind of an annoying hand shape,
but [SOUND] it's a really nice sound.
Yeah, but don't do that one too much,
that one's kind of annoying.
I would recommend this one, four,
two voicing as a much more practical
voicing to throw in there.
Yeah, and
I just wanna always keep reiterating,
especially with four note chords but
even three note chords.
Any time you're shifting, make sure
you release the pressure in your hand.
You don't wanna be squeezing
the fingerboard as you're trying to move.
It's gonna create a lot of tension
particularly in your thumb muscle and
it can even start to hurt.
So make sure as you're learning
these chords that you just
shake it out a little bit.
I do wanna touch on the inversions
of the minor chord as well.
Root position is what we learned,
one, one, two.
First inversion has the third
on the first finger now.
So the third in D is F natural and
then the fingering is gonna be one,
three, three.
[SOUND] Again,
because I"m barring the third finger,
I'm kind of pulling my arm back and
destroying my hand position.
But that's for me, the most comfortable
way to push the strings down.
That's first inversion of the minor chord.
Root position now to first inversion one,
three, three.
And then second inversion is one,
two, four.
[SOUND] Let me play all of the roots and
inversions of
this minor chord that we've learned up and
So you hear what they sound like together,
root position, first inversion,
second inversion, second inversion,
first inversion, root [SOUND].
Doing this exercise up and
down through these hand shapes.
It's a really good exercise to
just practice this transition.
It's hard to change three fingers at once.
So you want to sort of get used
to going to these hand shapes,
as their own little grouping
that you can sort of rely on.
And that's our minor chords.