Play and sing the Perfect Cadence
This tutorial is the second in a series of piano skills and ear training tutorials. This one shows you how to play and sing the Perfect Cadence: an iconic progression that shows up in pretty much every piece of Western music, from Beethoven to Radiohead. Check out the Plagal Cadence here.
Remember that a cadence is the close of a musical phrase, where a moving chord resolves in some way to a resting chord. The perfect cadence is a dominant cadence where the V chord resolves to I. In this case we are going to play V7, which is a stronger dominant resolution.
How to play the Perfect Cadence
To keep things simple and easy-to-play, we are going to play an abbreviated version of G7, where we omit the D (the 5th of the chord). This is a common way to play this progression on the piano.
Notice that when we move from the I to the V7, the bottom note moves DOWN by a half step, the middle note moves UP by a half note and the TOP note stays the same.
Practice this progression in 12 keys, via the circle of 5ths. Make sure to keep in mind the movement that I just explained, as it is a MUCH easier way to transpose this.
Next step to Learning the Perfect Cadence
Once you have mastered the progression in all 12 keys, we are going to add the left hand playing bass notes. While your left hand plays the bass notes, you are going to SING them in Moveable Do Solfege. If you are having a hard time, try to draw your ear to what your left hand is playing. (if you need to, you are welcome to reinforce that sound on piano). You can either sing “Do-sol-do” or sing “one-five-one” – whichever one is easier for you.
In this version you will be singing and playing the bass note UP to the V7 chord.
In this version, you will be singing and playing the bass note DOWN to the V7 Chord.
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