This is video #3 in my Piano Skills and Ear Training series. In this tutorial, we are going to look at a music theory cadence that is very common in almost all genres of music: the I IV I V7 I cadence. You can check out video #1 here and video #2 here.
What is a cadence?
A cadence in music the close of a musical phrase, where there is some kind of resolution from a moving chord to a resting chord. Today’s chord progression combines the Plagal cadence with the Perfect cadence.
In order to create smooth voice leading, we will be using C in root position, F in second inversion and the G7 will be abbreviated to only 3 notes – the root, third and seventh.
Since you are going to transpose this into all twelve keys, it is wise to think of the interval movement. Remember that these movements will be the same in every key!
When we move from C to F, notice that the bottom note stays the same, the middle note moves up by a ½ step and the top note moves up by a whole step. 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.
How to practice this cadence
We are going to practice this via the circle of 5ths: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D, G and C.
You should also practice this clockwise via the circle of 5ths: C, G, D, A, E, B, Gb, Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, F and C.
Once you are comfortable playing this through the keys, we are going to turn this into an ear training exercise. Your left hand is going to play the root of each chord, so it is functioning as our bass note.
Next, sing along with the bass line using Do for the I chord, Fa for the IV chord and Sol for the V7 chord. You could also sing “1”, “4” and “5”, if that is more comfortable for you.
In this version, the bass line will be going UP to Fa and UP to Sol. Make sure to match this movement with your singing.
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