This is video #4 in my Piano Skills and Ear Training series! This week we will maneuver through the I-IV-V7-I chord progression in all 12 keys using smooth voice leading. Once we’ve mastered that, we’ll start to SING the bass notes (in Moveable Do Solfege, naturally). This is amazing ear training and a great way to build up some piano chops. Check out Video #1 here, Video #2 here and Video #3 here.
Piano Skills and Ear Training Protocol
In this tutorial, we are going to combine what we have already learned. 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 F to G7, the bottom note moves DOWN by a half step, the middle note stays the same and the top note moves DOWN by a whole step.
Make sure 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.
Ear Training Exercise
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 Sol. Make sure to match this movement with your singing.
In this version, the bass line will be going DOWN to Fa and DOWN to Sol. Make sure to match this movement with your singing. (This is tricky!)
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