Changing Chords

Hi there. I really hope that you’re having a nice weekend. It’s been a little rough over here in terms of the pandemic. We’re wading through it all and music definitely helps. One topic that’s come up this week with my students is Changing Chords. What happens when you are learning a piece and you want to change the chords to suit your taste? Let us remind you that there are no rules (i.e. legislation) in music making. Eddie Van Halen (R.I.P.) who passed away recently, said it best, I think. He once remarked about not knowing/not knowing much about music theory. And, then one of my Facebook friends added to that remark that ‘it’s all about feelings’ and not music theory.

On The CMajor Radio Show and CMajor Before The Show podcasts from the past, we talked about how individuals played instruments and sang long before there were ways to write music on paper. But, what happens when you’re listening to a piece of music and you want to change something and then you want to communicate that change to others? I would argue that it’s a helpful idea to pass down the change by writing it down so that it can be disseminated.

That’s exactly what happened in piano lessons this past week. It was a very exciting week for me as a teacher to have several students use their critical thinking skills to change something in the pieces that they were working on. Ultimately, they decided that the special characteristics of a piece could be changed to suit their tastes and make it their own within the context of arranging a piece by chords.

I’ll see you next week.


Photo by Dids on

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