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Piano for dummies - Blake N.

Blake N. Piano for dummies - IDG, 1996. - 353 p.
Download (direct link): pianofordummies1991.pdf
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What’s a step pattern, you ask? First, you need to understand steps. Music is made up primarily of two types of steps: half steps and whole steps. These steps are the building blocks of scales.
Look at your keyboard, or Figure 8-1, and notice that some white keys have a black key in between and some white keys are side by side. The layout of the keys leads to the following terms:
IJ' Two keys side by side (whether black or white) are one half step apart. J’ Two keys separated by another key are a whole step apart.
J1 Two half steps equal one whole step.
Whole step
Half step Whole step
Chapter 8: Scaling to New Heights
In Chapter 3,1 explain how the suffixes sharp and flat are used to name the black keys. Half steps help define sharps and flats. For example, find any D on your keyboard. Move one half step higher and play the black key to the right, D-sharp. Now play one half step lower than D, or D-flat.
After you understand steps, you can build any scale starting on any root note, simply by applying the correct step pattern (or comination of whole and half steps). These step patterns, which I discuss in the following section, give scales (and therefore songs) wildly different sounds.
Minor Renovations, Major Innovations
The two most frequently used, most popular, and most famous scales in Western music are the major and the minor scales. You can make a major and a minor scale starting with any note on the piano — think of it as getting two scales for the price of one. The difference between the two types of scales is the combination of whole and half steps (step pattern) that you use to build them. (Check out the previous section if you need to brush up on steps.)
Generally speaking, major scales sound happy and minor scales sound sad. It’s safe to assume that even in olden times, when the names for scales were first thought up, the terms major and minor were a bit more marketable than “happy scales” and “sad scales.”
Major scales
Every major scale is built the same way. Don’t let a scale salesman try to sell you a new and improved major scale. There is no such thing. Actually, you should turn and run from anyone proclaiming to be a scale salesman.
The step pattern used by all major scales on the planet is:
For example, you can form a C major scale by starting on C and applying this pattern. Play any C and play the pattern of whole steps and half steps all the way to the next C. Figure 8-2 shows you the way. Starting with C, the layout of the white keys follows the pattern exactly, so you play the entire C major scale on white keys only.
You must cross over with your finger in the appropriate spot in order to play all eight notes that make up the scale. See Chapter 7 for tips on this finger-crossing business.
96 Part III: One Hand at a Time
Figure 8-2:
Stepping up to the majors
Figure 8-3:
The G major scale employs one sharp
Figure 8-4:
F major uses B-flat
o o
When playing most scales backwards (from top to bottom), it is important to realize that the step pattern is exactly reversed. Don’t think about it too hard — just remember which keys you played going up and play the same ones in reverse order going down.
Now for something slightly different: Start on G and apply the major scale step pattern. When you get to the sixth step, you notice that a whole step from E requires playing a black key, F-sharp. I never said that all major scales were playable on white keys only. Figure 8-3 shows you the G major scale in all its glory.
G A B C D E F» G
The root note and step pattern dictate which sharps and flats (black keys) to use. G major uses one sharp. How about a major scale that uses one flat? Start on F and apply the pattern, as shown in Figure 8-4, and you have built yourself the F major scale.
How do you know it’s B-flat and not A-sharp? Excellent question. The easy answer is that in a scale, every letter name has its turn. Because the third note of the scale represents A, it would show nothing but favoritism to call the fourth note A-sharp. So, the fourth note represents B with its flat version, B-flat, one half-step higher than A.
Chapter 8: Scaling to New Heights
Take this newfound major scale knowledge and see how it applies to a song. The classic “Danny Boy” uses all of the notes from the F major scale, even the note B-flat.
Track 31
Danny Boy
12 3 4
2 5 4 2 1 3 1
t j J-J fj;
Oh, Dan - ny Boy,
the keys, the keys are call - mg:
"Come play a song. 12 3 4
Don't let us col - led dust."
1 2 5 4 2 1 3 1
So you sit down 12 3 4
and play a song like "Dan - ny Boy,' 5 4 3 2 3 2
It’s not too hard,
but prac- tice is a must.
1 2 0 - , - 3 4 5 4 2 1 k 2 r——t 1
-/Li m ^— P' ■ • F * - —J—
^ h—:—*
+F= Vm
.. m m •—« m —J— Cl
Turning ugly scales into beautiful songs
You can play the exact same notes of the C notes no longersound like a scale — the notes major scale in a different order, but instead of have become a melody. And you have become a scale you have a melody. For example, if you a composer, jump around and play C-G-F-E-A-B-D-C, the
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