How Do I Determine Chord Progressions for Piano?

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When playing a song, you may need to determine the proper chord progression in order to keep the song sounding good. Get the basics of chord progression setup with help from a professional pianist in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Piano Instruction
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Kirk Wilson and I live in Los Angeles, California and I perform live as well as studio sessions in Burbank and Hollywood and also teach piano at Orchepia School of Music. Today, I'm going to show you how to determine chord progressions on the piano when reading chord charts. This particular song I have here is "Rosetta" one of my favorites by Earl Hines and here I'll play a little bit of it to give you an example. Okay, so what I want you to understand first of all is that when you're looking at the chord progressions, you don't want your hand bouncing all around the world on the keyboard. You want to keep your hand localized in one area especially if you're playing something complicated and "Rosetta" sure has its sophisticated chords. So what you want to do is the key word is inversion. You want to use the right inversion when you are playing the chord progressions. So the chords listed here are F6 to E7 to E Flat, you know and I kind of like penciled in the 13 because I like the 13 Sharp 11 right here because here's an A Natural on top of an E Flat. So my F6 is played here and then the E7 I keep as many common tones as I can, so I'm going to keep this D and then I'll keep the, and then I'll go to D7, I'm going to move everything shift to here. So then the G7 already has this D in place so I just move the chord down to here. So the key ingredient to determine chord progressions for the piano, is to maintain correct inversions of each chord and that way you can keep your hand pretty much in the same area of the piano. And my name is Kirk Wilson and that is how you determine chord progressions for the piano when reading chord charts.

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