Singing to your favorite songs on the piano

02/21/2013 12:36 pm

4PianoMenBarWhen I first started playing the piano, I remember getting all bent out of shape if the song didn’t sound EXACTLY like the recording. It would drive me crazy and since I learned how to play before the internet really exploded, it wasn’t as easy to get great transcriptions like it is now. However, even with the privilege of being able to get virtually any piece of music, many times, all we are seeking as musicians is the ability to sing our favorite songs and not necessarily learning the exact arrangement of a particular tune.

That is why I am a big fan of good chord voicings on the piano to give you a solid bed of sound that you can sing over. The way to achieve this effectively is to learn as many chords and their inversions as possible. This gives you the possibility to connect(good voice leading) chords in the best way possible.

The good news is that it’s a lot easier than it seems. A typical chord is built with a ROOT, 3rd and 5th. When the notes appear in this order, it is called Root Position. Simple enough. When we place the 3rd of the chord on the bottom we are in 1st Inversion. And you guessed it, when we place the 5th of the chord on the bottom, we are in 2nd inversion.

Chord Inversions

The use of inversions allows us to avoid jumping all over the piano in root position for each chord which doesn’t sound good at all. Learn chord inversions and you will not only sound great but it will be a lot smoother to sing over.

Play on!
~Adrian