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Playing Complex Chords On The EC

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Piggy backing on a recent discussion about playing by ear or playing with dots. 

One of my intermediate students wants to learn to arrange a tune,primarily using double stops. While she sight reads very well, chord structures are not intuitive to her yet. 

I recently attended a gypsy jazz session. Most had music or were using an app called iReal Pro that provides chord charts. For me I often need those charts to play and be able to adequately improvise. Many of these tunes use chords in minor,  diminished, or modal scales.  Chords will often be augmented, have a minor 5th, or add a 6th or 9th.

So yes, I often need a chart to follow. But the more I play the easier it becomes to hear the subtle chord changes and automatically play along. Knowing how to employ and play a more complex chord is a skill one needs to develop. A simple double stop is a good way to start. 

Playing by ear or with music. Why not do both.


Edited by Randy Stein
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I feel like an imposter on this subject; playing Anglo system as it is.  But maybe students can sometime feel a little intimidated by too much technical theory, at the early stages, of which can maybe worry them, or put them off enjoying the process of learning; and can be encouraged, after the academic stuff, to find out by also 'letting go' and playing about on the keyboard, to also hear what does or does not work in a more free way as well. I found [as outsider in approach admittedly].. that looking through music books with all the parts included [the main instrument and all accompanying instruments ] and seeing what is used in chords often a good hint as to chords that are used.

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