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learn piano chords

Piano Lessons you can understand

A year's worth of guidelines in 12 lessons

This set of piano improvisation lessons starts at a basic level with an introduction to your major and minor triads. We then shift gears and get into the guts of this course, covering chord modifications and creating your own fillers. The material covered in these video lessons are what I would normally teach a student over an entire year, but you can have all that goodness in 12 clear and simple lessons as outlined here.


Triads and Inversions

Here I introduce Major and Minor Triads and teach you a simple technique to work out your triads in any key. Many people when learning their chords, only learn them in one inversion and wonder why everything they play sounds the same. We'll get you practising each triad in all three inversions which will form a foundation for the cooler chord modifications to come.


Melodic Inversions

In this piano improvisation lesson, we look at a technique that takes the melody into account when choosing a chord inversion. We also discuss scale positions and the relationship between triads and the major scale. After this lesson, you'll be able to derive the 7 triads from the major scale which will definitely help in creating your own progressions, songs and your general understanding of improvisation concepts.


The Dotted Rhythm

The dotted rhythm with its larger spacing between chords sounds more relaxed than the straight rhythm. As a result, it's great for use when playing softer sections of a song, anywhere more space is required. Understanding the different qualities of rhythms will allow you to choose the right one to create a desired effect, and by the end of this lesson, you'll have two simple, but useful rhythms available.


Major Triads 3x3

Don't fall into the trap of learning your cool moves only in the easy keys. This lesson demonstrates how to effectively and efficiently learn your major triads in all 12 keys. This lesson will start you on the right track and show you that learning something in every key is not as time consuming or tiring as may people believe it to be.


Left Hand Techniques

We're shifting our focus from the right hand to the left in this piano improvisation lesson. We'll learn the left hand arpeggio, understand the effect it creates and how it works very well with the right hand dotted crotchet rhythm covered in Lesson 3. While you're coordinating both hands, there's an included video demonstrating proper use of the sustain pedal. So by the end of this lesson, you'll have both hands and your right foot working together to produce a smooth, professional sound! Also included is a 4 page Worksheet with loads or detailed examples and exercises that will help you put together everything we've covered in the first 5 lessons.

piano improvisation videos

BTW if you're looking for free piano improvisation lessons, click here and head to the Quaverbox YouTube channel!

Your say about the Quaverbox Course

This is the best value piano improvisation tuition on the web!. I have searched for years to find someone who could teach me to improvise. At last I have found that teacher. It does not matter how much experience you have, you will learn something from this course. It is unbelievable that you can buy this level of teaching for $65.

Pianopod.   Average Rating: 4.9/5.0 based on 63 reviews.

This is where the fun begins

You've built a solid chord foundation in the first 5 improvisation lessons but now it's time to add some passing notes, fills and runs. You'll now be familiar with your triads, their inversions, basic rhythm variations and learnt left hand techniques. It may take awhile before you can apply all these principals at the same time, but soon you'll confidently create and improvise over simple 4 chord progressions in at least 6 to 8 keys.


Passing Notes

To kick it off, we'll be looking at replacing some of your chord voicings with more melodic and interesting passing notes and runs. Basically, you don't just want to play a bunch of chords in the right hand of every bar. This lesson will teach you how to add your own notes to create melodic ideas that will keep your playing fresh.


Major 2 Chords

In this piano lesson, you'll learn two variations of the major 2nd chord, their qualities and uses. It's easy to learn, and will significantly improve the quality of your major chords. The major 2nd chord, broken up into individual notes also produces some great runs and riffs.


Sus and Slash Chords

This improvisation lesson is much more than just providing you with a definition of a sus and slash chord. What this lesson covers is when to use a sus chord even if it doesn't appear on the chord chart. Can you substitute a sus for any major chord in a song? When do you use a sus as compared to a 2? And why use a slash chord when they often sound weaker? We'll answer all the above questions plus much more. The end of the video includes me "free playing" and putting everything we've learnt so far into a progression. It's time to get a pen and notepad and start jotting down tips as I explain a few of the ideas of getting the right mix.


Minor 7th Chords

Using simple techniques that even children can understand, you'll soon be replacing many of your minor triads with m7 and m7add11 (that chord symbol looks a lot harder than it really is!). We've been focusing on major chord modifications in the last few lessons and those techniques can carry over to the minor chord, completing our set of basic modifications for both major and minor triads.


The Dotted Quaver Rhythm

The Dotted Quaver Rhythm creates a contemporary, syncopated feel in both fast and slow songs. When used with a good mix of modified chords and filler notes, this rhythm really shines! This lesson brings together all that we've covered so far in a neat and very versatile rhythm. There are lengthy examples in this video as I break it right down, explaining when each note is played and how each note is chosen. Included is a bonus practice video track that you can loop and play, helping you learn the dotted quaver rhythm.


Runs and Fills (Part 1)

Creating fill lines may seem daunting, but this piano improvisation lesson will show you that your knowledge of modified chords now forms the basis of your runs and riffs. We also look at how and when to insert these fillers to create a professional variation in your playing.


Runs and Fills (Part 2)

A bit more theory here as we dive deeper into which notes work well in runs and fills over each chord in the key. We'll examine every note in detail and by the end you'll have a firm understanding of their qualities, and the tools required to spontaneously build your own solo lines and patterns. Lots of examples in this (almost) one hour piano improv lesson.

Over 7 hours of instructional video

PLUS Worksheets with further exercises and examples. Also receive the BONUS 64 page Quaverbox Manual and a FREE half hour Jazz video lesson!

buy piano improvisation course

These are downloadable products only, so you'll receive immediate access upon payment. Once you've got them saved on your computer, they're yours to use forever. No monthly subscriptions, registrations or postage required! It works out to just $5 per piano lesson plus the free piano improvisation manual! Watch the above video for more information, then click the big green round button above if you'd like to buy the course :)

About Terence

I was at a party and somebody asked, "Hey you play the piano, don't you? Can you play Happy Birthday?" I was fifteen at the time with ten years of classical piano lessons under my belt, so my confident response was, "Sure. Have you got the sheet music for it?"

It was at that point I realised I needed more practical and creative piano skills. I wanted to learn how to make stuff up from a chord chart. I also wanted to play piano for my church - a church that used songbooks with lots of lyrics and chords.

I looked for a piano improvisation teacher but couldn't find one, and long story short, I spent the next 5 years experimenting at the piano, writing down anything that sounded interesting, creating rules from what I was learning. I discovered that piano improvisation is teachable with clear guidelines and not a mystic artform for the gifted. So I became a piano improvisation teacher.

Twenty years on and after teaching over 300 students, I've refined the rules, learnt better ways to communicate improvisation ideas to students, resulting in the Quaverbox Piano Improvisation Course. I hope that you'll gain something from each lesson and that it'll help you reach your full musical potential!

Terence Oh