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Breathing Space in Music
While most students want to know when to play certain notes and chords, it's equally important to know when not to play. For example, I had a student who knew how to improvise and play in the New Age style. What he didn't know how to do was to...
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Open Position Piano Chords - Perfect for the New Age Style

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The Open Position Chord (OPC) allows you to create a vented sound. A sound that is open, literally, as opposed to the closed triads taught in most course books.

The OPC covers more than two octaves of the keyboard allowing you to create without moving the hands around too much. Perfect for the beginner and advanced player. New Age music in particular has an open quality that is created in a number of ways. The first way is by the chord choices used. Most of this music is in a Major Key. The sound is pleasant without any dissonant tones.

The second way is how the chord is played or voiced. The OPC voicing gives you the ability to separate the chord into three different parts; low end or bass note, middle notes, and high or melody notes. With this configuration you are able to make more music than if you were just playing a triad in your left hand and playing melody in your right.

It also allows you to play in counterpoint. When you are improvising with the OPC, your fingers will automatically begin to create a countermelody. How? Because you already have six tones underneath your fingers to begin with. Just by moving your fingers over the keys in different rhythms, you begin to have harmony with melody.

It allows you to play piano with both hands together right away. This is entirely different than the way most pianists learn how to finger a chord. They are usually taught triads first fingered in the left hand then in the right and finally both hands together. Is this music making? Of course not.

The Open Position Chord allows you to use both hands together to create solid chords, arpeggios - pretty much anything you can imagine. This chord structure allows the complete beginner to sound like a pro faster than any other approach. Why? Because you are already using seventh chords - the foundation sound for most modern music today. It's used in Jazz and contemporary instrumental music about 90% of the time. After you begin to play the OPC as a seventh chord, there's no end to the possibilities.

About the Author

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years! Visit us now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!

 

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