Slash Chords Piano Lesson series
Piano lessons Slash Chords Chapter 3
Today, we’re going to combine a couple different techniques from previous piano lessons to create something totally new.
Specifically, we’ll use the slash chords technique as well as the straddle technique that we studied earlier to create lush Major 7 chords up and down the keyboard.
Click here to read more
Major 7 chords are very “clean” sounding, bright chords that can really gloss up the sound of your piano playing.
In our blues piano lessons, we frequently use the Dominant 7th chord, which imparts a more “Gritty” or “Bluesy” sound, but Major 7 chords tend to sound “open” and bright, especially when you add the straddle technique to them.
Just for review, let’s take a look at a Major 7 chord. Now I’m going to assume that you’ve already gone through the original piano lessons course titled “Pattern Piano and Keyboard”. In that course, you’ll learn simple patterns that will enable you to construct every conceivable type of 7th chord, including the Major 7 chord we’re looking at today.
Let’s take a look at D Major 7. From bottom to top, the notes are D, F#, A and C#. When they’re stacked from bottom to top, from the root of D up to C#, that’s called a “closed chord voicing”.
In this lesson, we’re going to apply two different techniques from previous lessons to this Major 7 chord: the “slash” chord technique and then the “straddle technique”.
First, the “Slash chord technique…”
To play a Major 7 chord as a slash chord, simply play the root in your left hand, and then with your right hand, play a major triad built on a note that’s a 5th higher. Here’s the great part – you can play that Major triad anywhere you’d like on the piano in any chord inversion.
All of a sudden you have a real simple thing to play on the piano because your mind is only thinking of that simple triad (three note chord) in your right hand and the root of the chord in your left hand.
In truth, you’re actually creating a Major 9 chord, because this slash chord formula introduces the Major 7th as well as the 9th into the chord, so you’re instantly getting some delicious higher chord extensions for free!
Let’s go back to the D Major 7 chord – from bottom to top in closed position it’s D, F#, A and C#. To transform it into a slash chord, we simply play the root in the left hand, and in the right hand we count up 5 notes (in the scale of D) and build a major triad (A Major).
Now when we apply the straddle technique in this piano lesson, the left hand won’t change on the piano at all. You’ll just continue playing the D (or a couple of D’s) in your left hand on the keyboard.
The straddle technique will apply to your right hand – if you’ve watched the first video piano lesson on straddles, you know that you can play any inversion of A… anywhere on the piano, but then to transform it into a straddle, you simply leave out whatever note happens to be in the middle of each inversion.
It’s very simple – just remember to change a standard closed position Major 7th chord into it’s slash chord equivalent, play the ROOT on the piano with your left hand, and then simply play a triad a 5th higher
Once you apply the straddle technique to open it up, all of a sudden you’re all over the keyboard playing really nice Major 7th chords… or rather Major 9 chords!