Music Information

Automatic Control of Chords


Your success or failure at the keyboard may well hinge on how quickly and accurately you can memorize a new chord. To be really efficient at this you must use your eyes, your ears, and the muscles of your hands. You must learn a chord so that you can recognize and play that chord the next day without hesitation. Let me explain how to practice to gain this three-way control.

VISUAL CONTROL - After playing a chord, take your hands off the keyboard. Then return to the chord remembering visually where the fingers were positioned. Notice particularly the pattern that was formed by the black and white keys and the location of the melody and root notes. (No two chords look exactly alike.)

Repeat this procedure at least four or five times to learn a chord visually. And, as you are playing the chord, say its name OUT LOUD. You must associate the name of the chord with the actual notes you are playing, if the chord symbol is to have any real meaning later on.

TACTILE CONTROL - As you are playing the chord, try to feel it muscularly. Play each note of the chord, one note at a time, so that you use the muscles of the hand. You will develop a muscular memory for chords.

AURAL CONTROL - Listen to the chord. You'll want to know its sound so you can instantly recognize and use it later on ... "by ear"!

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