I welcome questions about piano playing, drumming, and general music.  If I
think the answer could benefit others, I will post it (anonymously) on this
page, along with my answer. PRIVACY NOTICE: Under no circumstances
will I share anyone's personal information, including your email, with
ANYONE else!  That is a solemn promise.
Selected Questions and Answers (some of these questions
Thank you so much for your nice website [...] Is it possible to use labels for the piano keys as
C1 D1 E1 F1 G1 A1 B1 C2 D2 E2 F2 G2 A2 B2 C3 D3 E3 F3 G3 A3 B3 C4 D4 E4 [etc..].
I think it would be easier .
Wish you all the best [...]
A: [...]In your suggestion, are you referring to using such labels in the educational videos
(where there is an animated keyboard display)?  Or are you asking if a student should use such
labels on his or her piano when practicing?  In the case of a student using them, it is OK in the
early stages, but the student who eventually would like to be a good reader of standard music
notation would do well to memorize the note names (without the octave numbers), as soon as
possible.  In the videos, I think you have an excellent idea there, and I may very well start
using that. It could help the viewer stay oriented. [...]

Q: Do chords build from natural minors have dominants ?
For example is the fifth chord of A natural minor its dominant? Or are dominants only for
major scales?

A: Dominant 7th chords on the fifth step of the natural minor scale are used a lot. They
require the seventh step of the natural minor scale to be raised by 1/2 step, so as to create a
true "dominant 7th" chord on the fifth step of the scale. For example, the Dominant 7th chord
of the A Minor key is E7 (whose notes are E, G#, B, and D).

More detail:
A triad built on the fifth step of the "A natural minor" scale is a minor triad, whose notes are E,
G, and B. However, the G note of this chord is very often raised 1/2 step, to create a major
triad (E, G#, B).

The time-honored V7-I progression in both "A minor" and "A major" would use E7, whose
notes are E, G#, B, and D. You might like to know that G# in this context is called the "leading
tone" of both A minor and A major.

Q: [...] I have a keyboard at home. Like the piano type of thing. And I'm trying to play
Boston by Augustana on it. It sounds different for some reason. Like, How can I customize
my keyboard so it sounds the right way when played? Do I have to change the tempo? if so to
what? What Tone should it be? It's currently at grand piano.
Thanks (:

A: The piano in the official music video is slightly out of tune, which gives it a characteristic
sound that you won't normally find on a digital piano. If you have a modulation wheel on your
keyboard, you can use it to fake a slightly out-of-tune sound. Regardless, as a basic setting,
grand piano is as close as you'll probably get.  If you have a not-very-fancy electronic
keyboard, the grand piano setting will not sound much like an acoustic grand piano, especially
if the keys are not touch-sensitive (sensing variations in the force of your fingers).

Beyond that, it comes down to making sure you have the notes, the tempo, and the rhythm
right.  This means: be sure the music you're reading from is correct (and that you're reading it
right), or the notes you've picked out by ear are the right ones!

Q: How do you make the D Minor
raised 9 scale?
It confused me because the d minor scale only contains 7 notes!
My favourite guitarist uses the D Minor flat 5th raised 9th scale, if you could give me the notes
it would be great :)

A: Educated guess (explanation below):
D, E, F, G, Ab, Bb, C (D)
My educated guess is that your favorite guitarist is referring to an alteration of the Locrian
scale (starting on D), which can be played over a
Dmin7b5 chord.
First, the scale "normally" played over a Dm7b5 chord is "D Locrian Mode" = D, Eb, F, G,
Ab, Bb, C, (D).
Now, this same scale above, altered to have a "natural 9th" (raised up from flat 9) becomes D,
E, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, (D). (This is like the good old
D minor scale, but with a flat 5th degree.) Note, "raised ninth" is a confusing way to describe
the second step of this scale. It would better be
called a "natural" or "major" 9th. Anyway, some people play a scale like this over Dm7b5.
I'm guessing this is the scale you're looking for, based on the description you gave.




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