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Distinguished SOTW Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I never 'learned' to play piano (had to take a class way back when I thought I wanted to be a music major - the instructor took pity on me and gave me a C-). I've just kinda' 'done my own thing' on keys - make up my own fingering to the weird chords I come up with for my original jazz/fusion stuff. Now I want to double on keys in a blues/rock band: what are the easiest ways to voice (finger?) your typical I-IV-V-I and related chord progressions? I suppose it's NOT to simply play 1,3,5,and 7 with your right hand thumb, first, second, and third fingers!

Also, what have you found to be the optimal way (stage position, etc.) to set up your sax(es) and a keyboard on cramped stages?

342 Posts
In the key of C

I - C-E-G (1-3-5)

IV - C-F-A (Move 2 right fingers) (5-1-3)

V - D-G-B (Same fingering as IV one key/whole step up) (5-1-3)

I7 - Bb-C-E-G (b7-1-3-5)

IV7 - C-Eb-F-A (5-b7-1-3)

V7 - D-F-G-B (5-b7-1-3)

I m7 - Bb-C-Eb-G (b7-1-b3-5)

IV m7 - C-Eb-F-Ab (5-b7-1-b3)

V m7 - D-F-G-Bb (5-b7-1-b3)

Hope this helps. Just apply the same approach to what ever key you play in, you are good to go!


784 Posts
Here's some that would be a little more interesting:

In C: I chord - E, Bb, D (thumb, middle finger, pinkie) C7 (really C9 extension chord)

VI chord - Eb, A, D (thumb, middle finger, pinkie) F7

V chord - F, B, E (thumb, middle or second finger, pinkie) G7

When you get comfortable with those you can add another note:

I chord - E, A, Bb, D

VI chord - Eb, G, A, E

V chord - F, A, B, E

These can be inverted as well, for different feel, still pretty easy to change from chord to chord:

I chord - Bb, D, E, A

VI chord - A, D, Eb, A (G)

V chord - B, E, F, A

Hit the root and 7th with you left hand, or root and 5th

Here's a basic comp with both hands:

First position

Left hand - low C, G right hand E, C

Second position

left hand - same C, A right hand F, C

Third position

left hand - C, Bb right hand G, C

Try sliding off the Eb and Gb with right hand thumb in first and third position. Also, try playing same notes with just the right hand, sliding off the Eb and Gb with fingers 2 and four, hit C with your thumb on the upbeat and and other two notes in the second and third position on the downbeat.

You'll be comping!
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