Lesson 150, Part 2

Dragon Night

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman.
Today we're learning how to add chords to "Dragon Night",
and we'll also look at how you can improvise with these chords and possibly compose your own techno pop song.
Let's get started learning these chords.
The sheet music for "Dragon Night" is in what's called lead sheet style.
A lead sheet is where the composer will just give you a melody, usually written in the treble staff,
but there's no bass clef for the left hand, so what does your left hand play?
Well, that's what these chord symbols are for.
In a lead sheet, you'll get a melody and then up above you'll see chord symbols to tell you
what to do with your left hand.
And you get to improvise those chords.
So, first let's check out the intro. We've got an E minor chord
that lasts for this entire measure.
This is a whole rest, which means the full measure we're in 4/4 time.
So, on your piano go ahead and find an E minor chord, and let's play that for 4 beats. 1 2 3 4
And then we have this half rest which tells us that this d major chord lasts for 2 beats.
So find a D major chord. 1 2.
And then a C major chord that lasts for two beats. 1 2
and then we repeat that four times, and that will make our intro.
Then we'll play the melody, and there will be more chord symbols here that we'll look at in just a minute,
then when we get through the melody one time, then there's a section where we get to improvise.
Once again we'll play the E minor chord for 4 beats,
D major for 2 beats, C major for 2 beats, and then we repeat as long as we want to keep improvising.
When the improvisation is finished, we go back and we play the melody one more time from the start.
Let's try it out on the piano.
All right, let's review the chords that we'll need for "Dragon Night" first.
I want to see what you remember. First, can you show me using your left hand an E minor chord?
Go ahead and try playing it.
If you're playing this, you're correct. Now show me a D major chord.
Play it on your piano.
If you're doing this, you're correct.
Now show me a C major chord.
If you're playing this, you're correct.C E G
Now here's a trickier one. Can you show me a B minor chord?
B minor would be this: B D F-sharp
Good, and we'll also need for "Dragon Night" a G major chord.
Can you show me that with your left hand?
If you're playing this, you're correct,
and then the last chord we'll need is A minor.
Try playing an A minor.
This is A minor: A C E. It spells ace.
All right, now let's try playing "Dragon Night".
"Dragon Night" begins with an introduction that repeats four times.
You'll see we have 4 beats of this E minor chord, so count out loud with me.
We have 1 2 3 4, and then 2 beats on this D major chord 1 2, and then
2 more beats on C major. 3 4, and that repeats four times.
So, let's try that together. Go ahead and get in position on E minor. We're going to do 4 beats on E minor. 2 beats on D major, 2 beats on C.
Count out loud with me, and we'll repeat four times. 1 2, ready go.
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, again, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3, two more times,
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, good.
Now, if that didn't go as well as you liked, press pause, rewind, try it again.
If you feel good about that, let's keep going to the next line.
Next up we have another E minor chord for 4 beats.
Let's try it. 1 2 3 4, then we shift down to D major for 4 beats.
Ready, go.
1 2 3 4, then C major, ready go.
1 2 3 4, then we come to our first B minor chord.
So let's try that,
and a little tip for the B minor chord, because our finger 1 is up on a black key,
that's always going to feel more comfortable if you slide your hand
into the direction of the black key. So finger 3 is actually playing way up in between these two black keys.
That will feel a lot more comfortable than trying to twist your hand to get your finger 1 up there.
So playing up in the black keys our B minor chord, and then that's only 2 beats, shifts back up to E minor. So it's 1 2
3 4. Let's practice that a few times. Ready, go. 1 2 3 4
Good. Press pause, and I'd like you to practice going back and forth between B minor and E minor five maybe even ten times until you feel comfortable with that. Count out loud 1 2
3 4, then press play when you're ready to try the first line of "Dragon Night" with me.
All right, now let's try line one together, and I mean line one after the intro.
So you'll play the chords, I'll play chords and the melody so we can hear how it will sound together. And I'd like you to please count out loud so we can keep a steady beat together.
Here we go. I'll count in 4 beats, and then we'll start.
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
Now, let's go on to line two which is the same chord progression. So you'll do the same thing as before although the melody
will vary a little bit this time.
But I'm worrying about that. You just worry about the chords.
Here we go again. Line two now. 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
Good, now if you're finding you're not making that B minor to E minor transition fast enough,
that's fine. Just press pause and work on that some more until you can do that smoothly.
If that is going smoothly already, then let's go on and check out line three.
This line begins with a G major chord, so we're shifting up to G major. Let's try that. 4 beats, go:
1 2 3 4, now in this measure you'll see no chord symbol.
When that happens, you should assume that the chord stays the same. So we'll play another G major chord for 4 beats, go:
1 2 3 4, and then you'll see an A minor, so shift up one step for A minor, go.
1 2 3 4, and then you'll see a C major chord. We could go
up to C major, but then I feel like we're going to be too far out of range of where we've been playing chords before.
So I'm going to take this chance to shift all the way back down to this C major. 1 2, then to D major for 3 4, and then we're back to our E minor on the final line.
Okay, let's try all of line three together.
Remember, you've got a big jump from A minor down to C major towards the end of the line. Okay?
Let's try it together. Ready, go.
1 2 3 4, G major, 1 2 3, to A minor,
1 2 3, down to C, 1 2 3 4
Now, press pause and try that a few times on your own counting out loud, then press play when you're ready to go on.
Now what I'd like to do is practice going from line three straight into line four without a pause.
So again, be ready to go from this A minor, jumping down to C major,
D major, then up to E. Those are just stepping up C D E.
Starting at line three, let's count out loud. We'll play it all the way from line three to the end of line four.
Remember, line four is the same chord progression that we had on lines one and two.
Here we go. 1 2 3 go,
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3, E minor,
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
Okay, now I'd like you to press pause and practice all of the chords from the beginning to the end without pause
counting out loud, and then press play when you're ready to try playing along with me.
Okay, let's try playing "Dragon Night" together.
I'm going to use my auto accompaniment feature on my piano.
If you have an auto accompaniment feature, you should definitely try using that on your own,
but don't try doing it with me this time because chances are we'll be out of sync and it might sound a little crazy.
So, you just play set on your regular piano sound if you have a digital piano, but definitely on your own try that out later.
So, take your position. We're going to do the intro. Remember, the chords repeat three times
starting with an E minor. I'm playing down here but on your piano, play closer to middle C with your chords, and I'll add the melody as well.
In 4 beats we'll get started.
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4,
Nice job.
If you found that those transitions from B minor up to E minor were going too fast, that's totally normal.
Just press pause, practice that lots of times on your own, and then try it with me again when you feel ready.
Now, once you have the chords mastered, you're ready to try doing this hands together.
You'll just add in the melody
while your left hand does the chords.
Finally, as a special super challenge to you,
I wanted to invite and encourage you to try composing your own song using
these chords but in a different order.
You can use the E minor pentascale to make up a melody,
and then your left hand could just experiment with different chords. You can even make up a cool song just using E minor
and D major. It could be:
I just made that up. Now,
you could use E minor and D major, or you could do E minor.
or E minor to G major.
Choose two or three chords, make up a progression and have some fun making up and composing your own pop piece.
There are so many cool things you can do simply with chords and a pentascale.
So I hope you'll have lots of fun playing "Dragon Night" with chords and then experimenting and improvising your own music.
If you come up with something that you like, please take a minute to make a video and share it with me on Facebook or YouTube.
Thanks for watching, and see you next time!
It's a picture of a knight...
with the word drag on top.
Oh, I know!
Dragon knight, drag on knight, dragon night!
You got it!
If you figured that out at home, good job! See you next time!