Friday, June 7, 2013

Triads and Inversions Second Year Piano Students

Chord studies serve two purposes, technical and theoretical.  Chord drills aid in developing a good hand position to learn the keyboard, shaping the fingers, and developing a general facility for playing in more than one key at a time. 

In the first year students should have learned major and minor triads in root position, dominant seventh chords and subdominant chords.  Sometimes near the end of the second year of lessons students can be taught triads and inversions of majors and minors.  Correct fingering is important for inversions:  students usually want to play the same fingering for inversions as was learned for the root position.  Circle the fingering in each hand for the new inversions.  Teach the chords in both block and broken style.

Triads and inversions should be studied both ascending and descending.  Often students can play ascending but have trouble with descending.  The chords should not be discovered by trial and error using the hunt and peck method.  A strong mental picture of the correct fingering should be established to form an anticipated feeling for successive chords for the pattern.

Sufficient drilling should be assigned so that over time the correct fingering will become automatic.  Students can recite the fingering for the middle note of the chords, as this is the finger that changes in the inversions. 

Students should learn all twelve major and minor triads and inversions. Remind students that the word practice means repetition and spell out how many times you want each item repeated.