Master the basics of Keyboard technique and chord voicings, and gain an understanding of more advanced concepts including blues progressions and playing three part chords in this 12-week course. Through exercises that explore the interpretation of lead sheets and chord symbols, the Berklee Keyboard Method will help you to improve your performance, harmonic vocabulary, and composition/arranging skills. By the end of the course you will be able to improvise over a lead sheet while comping chords with their appropriate voicings.
By the end of this course, you will:
Understand how to read treble clef, bass clef and play simple melodies on the grand staffUnderstand accidentals and play the black keys on the keyboardIncrease your ability to read and play different notes simultaneouslyUnderstand and play melodies with major and minor triads in right handUnderstand voice leading triadsUnderstand a lead sheet and play chords and bass with left handAdd three-part chords to your playingUnderstand altered 9ths, 13ths and Blues progressions
Lesson 1: Treble Clef
Treble clef notes related to keyboardRight hand keyboard fingering numbersMoving 5-note one hand position to various
locations within treble clefPlaying a simple treble clef notated melody with
Lesson 2: Bass Clef
Bass clef notes related to keyboardLeft hand keyboard fingering numbersMoving 5-note one hand position to various
locations within bass clefPlaying a simple bass clef melody with
the left hand
Lesson 3: Grand Staff
Grand staff notes related to keyboardMoving both hands to various 5-note positions on
the grand staffPlaying simple one line melodies with both hands
in octavesPlaying simple one line melodies switching hands
Lesson 4: The Black Keys/Accidentals
The black keys of the keyboard - their significance
and locationMoving hand positions around which include
accidentals creating major/minor tonalitiesPlaying simple one line melodies in octaves which
include accidentalsPlaying simple one line melodies switching clefs
which include accidentals
Lesson 5: Independence Between Hands
Studies to Increase the Ability to Read and Play
Different Notes SimultaneouslyRhythmic Independence StudiesPlaying Two Notes Simultaneously in One or Both
Lesson 6: Major and Minor Triads
Major and Minor Triads in Root PositionInversions of Major and Minor TriadsMelodies with Major and Minor Triads in
the Right Hand
Lesson 7: Voice Leading Triads
Diatonic TriadsVoice-Leading the I IV V ProgressionThe I VI II V I Diatonic ProgressionVoice Leading the I VI II V I Progression
Lesson 8: Left-Hand Chord Playing
Voice Leading Left-Hand ChordsThe Lead SheetThe Left Hand as Both Chords and Bass
Lesson 9: Right-Hand Chord Playing
Voice Leading Right-Hand Chords"Slash Chords"Arpeggiating Right-Hand Chords
Lesson 10: IIm7 V7 Imaj7 Left-Hand Shells
The IIm7 V7 Imaj7 ProgressionLeft-Hand ShellsUsing Left-Hand Shells to Support Right Hand
Lesson 11: Using the 3rd and 7th of the IIm7,
Finding and Voice Leading the 3rd and 7thUsing the 3rd and 7th in the Right Hand with Left-
Hand BassUsing the 3rd and 7th to Support Melody
Lesson 12: Three-Part Chords
Adding the 9th and 13th to the Dominant 7thAdding sus 4 to the Dominant 7thComping Patterns Using Three-Part Chords
Author & Instructor
Paul Schmeling is a master pianist, interpreter, improviser and arranger who has inspired countless students since he began teaching at Berklee in 1961. He has performed or recorded with jazz greats such as Clark Terry, Rebecca Parris, George Coleman, Carol Sloane, Frank Foster, Art Farmer, Herb Pomeroy, Phil Wilson, Dick Johnson and Slide Hampton. In the 1990s, the Paul Schmeling Trio released two inventive and critically acclaimed albums, interpreting the music of Hoagy Carmichael and songs associated with Frank Sinatra. Recently retired as chair of the piano department, he is co-author of the Berklee Practice Method: Keyboard (2001) and Instant Keyboard (2002) and the author of Berklee Music Theory: Book 1.
James Ross Ramsay, faculty in the Piano department at Berklee College of Music, has been teaching piano for 25 years, and has been included in the "Who's Who List of American Teachers" several times. He composes and produces music for local and nationally broadcast television, radio, cable, and video programs, and has been a featured soloist on piano and keyboards with various artists touring throughout the United States and Europe. Ramsay is a product specialist and clinician for Yamaha Corporation of America, Digital Musical Instruments, and Pro Audio Division. He received a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music in 1986.
At least one year of experience on a musical instrument.
Knowledge of basic pitch notation:
Letter names of notesSome reading ability with one clefBar lines, measures, double bar lines, fine bar lines, repeatsSharps, flats, naturalsKey signaturesPhrase markingsFew ledger lines
Knowledge of basic rhythm notation:
Note and rest values up to eighthsTheir value in common meters like 4/4; 3/4Dotted note values, tiesSome ability to read these rhythms
Knowledge of basic harmony:
Basic level of diatonic concepts (helpful but not absolutely
necessary)Major and minor scalesSeventh chords and chord construction, inversion
PC Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or higherMac Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, SafariFlash Player: current versionQuickTime: current versionAdobe Reader: current versionA basic audio recording tool that will allow you to record yourself playing along with a background track and save the recording in MP3 format. You will have a tool to use for this purpose inside the learning environment. Alternatively, you can use software like Audacity or GarageBand.
In order to complete the assignments in this course, you will need to record yourself playing keyboard or piano along with background tracks provided during the course in MP3 format. In order to do this, you must have either a MIDI keyboard that can record into your computer or a microphone connected to your computer that can record you playing piano. In addition, you will need the following computer requirements:
Windows Vista SP2 or higherIntel Pentium 4 or higher1 GB RAM500 MB hard drive space recommendedSound cardCD-ROM driveKeyboard with at least four octavesSpeakers or headphones for your computerLine in from your keyboard to computer, if not using a microphoneA built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged directly into your computer (via built in ports or an external audio interface).
OS X 10.7 or higherIntel Mac2 GB RAM500 MB hard drive space recommendedCD-ROM driveKeyboard with at least four octavesSpeakers or headphones for your computerLine in from your keyboard to computer, if not using a microphoneA built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged directly into your computer (via built in ports or an external audio interface).
Got a question? Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.