Learn To Play Your Favorite Christmas Carols Now

At NewAgePiano.net I found the coolest song, Christmas Morning. You can hear the song and download the music for free.

* Christmas Morning
Arranged by Azimuth


* What Child Is This
Arranged by Jennifer Haines


* The Holly and The Ivy
George Winston


Another great site for George Winston fans:

George Winston - Linus and Lucy - Free Sheet Music Riff


Music Resources for Christmas:
Learn to play Your Favorite Christmas Carols Now

Christmas Piano Courses Specials

Christmas Arrangement For Piano Players

In the true spirit of the season, I would like to say "thank you" for your loyalty to Piano Diana.
Wishing you joyful holidays and a new year of peace and happiness.

Warmest Regards,
~ D.

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Chords and Harmony

A lead sheetImage via Wikipedia
Today we hear a more open sound in keyboard voicings than in the past and a new type of shorthand has developed to express it. You've seen these new symbols before in sheet music and chord charts: F/A

Many years ago I would look at lead sheets and they seemed so complex. "Extensions" were used to add color to seventh chords. By extensions I mean adding the 9, 11, 13 and alterations like b9, #9, b5, and #5. I still use these beautiful chords today. I've learned not to cluster them all in my left hand. An easy way to learn thirteenth chord patterns is to spot the Major and Minor triads.

Today chords have a wider spread and greater openness to their sound, especially in jazz and pop music. I experienced Slash chords when I began playing music with other band members and was given chord charts to play instead of sheet music.

The easiest way to understand a slash chord is by taking a two handed approach and reading it as:
right hand chord// left hand root

So, for example, F/A means an F triad in the right hand over an A root in the left hand. I find that slash chords lead to fresh sounds and modern progressions. Listen for these sounds in contemporary music. You'll hear them everywhere.

Remember the song Blue Christmas? It was written in 1949 and a revival of this song took place in the 60's by Elvis Presley and the Beach Boys. A chord chart to this song with slash chords would look like this:

F F/A C7/6 C7/E F Am7-5 D7 Gm G7 C7 Bb/D D#m C7/E

Now's the time to practice and start becoming familiar with
slash chords and harmony. Spend time at your piano or keyboard experimenting with the sounds of triads over root chords. There's no need to restrict the slash chords to single notes in the left hand because the left hand can play a voiced chord as well as the right. For example:

D/ C7 or another way to look at it, DF#A/ CEGBb

You'll see that the above chord is the same as C13#11
Happy practicing!

Warmest Regards,
~ D.
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Free Christmas Sheet Music Sites

There are so many wonderful web sites offering reviews and detailed guides to free Christmas sheet music. Here are a few links I've discovered. Perhaps you will share more sites you have discovered. Some of my favorite songs to play at this time are "Mary, Did You Know?" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" to name just a few.


Christmas Music Sites:















There are literally tons of music sites out there --- some are quite informative while others simply waste your time. As I was surfing the net (a while back), I came across a site which just blew me away!

It offered over 60 free online piano lessons, resources, and even a Christmas Keys DVD for students who are serious about learning to play the their favorite Christmas Songs by ear. As I began reading about the Christmas Keys course, I was truly amazed at all the topics covered in this course. It covered beginning techniques, music theory, chords, progressions, improvisation, and more! I own the Dvd Course and recommend it to you!

Get Started Playing Christmas Songs Today

Best Wishes,
~ LadyD

Warmest Regards,
~ D.

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Learn To Play Melody in the Right Hand

Mary and lamb at school, according to DenslowImage via Wikipedia

I learned to play piano with chords in my left hand while playing the melody with my right hand. This is an easy way to play songs whether you play by ear or read notes. Plus your audience will recognize the song you are playing by hearing the main melody line you are playing in your right hand.

I also add chords to my right hand and this can be a wonderful benefit to playing the piano as well because your playing will sound full and beautiful with rich tones. I began reading notes in hymn books and saw that there were extra notes to play for the alto and soprano parts. Most of the time I played root position chords. I could pull out single melody notes in my right hand. And I would listen to recorded music over and over and started copying styles of playing. It was great to read notes and begin to understand the structure of music theory. Also, to harmonize the melody with these extra notes in the right hand was fun and liberating for me... no more sheet music!

Here's a successful tip I wanted to share with you:

* Melody note must stay at the top of the chord inversion at all times.

Sometimes as musicians we learn only the root positions of the chord. It is so important to learn the chord inversions because once you do, you are adding more options and voicings to your playing.

In case you are not familiar with chord inversions here's a list for the chords in the Key of C (C, F, G)


Now you're ready to add the appropriate chord to the right hand. This is what I share with my students who want to play Jingle Bells, Jesus Loves Me and Mary Had A Little Lamb:

* Playing in the Key of C
Left hand plays a C chord in root position (CEG) When the melody falls on any of the notes in the C chord, then your right hand plays a c chord inversion with the melody note on top. Jingle Bells melody note begins with E, so play GCE chord, keeping E note on top of the chord in your right hand. Continue with this same pattern when you hear that you need to change to the F chord in your left hand and then the G chord. I recommend trying this approach with simple Christmas songs, hymns and nursery rhymes. I sincerely hope this tip adds more confidence to your playing the melody with your right hand. Most important of all, have fun playing songs!

Would you like to read more on harmonizing the melody? Read my ezine article here:


Warmest Regards,
~ D.

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