Practicing Scales & Chord Progressions.... What's the point????
I came up with this little seasonal exercise to help my students practice applying their scale & chord progression knowledge (I, IV, V7) to a familiar Christmas tune. I like how it helps them to see the practical application of technical exercises in everyday music.
1. Starting on C play the opening melody to Joy to the World with your Right Hand (Descending C Major scale). "Joy to the World, the Lord is Come"
2. Play again adding a C Major root chord in the left on each note of the melody. Does that sound good to you?
3.Experiment changing the C Major root chords to IV (F) or V7 (G) chords until the left hand chords harmonize well with the melody line. Hint: To sound like traditional Joy to the World, choose chords that include at least one note from the melody line. For example if you are playing C in the right hand a C chord (CEG) or F chord 2nd inversion (CFA) will sound better than G7 (BFG).
4. Add your chord choices to the Music Ace Doodle Pad.
5. Once you've finalized your chord choices, try omitting a few of the left hand chords for a more legato sound.
6. Transpose the opening theme of Joy to the World to the keys of G, D, A, E & F Major.
7. Improvise the left hand chords. Try playing open fifths, broken or arpeggiated chords.