The Beginner Class

I will help you with learning harmony, so that you hear and recognize chord progressions and use them creatively in your playing and writing. Through a combination of activities—listening, thinking, visualizing, vocalizing, writing, and playing—you'll open your ears and deepen your understanding of the inner workings of harmony in a broad range of contemporary styles. You'll find that you learn songs more easily and can transpose them on sight. And you'll be able to equip yourself with the best chord scale choices for arranging and improvising. Mastering the mechanics of harmony's chord progression patterns is an indispensable tool for both players and writers, and will help improvisers, composers, and arrangers deepen their understanding of the inner workings of a broad range of contemporary styles including standard tunes, popular music and jazz.

By the end of this class, you will:

  • Recognize different chord types and standard chord progression patterns

  • Find the notes that work best (as melody and as harmony) with each chord in the progression

  • Create keyboard accompaniment voicings that will allow you to learn and experiment with any chord progression.

  • Improvise effectively from chord to chord

  • Spot and repair faulty or incomplete chord progressions often found on many lead sheets

  • Modify the chord progression in a way that will enhance the character of the music and reflect your own musical expression

The Beginner class will cover these topics:

  • Building Major Scales

  • Exploring the Scale Neighborhood

  • Diatonic Triads

  • Triads: Open vs. Closed

  • Building Seventh Chords

  • Seventh Chords: Open vs. Closed

  • Building Altered Chords

  • Building Diatonic Chord Scales

  • Recognizing Diatonic Chords

  • Keyboard Voicing and Voice Leading


The Advanced Class:

Takes you to the next step in your harmonic development: you'll move beyond the standard chord patterns and harmonic progressions typically found in popular music, and gain a solid footing in more advanced principles including melodic and harmonic tension, chord substitution, and chromatically altered chords. You'll examine secondary dominants, diminished seventh chords (and their substitutes), standard chord patterns and their variations, minor key harmony, and modulation. You'll study the inner workings of each progression to be sure it gets into the "inner ear," and equip yourself with the most appropriate chord scale for each chord. Through keyboard chord voicings and voice-leading exercises, you'll gain an understanding of the musical tools that go beyond the demands of a particular musical style, and develop a greater sense of control in your writing - by the end of the course you'll find you're in a position to actually contribute your personal touch to the development of any number of musical styles!

By the end of the class, you will:

  • Identify all standard chord progression patterns 

  • Be able to suggest a vast number of musical re-harmonization possibilities for each of these patterns

  • Apply appropriate chord substitution to a song's progression

  • Use a wide range of non-diatonic, chromatically altered chords 

  • Derive their appropriate chord scales

  • Work within all forms of minor key tonality


The Advanced class will cover these topics:


  • Melodic and Harmonic Tensions

  • Using Tensions to Enhance Keyboard Voicings

  • Tonic vs. Non-Tonic Chord Functions

  • Basic Diatonic Substitution

  • Modal Chord Progression: Major Modes

  • How Modes are Used

  • Modal Chord Progression: Minor Modes; How Modes are Used

  • Patterns in Progression

  • Modal Interchange

  • Minor Key Harmony: Harmonic Minor

  • Minor Key Harmony: Melodic Minor 

Feel free to contact me for more information.

I look forward to helping you to develop your talents!


Rate for in person lessons : $30 for 45 min
Rate for online lessons : $30 for 45 min
360-601-5379 I iosif.org@gmail.com
skype: iosif197211
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