Diatonic Chords

Physical and Aural Training

"Diatonic Chords" contains a series of technical exercise and should be thought of as the next volume after "Hearing Chord Progressions." The "Hearing Chord Progressions" course covered many possible ways for one chord to move to another but it did not cover the diatonic chords of various scales and modes. By singing and playing through these exercises, your knowledge of the diatonic chords will really deepen.

This course contains lots of exercises that teach you to hear and play the diatonic chords of the following scales: Major, Melodic Minor Ascending and Harmonic Minor. Because these exercises are shown in all keys, you can use them in any of the related modes of these scales. Specifically, the exercises will work over these modes:

  • Ionian
  • Dorian
  • Phrygian
  • Lydian
  • Mixolydian
  • Aeolian
  • Locrian
  • Melodic Minor Ascending
  • Dorian b2
  • Lydian #5
  • Lydian b7
  • Mixolydian b6
  • Locrian Natural 2
  • Altered
  • Harmonic Minor
  • Mixolydian b2,b6

Diatonic Chords

Diatonic chords and their associated arpeggios are frequently used in melodies and in improvisation. Diatonic chords are also common to most songs. Therefore knowing them is extremely important because they will help you to memorize songs, hear the chords of tunes, create melodies based on the diatonic arpeggios and outline the diatonic chords via these same arpeggios. Just to give you an idea of how prevalent diatonic chords are in contemporary music take a look at this link which shows you a tiny sample of songs that use the four diatonic chords: I, vi, ii, V. You can see that it is crucial for you to be able to understand, hear and play diatonic chords if you are going to understand the music you hear every day

Why is this course different?

In most courses on Diatonic Chords only one way of playing the chords via arpeggios is given. But chords and arpeggios can be played in various inversions and using various voicings, so not covering these possibilities is doing a great disservice to the student.

This course gives you exercises using the various inversions of a seventh chord and also the diatonic chords written out as "drop two" voicing arpeggios. if you are unfamiliar with the versions of a seventh chord and idea of "drop two," the following list shows you how you could play a C major seven chord in the four inversions and as a drop two arpeggio

  • Root position C Major seven chord: C, E, G, B
  • First inversion C Major seventh chord: E, G, B, C
  • Second inversion C Major seventh chord: G, B, C, E
  • Third inversion C major seventh chord: B, C, E, G
  • Drop two voicing of C major seventh chord: G, C, E, B

The "MetroDrone"

The "MetroDrone" is included in this course in order to help you to create a key center when you are singing through the exercises. If you are unfamiliar with the "MetroDrone" it is a versatile music education tool that can really make a difference in your musicianship. Not only does it aid in your aural training but it also helps you to develop the ability to feel time, as opposed to counting time.

The Exercises

Using the idea presented above, i.e. playing each diatonic chord in either root, first, second or third inversion along with exercises arpeggiating the diatonic chords using "drop two" forms, the student is presented with a wide range of exercises.

96 Permutations of Four Notes

A seven note scale would have seven diatonic chords. If these chords are played as arpeggios there would be 96 ways to play these arpeggios. This is the backbone of the exercises found in this course. By working through various exercises that employ the use of these 96 possible combinations a student develops the ability to use diatonic chords in a very robust and musical way. Furthermore the use of "drop two" arpeggios and their 96 permutations gives guitarist, pianists and solo line instrumentalists very angular yet musical ways of playing the diatonic chords.

Add "Diatonic Chords" to your practice regimen today!

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Muse-Eek Publishing Company is a publishing house with a broad focus on music education. Muse-Eek also publishes fine art and poetry books, and has its own record label, Muse-Eek Records. Our online presence, Muse-Eek.com specializes in the publication of music workbooks, video courses and sound and video recordings that teach the foundation of good musicianship through groundbreaking and innovative methods along with traditional methods that have been taught for centuries. These historic methods date back through centuries of great musicians and educators. To see these interesting relationship please see Bruce Arnold's Music Education Genealogy Chart which tells you a lot about the where many of his educational ideas took root and some of the educational pillars that are evident throughout the books you find on this website. The Muse-Eek Records catalogue contains a diverse selection of music much of it by Bruce Arnold in collaboration with some of today's best players in classical, jazz, rock and avant-garde music. These are available in CD, DVD and mp3 formats. We believe in a working relationship with our music education customers; they are free to interact with the author after purchasing a book to help them through any material they don’t understand or which they need further clarification. We also have a member's area which contains a wealth of free information to help a student understand music at a deeper level and access additional files for our books. Many of our books offer cutting edge ideas regarding ear training, guitar technique, rhythm and time. These methods have a proven track record. Our main author Bruce Arnold has taught at some of the most prestigious music schools in the world, including Princeton, Dartmouth, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, The New School and NYU. Along with Mr. Arnold's publications on the Muse-eek.com website he has also written books and appeared in educational DVDs for MelBay and Truefire. Over the years Mr Arnold has used his experiences with his students to develop a program that can elevate a musician's ability to world class caliber. If you have questions about any of our books or recordings please send us an email. Along with general questions about either our record label or our publishing company we also welcome questions to help a student choose the proper materials to reach their goals. We have over 300 products to help you learn any style of music and to develop your musicianship to its peak. We also make recommendations for practice schedules for students who use our methods to get the most out of their study time. This, along with personal interaction with Bruce through email, nurtures the student's ability through a closely monitored situation, ensuring there is no wasted time or misunderstanding.