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Comprehensive Study Guide For The Piano

Level #1

Basic Rudiments are taught.

Initial reading and playing starts with the "Piano" method-book in the Polyphonic-Style.

Technique development begins with "Finger"-Exercise.

First two major scales are taught and developed.

First major chord forms are taught and developed in (All 3 Inversions)

Level #2

Playing and reading continue to develop in "Polyphonic": style.

Playing with Left-Hand chord accompaniment is started in "Harmonic" style.

Technique continues to develop through (finger exercise) using higher speeds and more complex(8th note) rhythms.

More scales and chords are developed through "Sharp" keys.

All (6) sharp-key major chords are now developed in a close-Inversion relationship through chord exercise #1.

Level #3

Polyphonic & Harmonic playing styles continue and evolve with the addition of using the "Drumbeat" tape now.

Finger exercise employs (16th note) rhythms now (more complex).

Final (6) scales & major chords are now developed (Flat-keys) chords.

Full-Accompaniment playing starts (Bass Note-chord) relationship.

Intermediate Level

Level #4

Popular Songbook starts integrating these areas:

      1. Melody with chord accompaniment

      2. Full Accompaniment (chords and Bass notes)

      3. New embellished Jazz-chords are introduced and integrated (Maj. 7ths, 7ths, m7ths,, 6ths, Aug.)

All (12) Major chords are integrated in chord ex. #3.

All (12) Major scales and Major, minor chords are memorized.

Level #5

New technique exercise (Finger exercise #2).

Polyphonic playing continues and develops through "Thompson" Book.

Songbook continuation: All areas evolve with more diverse song styles being explored (Pop, Rock, Ballads, Latin).

New chords integrated (9ths, 7ths+5, Maj. 9ths, 11ths)

Chords are integrated with the melodies in the right hand.

Basic Blues Progressions are learned and developed in all keys in two ways:

      1. Chords only

      2. Chord & Root Base Notes

"Pop" and "Rock" music are also explored now through tape recordings. 4. All (12) major and (6) Sharp Key minor are integrated in chord exercise #4.

Level #6

More technique advancement (Finger exercise #3)

Minor scales are taught, developed, and memorized.

Songbook continuation: Evolution of all elements:

      A. Technique-more chord syncopation, Apeggios, Broken chords.

      B. Harmonic-(7ths, 9th#5, 7th#9, Diminished) chords.

      C. More cohesive use of (Melody-Chord-Bass) into a better synthesis of full-piano playing.

Blues progressions evolve adding: (7ths, simple Bass-line)

Flat key minor chords are integrated with all other Major & Minor chords in chord exercise #5.

Advanced Level

Level #7

Songbook continuation: Students start arranging their own songs embellishing the harmonic structure.

Improvisation starts, using Major, minor, Blues scales.

Blues Progressions evolve utilizing:

      A. Altered Chords

      B. Improvisation

      C. More complex Bass lines

Transposing is taught and developed.

Level #8

Improvisation evolves utilizing chromatics, note sequences, harmonized scale-chords; octaves.

Blues Progressions become modified with:

      A. Intros

      B. Turn-arounds

      C. Endings, etc.

All other elements are muted from this point on to the students desire of mastery.

Note: Each level outlines basic new elements while still considering teh continuation of past levels.