Introducing This Exclusive Webinar From Bradley Sowash and Leila Viss

Chord Boot Camp

What You Will Learn On The Webinar...

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88 Creative Keys Summer Workshop alumni can attend the webinar for FREE. Get in touch with to secure your spot. You must have attended a summer workshop to attend the webinar for free.

Registration Instructions Page:

Leila Viss

Years ago, soon after grad school, I attended a workshop presented by Mark Hayes. The prolific composer and performing artist of sacred music casually pointed out something that changed the direction of my journey as a musician and teacher. Hayes encouraged those who were new to improvisation to begin with a chord progression found in most pop and praise songs: I, vi, IV, and V. It’s better known as the harmonic pattern that most of us learned from a friend or a parent often called "Heart and Soul." With that simple tip, I borrowed the progression to release my own pent-up, untapped improvisation skills. As a teacher, I integrate that four-chord pattern to unlock improvisation in my students of all ages and levels. 

My session will step you through:

  • Why that four-chord pattern is a shoe-in for improvisation.
  • How to boost your own improvisation skills using that pattern. If I did it, you can too!
  • How to teach your students to improvise with it.
  • How to explain chord spelling, quality, inversions and function with something that relates to musicians of all ages: ice cream.
  • What apps are best suited to reinforce chord mastery.
  • What off-bench activities to use to lock in understanding of chords.

Bradley Sowash

When I was 12 years old, my parents took me to a restaurant that featured a jazz trio. l was amazed to see the pianist playing without written music. Unaware of the awkwardness I might cause by interrupting a performing musician, I approached the stage, told him I was studying piano, and asked him how he did it. Though I didn’t know it at the time, his succinct reply would set me on a course that completely changed my musical direction. Without missing a beat, he leaned down and simply said, “Learn your chords kid.” 

He was right of course.  Whether composing, improvising, or analyzing written music, all creative musicians must understand harmony. In this webinar, I’ll demonstrate how to help your students become more fluent with chords possibly filling in some blanks in your own harmonic understanding along the way.

What you will learn

  • Understanding Chord Symbols - principles, common practices and variations in pop/jazz chord nomenclature.
  • Pencil Practice - how to practice chords “off bench” with just a pencil and paper.
  • Chord Drills - practical exercises for daily chord practice.
  • Roots and Birds in Chordland - three easy rules to keep in mind when playing 7th chords.
  • Scaling the Chords - strategies to send reluctant improvisers happily down the path toward more creative music making.
If you sign up for the webinar and cannot attend, the replay of the webinar will be available on our website. You will be emailed instructions on how to access the replay on November 15.

Registration Instructions Page:

November 14
11am-1pm Eastern Standard Time

Registration is closed for this webinar.

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