Lesson video

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Hello, my name is Ms Charatan and I'm really looking forward to teaching you today all about secondary chords.

And let's begin with a warm up, so you're just going to not copy after me, you're going to be opposite of what I do.

So I'm going to clap and then you're going to do this, and when I do this, you're going to clap.

It's going to get harder and harder.

So let's start.

Your turn.

You should have done it on here.

Let's try it again.

You should have done an opposite of that as well.

How about this one? Your turn.

You should have done this.

How about if I trick you with one.

Excellent, let's try one more.

And now you can maybe go off and test your family very briefly as part of your warmup to try and get them to do the opposites game as well and if they get caught out, then game over, you've won.

Great, let's now move on with the rest of the lesson.

In this lesson, you will need the following items, or equipment.

You will need a piece of paper, with something to write on, a pencil or pen and something to write with as well as a voice, your voice, an instrument or an app.

So an app I really like is Perfect Piano.

That's the one we're going to be using for playing chords.

You can get something very similar on lots of different phones and devices.

Pause the video and come back when you have got your equipment and we can move on.

Great, let's now look at what we're doing today.

So we're going to begin by recapping our primary chords knowledge.

We'll then learn about the secondary chords.

Play some pretty famous chord progressions, and then compose our own.

Lastly, we will explore how we can make our progressions more interesting.

So let's begin by recapping our knowledge of primary chords.

So, what are the three primary chords we learnt about? If you said one, four and five, that's correct.

We're a bit rusty on the Roman numerals, don't worry, basically one and two and three are one i, two I's and three I's and V means five.

What are the three primary chords in C major? The correct answer is C, F and G.

C, E and G is the C major child, which is different from the primary chords.

C, D and E is the first three notes of the C major scale.

So C, F and G are the three primary triads.

So, in terms of the primary chords, these are the ones that were more important than the others.

So they'd be used to be harmonise, know the different melodies because they contain all of the notes of the scale.

Let's have a recap then.

So the three primary chords of C major we said are C, F and G.

What are the three primary chords in G major? Pause the video for 30 seconds, work them out and resume when you want to check your answer.

If you said, there's G, C and D, you're correct, well done.

So let's now just recap how to play these primary chords.

So on the ukulele and the guitar, you need to be really careful with your finger numbers.

So think number one is, this finger, okay? So make sure, that for your G major chord, your finger, number one is the second string from the top, two and three, like this.

On the keyboard, confusingly, finger number one is your thumb, so you should be playing with one, three and five, and on your app is useful for you to be playing with three fingers in the middle.

So you're now going to very quickly, recap the G major chord on your instruments, pause the video and take 30 seconds and resume when you're ready.

Great, let's now look at C major.

So the same thing, make sure you're really looking out for your finger that you need to be using on the guitar or ukulele.

Recap that chord on your keyboard or your app.

Take 30 seconds and resume when you're ready.

The last chord we need is our F major chord, so for the guitar, that was quite challenging, and because you have to put two fingers, one finger over two strings and make sure you're not playing that top string, it's got the cross on it.

For the ukulele it's a bit more straightforward.

For the keyboard again, it's the same position as your app, using the three middle fingers that will be easier to play on a smaller screen.

Pause the video, resume when you're ready.

Take about 30 seconds.

Lovely, so the last thing I want to show you is the song, and if you were in the last lesson, and this is what we did then, so when the saints go marching in, is harmonised with only primary chords.

♪ Oh, when the saints, go marching in, ♪ etc okay? So, part of your practise could be, playing this song, so this is your stretch task.

We can see these are all the primary chords, so I'm switching all over to one and five.

And that usually means, that we can play them in a different key, so if I wanted to play in G for example, chord number one would be G for example.

So you have already, recap the chord individually, but you're now going to practise them altogether because we'll need them later on in the lesson.

So practise playing four beats per chord, this is because I lost the chords, half four beats per chord.

Practise changing between them, so for example, particularly on ukulele, I'm not so strong ukulele actually, is hard to change between F and G.

So you need to be doing a bit more practise on that one.

If you're finished quite early, think about doing some different strumming techniques on a guitar, ukulele, or play the bass note, the root note, say C for C major in the left hand of your keyboard or ukulele.

Pause the video, take five minutes to recap these chords and resume when you're ready.

So to recap our knowledge of primary chords, well done.

We're now going to move on to learning about the secondary chords.

So I'm going to play you the three primary chords and the three secondary chords, and I'd like you to tell me what's different about them.

So here are the three primary chords, C major, F major and G major.

And here are the three secondary chords, D minor, E minor.

What is the difference? Tell me now.

If you said the major chord sounded bright, joyful, and happy, and the minor chord sounded a bit darker, and a bit more mysterious, you were correct.

So in the major key, there were always three chords that are minor.

These are the chords, two, three, and six, and they are called the secondary chords.

So chord two, chord three and chord six.

This is D minor, E minor and A minor.

They are minor chords, even though the only key of C major.

Therefore, what would the secondary chords be in G major? Pause the video, work out the secondary chords in G major and resume when you're ready.


So, the secondary chords in G major are, A minor, B minor and E minor, because they were two, three and six.

So we're now going to recap some chords you may have learned either with me, and if you haven't learned before, don't worry, we can add the nap.

So E minor on a guitar and ukulele.

So on a guitar it's quite an easy chord, you need to use fingers two and three, which confusingly, is not the same as two and three on a keyboard.

So two and three on a guitar is your third finger and your fourth finger, this one here.

And on a ukulele, you're using this finger, this finger and this finger, okay? And on the keyboard, you should be using fingers, one, which is your son, three and five to play accurately, but on the virtual piano, you might want to use the middle fingers, look.

So, it's actually quite difficult to play it, because it's quite a small phone, you hopefully got a bigger screen, so it's easier.

Pause the video and take 30 seconds, if you know this already, take a little bit longer, if you haven't played any one before, and resume, when you're ready.

Great, let's move on.

So, we're now going to look at A minor.

So A minor again, we need to be really careful about what fingers we are using on ukulele and guitar, because it's going to help us switch between chords more easily.

On a keyboard again, playing it for one, three and five and on the app, you can maybe use your middle fingers.

Pause the video, take 30 seconds, if you haven't and if you've learned this chord before, and you're just going to have to refresh, take a bit longer, if you've never seen this chord before to get really familiar with it.

Lovely, let's move on to a new chord.

So we're now going to work out a D minor triad, so if you've been following these lessons, we haven't done this one yet.

So to work our triad we just press one, miss one, press one, miss one, press one.

Here's a keyboard in front of you, work out the three notes in a D minor triad now.

Pause the video and resume it when you're ready to move on and check your answer.

So, the correct answer is, we always start with D because it's a D minor triad.

D, F and A, that's your D minor triad.

So what does this look like on a guitar, ukulele and keyboard? So on the guitar, you need to be really careful with this one, because you can see the crosses at the top of the diagram, what do we think those mean? The crosses mean, do not play those strings, so you must only playing, the bottom four strings on the guitar to play this.

Again, remember finger number one, when we look at these guitar and ukulele diagrams is your index finger.

For ukulele it's a little bit more straightforward, make sure you're using the correct fingers because that'll make it much easier to switch between the chords, unless you're on a keyboard and the app is the same fingering as before, one, three and five, only middle fingers on the app.

Pause the video, take a bit longer, so take three minutes now, to really get familiar with D minor because we haven't done this one before, resume it when you're ready.

Lovely, so what are the three secondary chords? What are the Roman numerals? If you can't read the Roman numerals, I'm going to read them out for you now, and this is going to help you get familiar with them.

So the blue box is one, four, five.

The green box is two, three, six, and the pink box is two, three, four, which one is it? If you said two, three, six, you were totally correct, well done, getting familiar with these Roman numerals.

What are the three secondary chords in C major? What are the three secondary chords in C major? If you said D minor, E minor and A minor, you were totally correct, well done.

So you've learned about the secondary chords and now we're going to cover and play some famous chord progressions, really exciting.

A chord progression is the same as a chord sequence, it's just another word for it and it's a set of chords.

So chord progressions often use a mix of primary and secondary chords to make it sound more interesting.

Some might use more than one chord progression, so it could have this chord progression in reverse.

And the chord is something different.

Something like that.

So it doesn't have to have the same chord progression all the way through.

So we're now going to look at some famous chord progressions.

On the left hand side, you have got the numbers of the chords in Roman numerals, you'll need to go back and check if you're not quite sure where they are.

Your task is going to be as follows, you are going to work out the chords from the numbers, and then you are going to play the chord progression, for four beats per quarter.

So for example, for this first one, I've worked out for you already, it's C, then G, one, two, three, then A minor, one, two, three, or an F.

And a famous song for that one is, I'm yours.

If you recognise the chord progression from a song, then you should definitely be writing that one down.

So you're now going to pause the video to complete this task by filling in the grid of the common chord progressions.

You can find this grid on the worksheets too.

If you recognise any song, then write it down and if this is way too easy for you, then first it will take you less time, so you can research and play some other common chord progressions because these are only three of them.

Pause video, spend 10 minutes on this task and resume when you're ready.

Lovely, so do we recognise any of these? So the first one, check now is A minor, F, C and G, and that's the song Poker Face by Lady Gaga.

This one, C, A minor, F and G, so same chord, different order, is a really famous song, Stand By Me.

And this one here, D minor, C, G and C is Summertime.

So we've played some famous chord progression and we're now going to move on to composing your own chord progressions, well done for your hard work so far.

Whenever composing a chord progression, how many ever think about these questions? So how many chords can be in a chord progression? If I'm composing in C, what chord would you usually start with and why? And how many beats would each chord last? Pause the video, think about these answers and resume when you're ready.

Okay, let's check some of these answers.

So, there can be as many chords as you'd like in chord progression, but a very typical number is three or four.

If you're composing in C, you'd normally start with C and in terms of number of beats per chord, often four beats is good, but two beats can also be good.

So, we are now going to compose your own chord progression.

I strongly suggest you start with C.

So that's your first chord associate.

You're then going to choose three other chords and write them down.

If you have the worksheet, then you have to integrate on a worksheet, otherwise just draw a grid, pause the video now, draw a grid for yourself, for you to write down the chords and the numbers in.

So for my chord progression, I'm going to use four different chords, C, D minor, G and F.

And I'm going to put the numbers underneath, which is going to be one, two, five and four.

So it sounds like this.

So you could pick your chords quite randomly, but it's actually also nice to really think musically about what you'd like to do, so it might be that you choose a harmony, you don't like them, so you can change them again.

I advise you not to use chord seven because that's not a primary or a secondary chord, and it will sound strange and diminished.

So you're now going to pause the video to complete this task.

You're going to create your own four bar chord progression using primary and secondary chords.

Make sure you write down the chord names and numbers and practise it so you can play it really fluently.

If it's too easy for you, create two chord progressions and think about the rhythm that you play in the chords.

Spend five minutes on this task and resume the video when you're finished.


Let's now go through this checklist, which chords did you choose and why? How do you know you can play your chord progression fluently? And how could you make your chord progression more exciting? Pause the video now, to answer these questions, and resume when you're ready.

Great job, really fantastic that you've created your own chord progression at this stage with primary and secondary chords.

So you've done this now, we're now going to explore how to make it more interesting so other people can enjoy playing it too.

Look at my band here, who is playing the accompaniment? If you said everybody, apart from the singer, who's playing the melody, you're correct.

So the accompaniment, are the parts underneath the melody.

I'm going to play you an accompaniment in two ways.

So I'm going to pay in a normal, probably pretty boring way.

I'm going to make it more interesting.

You're going to tell me how did I make my accompaniment, more interesting.

So I'm going to play, a normal, accompaniment pretty boring.

So that's my normal boring accompaniment.

I'm actually just going to change the keyboard sound because it sounds a bit weird.

Here you go.

This sounds better.

So ignore the sound, I'd like to now listen to how I made it more interesting apart from changing my instrument, it doesn't count.

So you're now going to listen and I'm going to play the accompaniment in two ways, one, fairly ordinary way, which is not very exciting.

And one way, which is much more interesting.

How have I made the accompaniment more interesting? So here's my first way.

That's my first way.

I'm now going to make it more interesting.

Now I'm going to add more interest.

So what two ways did I use to make my accompaniment more interesting? If you said, the rhythm, so I use syncopated and dotted rhythms, you were correct.

And I used the root note in my left hand, so the root note of the chord, is the first note of the chord, so a C major chord, the C would be the root note.

So we can see here, that bottom right, is all the root notes of the chord.

So the root note of a D minor chord, is D.

So, let's now have a look at some of these rhythms, because we're going to use these rhythms to make our chord progression much more interesting.

You're going to cut them and then I'm going to cut them, and you're going to check that you cut them correctly.

Make sure you're using one and two and three and four and.

Let's go, one and two and three and four and clap it.

That's the first one.

Second one, two, three, go, your turn.

My turn.

Okay, and if you repeat that again and again, it will sound like this.

Which is much more interestingly done, etc So this is a tie and that glues the notes together.

That means that we don't play them twice, if it wasn't there, it sounds like that but is there, it sound like this.

Let's have a look at these rhythms. One, two, three.

Have a go in cutting them both.

So the first one, let's come together, one, two, three, four.

Second one, one, two, three, four.

Let's have a look at some of these syncopated and dotted.

First one, two, three, and, one, two, three and four.

So you can keep that going.

And the second one, two, three, four, Really interesting rhythm, because it needs to be really useful for you putting in your chord sequence.

So this note here, you can see that's got a dot next to it, what does a dot mean? You might know already.

The dot mean, the dotted rhythm is generally one longer note and one shorter note.

The dot means something quite special.

So the dot tells you to add half of the note onto the first note, so that first note, is a crochet and that's one beat.

So half of one is, a half.

So I've added one and a half and that creates one and a half beats.

What about this one? How many beats is the note without the dot? If you said two, you are correct, so we have a rhythm.

What is half of a minute? What is half of two? One.

So two plus one is, great match, it's three beats so this note is three beats long, and that's, not too many rhythms everywhere.

They are absolutely everywhere, but one piece that uses them is silent night, big Christmas carol so that uses dotted rhythms, but you'll hear dotted rhythms in all sorts of music.

Last syncopated rhythm to look at.

Let me see your night, here we go.

Let's try and cut this one, this is probably the trickiest one, one, two, three, one and two and three and four and one and two and three and four and, check against me, and one, and two, and three, and four, so if you're just playing on a piano, you can put the root note on that first base.

You are now going to pause the video to complete this task.

You're going to change the rhythm of your chord progression to make it interesting.

So you can choose one of the rhythms we practised or make up your own and try to have some syncopation end.

If you're on a keyboard, maybe try and have the root note in your left hand.

And if you only play your guitar, you can think about your strumming, so whether you want to go down or up.

So on a keyboard, think about a rhythm like this, You can actually have the root note in the base.

You can even strum around.

Have an experiment, take 10 minutes to complete this task and resume the video when you are finished.

Well done for experimenting around with your chord progression.

So there's three questions on here, pause the video, reflect on the answers to these and resume the video when you're ready.


So hopefully you chose some syncopated rhythms and dotted rhythms because they add real drive and energy to your chord sequence.

You could vary in other ways, with more sophisticated rhythms. You could have different strumming patterns.

You could have different right left hand patterns on the keyboard too.

So now it's time for you to perform your chord progression.

So go off and find an audience member, somebody at home, hopefully, and show them your interesting chord progression.

So show them, in the two ways that I did.

So show them in the very basic way and then show them in the much more interesting way and I'm sure they'll be really impressed because you've really spiced it up.

You could even teach them how to play it, and you could even play it together or write a melody to go with it.

Pause the video, spend five to 10 minutes, performing your chord progression and resume the video when you are ready.

Great job on your performance.

Well done for having the courage to go and do it and I hope you got some of your feedback.

Let's now reflect on today's work.

So let's go back to our key question.

How can secondary chords be introduced in an accompaniment? There are three questions here.

Pause the video, answer them and resume when you're ready.

Let's go over the answers.

So the three secondary chords in C major are, D minor, E minor and A minor.

The numbers are two, three and six and make sure you've written them out in Roman numerals, double check now, write them out yourself if you didn't get in the Roman numerals.

And lastly, making the accompaniment more interesting, you can use a really great syncopated rhythm or dotted rhythm.

You have done some fantastic work today and we've now explored secondary chords together and hopefully primary chords too from before.

This now sets us up really well, for creating our own music and playing lots of music.

Don't forget to click on and complete the quiz to show how much you've learnt.

Do go off and experiment with your instrument or with your app, to try out some other pieces of music using the chords that you know.

It's been great to have you, take care and see you next time.