Rootless Left Hand Gospel Chords

This week’s gospel music lesson is called “Rootless Left Hand Chords”

It is about how to comfortably play chords with your left hand that frees your right hand up to do other things like extend the chords or play solos.

I also briefly talk about voice leading with the left hand. The transition from one chord to the next in a smooth way. Usually only moving half or whole steps with the left hand.

Enjoy the lesson and thank you for being a member of the HMPI community.

If you like this lesson then check out this one on Gospel Chords.


Gospel Music Lesson of the Week – Creating Contempory Chords

This week’s gospel music lesson is about playing within diminished patterns.  Taking major chords and creating a real contemporary, full sound.

I’ll demonstrate it for you and then break down exactly what I do so you can put this lesson to work right away.

Please let me know what you think by sharing your question or comment below.

If you really like it please share it via your twitter or facebook page.

Thanks for reading.  And caring to improve as a gospel musician.

For more, this lesson is on Gospel Music Chords.


Gospel Music Lesson of Week – Contemporary Chord Progression in the Key of Eb


This weeks gospel music lesson is on a contemporary chord progression in the key of Eb that can be used for background talking music or simply music to add to the chords and progressions that you already know. Enjoy the lesson and please share with a friend!

For more, this Gospel Music Lesson is about incorporating jazz licks.

Gospel Music Lesson of the Week – Expanding Dominant Chords

This weeks gospel music lesson was a real pleasure to put together.  It is how to take a dominant chord and explore different sounds and possibilities with the chord.  Enjoy and pass along to a musician friend.  Also make sure to check out the HMPI Store for additional resources and to get yourself ready to perform for mom on Mother’s Day.

Gospel Music Lesson of the Week – The Common Top Tone

The Common Top Tone is an interesting concept that I think you will enjoy.  It’s about how to take one common note and play several chords with that one common tone.  Enjoy and please post your comment or question below.

Gospel Music Lesson of The Week


This lesson is on how to play simple chords that are suitable for high praise moments. I did this lesson with the beginner to intermediate player in mind. This progression is very simple but the beauty of it is that you can easily play this in any key when ever you need or want to.


Gospel Music Lesson of the Week – Pedal Points

This week’s is on Pedal Points and how to play a series of chords with only one bass note.  Enjoy and please pass along to a friend.

Lesson of The Week – Overcoming Key Changes

I would encourage you to take this key changing technique and try to apply it to all 12 keys. It is good to think about the number and type of chord that you are playing in songs. The 2 most important things you must be able to do in order to effectively use this technique is to know all 12 major scales and know your basic chords. These are very fundamental skills that will in the end make a huge difference in your playing. It really does take the frustration and anxiety out of playing in every key evenly.

Key Change Exercise Song

Click Below To Hear The Song

If you like this lesson then don’t be shy. Help us spread the free lessons. Share with a friend.



Lesson of the Week – Organ Chord Inversions

Welcome to HMPI’s Music Lesson of the Week.  There have been several requests for an organ lesson so I put together a great lesson for players of all skill levels around Organ Chord Inversions.  I hope you enjoy.  Please comment below with any questions and/or requests for future lessons.  We’ve also just launched a digital download section in our store that has more complete organ lessons.

And don’t be shy, share with a friend via email, facebook, or twitter.

Playing Chords With Flavor

We all love to hear rich and full sounding chords when people play. It seems like some guys know just what to play, and how to play to really play with a lot of flavor.

Here are a few tips that I use to add more flavor to my chords. 

  • Find The Sweet Spot

I look for the place on the piano or organ that is the optimum place for  a particular chord. Doing something as simple as moving a chord up or down an octave can dramatically enhance the sound of a chord that you are playing.  I look for the place or area on the keyboard where the chord is not too high, or too low but rather just right.  If you play your chords too far to the left your chords can start to sound muddy and if you play your chords too far to the right they can start to sound thin. I love for chords to sound rich, full, clear,

  • Try Different Chord Inversions

Experimenting with chord inversions is another way to really enhance the sound of your chords. An inversion of a chord is to change the position of the notes of the chords while still playing the same note names.


The notes are the same but you change the arrangement or position of those particular notes.

A good rule of thumb is that how ever many different notes you have in a particular chord, then that is at least how many different positions that you can play that particular chord.

  • Adding Notes To Chord

Another effective thing to do in order to really add more flavor to your chords are to add additional notes to your chords.

For example: If I am playing a C major chord which are the notes C -E -G.

I love to add the second scale degree of the chord to add a bit of flavor to the chord.



C  is the root or 1st scale degree

E is the 3rd scale degree

G is the 5th scale degree

The second scale degree for the C major chord is the note D.

So I would play:


Adding the 2nd scale degree is an easy way to add flavor to most chords (not every chord)

The 6th scale degree is another note that works well in adding notes to chords (not every chord)

Experimentation is really the best way to discover what works and what does not.

  • Study Other Musicians

I have learned so many wonderful and flavorful chords from other musicians. I am a big advocate for studying great musicians. Learn what they do and how they do it.

This is not to try to copy the person but rather learn how they think about playing. You can learn the concepts that they are using and can apply those concepts and come up with your own unique approach to it yourself.  Or if you really love how they play then copy them. It will be okay. lol But in the process look for your own style and voice when you play.

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Pick a Key!

There were several people that responded to a previous post that I posted a while back. The subject of the post was Music is Mathematical. I decided to expound on the subject a little more. If you have any of my training videos you know that I advocate learning all 12 of your major scales fluently. The reason I advocate them so strongly is because knowing the scales can really open up some great possibilities for you.

I will give you an example of one way of many that it can help you. Recently, I was asked to play for a funeral of a young man that passed away. I agreed to play for it but there was no rehearsal for the musical selections in the funeral.  Unfortunately, we had to wing it. I was told what songs were going to be sung but I didn’t know how the singers wanted to do the songs nor did I know what key they wanted to sing the songs in.

This is the problem. I could have easily learned to play the songs in the original keys but what if the original keys were either to high or low for the singers. Musicians have to be flexible. If the song has notes in it that are too high for the singer to hit then you might have to lower the key of the song to something that is more comfortable. If you play for a church or ministries you may have to do things like that and if you don’t you still should know how to.

I knew that we would not  have a rehearsal so I decided to chart the songs using the number system. The way that I do it is, I write down what number or scale degree the particular chord falls on and then I write beside it what type of chord it is (major, minor, suspended, etc.)

Please excuse my chicken scratch but it works for me. lol

Approaching it like this will make the key of the song not even matter. However, you must know all 12 major scales with the  corresponding scale degree or number that goes to each note of the scale.  For example the F major scale is F -G-A-Bb-C-D-E

  • F is the first note of the scale so F is number 1.
  • D is the sixth note of the scale so D is number 6
  • G is the second note of the scale so G is number 2

When you know all 12 major scales and what number goes to each note in each scale then you can easily do this.

If you are playing a particular song in the key of F and the chord progression in the song is Fmaj –   Dmin7 –  G7  – Csus7

You can now plug in the numbers for each chord. It would be this.

(1)maj – (6)min7-(2)7- (5)sus7

Now you can take the numbered chords and apply that to ANY key that you want, IF you know all of your major scales and know your basic chords. Check of this video of an easy way to play your basic chords in every key. This video comes from the Learn To Play In All 12 Keys DVD Course.

Like I mentioned earlier I played for a funeral of a young man that passed away. There where hundreds and hundreds of people there. I didn’t want the musical selections to be a flop so I did what I needed to do to adjust to the singers and not the singers having to adjust to me.

Everything went over very well but I attribute it to knowing my scales and chords and having the knowledge of applying the number system to my playing.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this or hear any questions that you might have. Also, if you have found this post to be helpful then share it with a friend via facbook, twitter or email. Thanks