Lesson 53

Silver Birch Tree: Adding Chords

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21 Comments

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Debbie

    Hi Mr. Hoffman,
    Thank you for your wonderful lessons.
    I have a question on how to get the V7 chord from the main chord. I recall from previous lesson that you should move the lowest key one-half step down and the middle key one-half step up. For D-minor here, you moved the middle key a whole-step up, from F key to G key, and that is a whole-step up (if just move half-step up, it should be the F# key). So are there different rules to get V7 chord for different scales?

    Thank you,
    Debbie

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Hi Debbie!
      That’s a great question! When you start with a major chord, you always move the lowest note a half-step down and the middle note a half-step up to get the V7 chord. But when you start with a minor chord, the middle note goes up a whole step. This is because the middle note for a minor I chord is already a half-step lower than the middle note for the corresponding major chord. (for example, the I chord for D major is D, F#, A but the I chord for D minor is D, F, A). Because of this difference, when you start with a minor chord, you need to move the middle note an extra half-step up to make the V7 chord. I hope that makes sense! Let me know if you’re still having trouble with the concept and I’ll try to explain further.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Megan

    Hi Mr. Hoffman,
    I noticed in the printed materials that lesson 44 is supposed to teach about chords; however, the video lesson does not correspond with the material printed. So during the lesson 53 video it was really difficult for my son to follow along. Was that a change made in later years? Also, any suggestions for how my 5-year old could simplify those chords for Silver Birch-maybe just play the top 2 notes instead?

    Thanks for you time!

    Megan

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Hi Megan! Yes, Mr. Hoffman got excited about making some adjustments and additions in order to improve the skill building in the earlier lessons. The addition of a couple new video lessons, along with the streamlining of the learning flow, required some adjusting and reordering of lessons and lesson numbers in the first three units. We have created this chart to help you figure out how to jump into our new system without missing a beat: Transition Instructions We are currently in the process of creating a new version of our materials for Unit 3. Once this is finished and made available you should be able to re-download the Unit 3 materials in order to have the most updated version, which will match the new video lesson order.

      And as far as simplifying the chords go, you can use Mr. Hoffman’s advice in Lesson 53 and just play the top 2 notes of the IV & V7 chords. If you need to simplify the I chord, you can leave out the middle finger and only play fingers 1 and 5.

      I hope this helps! Good luck and Happy Playing!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Brooke Joppich

    Hi Mr Hoffman I am just wondering if there are any chords for the second part of silver Birch Tree?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      No, there aren’t. This arrangement has both hands play in unison for the second part. Thanks for checking!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Drew

    Do you use iMovie to make your videos?

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Some of our videos were edited with Adobe Premiere Elements, and some with Final Cut Pro. I hope that helps!

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Katherine

    Mr. Hoffman,
    I just want to drop a note to say thank for your wonderful and amazing piano teaching skills. Your videos and your materials have helped a lot.
    Thanks much!
    Katherine

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      Thank you! It’s always wonderful to hear that students are enjoying and benefiting from our program. 🙂 – Mr. Hoffman

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    carla

    Hello Mr.Hoffman i am 9 years old and one secret for me and you (i actually did the mellody & the accords together all by myself without you telling me to do it) have a great thanksgiving, carla

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      That is fantastic! I’m impressed that you took the initiative to challenge yourself in your piano practice. Keep up the great work! – Mr. Hoffman

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Moriah

    Hello Mr. Hoffman,
    thank you so much for your lessons! They have helped me so much! I have bought the materials and printed them and I played “Silver Birch Tree” before watching your lesson with the chords. I am 13 and I have done your lessons for over a year now.
    Thanks again, Moriah Howard

    • Hoffman Academy logo
      Hoffman Academy

      That is wonderful! Keep up the good work. – Mr. Hoffman

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Teresa

    awesome I got the song…. Thanks Mr. Hoffman.

  • Hand-drawn avatar
    Marites Grier

    This is a beautiful website… Thank you.