I was sitting at the piano planning what to play and say for ‘Lesson 8: Sus and Slash Chords’ but I got a bit distracted and started doodling. I stumbled across this modern progression which I thought was worth sharing.

I love progressions with simple, pure endings like the F and C chords I’ve used here. Unmodified and clean, they contrast nicely against the complexity of the first two chords in the progression. Oh, and what’s with the beach photo? Well, that’s where I was yesterday.

The sequence is easy to learn, however I know most of you will be more interested in the passing and filler notes used between the chords. I shot this fairly quickly in one take, so I didn’t stop to explain all the passing notes. As I mention in the video, to learn how to effectively use filler notes, it’s more important to learn WHEN to play the notes rather than WHICH notes to play. In many cases, the notes I use come from the chord or I use the 2nd or 7th, so there’s nothing fancy about the notes I play – there’s no magic scale.

What makes my filler notes effective is the balance of differing note durations (ie. some long notes contrasting against a burst of semiquavers) and the all important expression of the notes. The filler notes don’t compete with my chords – they take second place, being played softly with the occasional accent.

Loop the video and get the style into your head. Tap along on the table to get a feel for the rhythm of the filler notes. Once you get the ‘feel’, choosing the right notes is not too challenging.