KEY SHAPES SERIES

TETRACHORD WARM UP EXERCISES

© 2015 Clark Chaffee

  

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PRIMARY GOALS 

  1. Strengthen the ear-hand connection. 
  2. Learn the sound and feel of all 6 tetrachords and all 7 tetrachord pairs in the diatonic tetrachord cycle.

Here are the titles of the sections of the document.
SET THE LEFT HAND IN APPROPRIATE SHAPE. 
LEARNING THE FOUR MAIN TETRACHORD PATTERNS

Beginning to use the interval names as this process becomes familiar.

THE TETRACHORD CYCLE    

MASTERING THE 7 TETRACHORD PAIRS IN THE CYCLE

BUILDING AWARENESS OF INTERVAL NAMES AND MODE NAMES

 

 

THE 7 TETRACHORD PAIRS ON ONE STRING    
THE 7 TETRACHORD PAIRS USING 'SHIFT ASCENDING, CROSS STRINGS DESCENDING'    
GUIDING CELLO PLAYERS THROUGH THIS PROCESS. HOW & WHY
GUIDING BASS PLAYERS THROUGH THIS PROCESS. HOW & WHY
TETRACHORD CYCLE -> 'KEY SHAPES'
 

Filling out a Key Shapes Work Sheet (available only on this site) for each of the 15 key signatures does not take much time. Doing this work makes a crystal clear connection from any key signature to the hand shapes it creates on the instrument.

 

This process is applicable to wind instruments as well but without the benefit of easily labeled "key shapes". To attain comparable knowledge gain: pick any pitch; play the major scale up & back down from that pitch; add a sharp (or subtract a fiat) to that signature & play that scale (the 4th will be raised 1/2 step from major); to add another sharp one would have to change the starting pitch so start adding flats to the major signature; continue this process adding 2, 3, 4, and 5 flats. At 6 flats one would again have to change the starting pitch. This process is rarely done in classical and school training but is fundamental to jazz training. It is called learning the "Modes". 

The end goal of this process is to be able to start on any pitch
then confidently move up or down any scale in which that note exists.