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As you begin learning how to play piano, it’s important to develop an understanding of basic music theory while you build your technique and fundamental mechanics. One very critical piece of introductory music theory that beginner piano players all need to know is the difference between the two most common musical tonalities: major and minor.

 

In this online piano lesson for beginners, keyboard instructor at CSU Los Angeles and ArtistWorks’ “Beginner’s Guide to Piano” teacher, Zachary Deak, outlines the fundamental difference between major and minor tonalities in the context of Pentascales. He illustrates each tonality’s unique sonic characteristics using parallel major and minor Pentascales in the key of C as an example.

 

LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play piano from a master musician and member of the CSU Los Angeles keyboard faculty? Try some free online piano lessons now!

 

Pentascales are five-note diatonic scales that consist of the first five notes found in the major or minor scale of that key. For example, in the key of C major, the Pentascale is made up of the notes C, D, E, F, and G.

 

“There is only one note difference between the major and minor Pentascales,” Zachary explains. “What’s so amazing is that by just changing that one note, we completely change the character of the scale, which, in turn, changes the emotive quality of the piece, melody, or harmony that we’re performing.”

 

Understanding the difference between the major and minor Pentascale will allow you to translate those differences directly to major and minor chords, specifically triads. This is an essential next step in better internalizing music theory concepts.

 

“Getting really comfortable switching between major and minor key centers and chords is really important,” explains Zachary. “As you progress in your practice, you’ll quickly come to see how many pieces that we all know and love utilize these movements.”

 

To learn more about the difference between major and minor tonalities as they relate to Pentascales and triads, and how to transition between them, dive into this online piano lesson designed specifically for adult beginners from Zachary Deak:

 

Major vs. Minor Pentascales with Zachary:

 

 

LEARN MORE:

Have you always wanted to learn how to play piano? Through our comprehensive beginner piano lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn directly from CSU Los Angeles piano instructor, Zachary Deak, and get personal feedback on your playing.

 

Zachary’s comprehensive course teaches all the fundamental beginner piano basics and will quickly get you playing your favorite classic piano music. This is the perfect course for adult beginners and first-time players and will lead all students to grow and improve their skills as pianists and musicians.

 

Try out some free sample music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!

 

READ MORE:

Two New “Beginner’s Guide” Courses Now Open for Piano and Rock Guitar

Piano Lesson: Creating an Effective Practice Regimen with Hugh Sung

Classical Piano Lesson: Practicing with the F.E.R.N. Approach with Christie Peery

 

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