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Practice with Me - 2

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

Week 2 - Bottom-Two-DOWN

Week 2 of our 3 week goal. Learning to play a music BASIC on the piano in all 12 keys. This week the I-V chord progression with Bottom-Two-DOWN.

Our three week goal - learning I-IV-V chord progressions is the FouNDaTioN of music. From Vivaldi to P!NK, it's everywhere and knowing how to do it easily, in every key, is a BASIC. Every key? Could you read or write anything if you learned only half the alphabet?

Warm up - review all 12 major triads. Haven't played them all yet? View this short video


Start by voicing a G major (I) and D major (V) chord. Voicing means moving from chord to chord smoothly. It's the way chords move so they don’t leap about and get in the way of the melody.

1. G Major (I) - D major (V)

  • Play a G major triad in root position (with your LH)

  • Move the bottom 2 notes of the chord down to the 3rd and 5th of D major (F# and A)

  • Now move the bottom 2 notes back up to G major (back to G and B)

That’s I – V – I in G Major. Ta Da!

2. A major (I) - E major (V)

  • Play an A major triad in root position

  • Move the bottom 2 notes down to the 3rd and 5th of E major (G# and B)

  • Move them back up to A major (back to A and C#)

That’s I – V – I in A Major!

3. Repeat 1. and 2. a few times. Notice in both keys the bottom note goes down a semi-tone and the middle note goes down a whole tone. That's the pattern. When it's comfy do it in all 12 keys.

EVERY KEY!?! Definitely.

Practice tips for fastest results :-)

  • Play the chords only when you have all the right notes under your fingers so your ear hears a correct sound. If you play a chord 2 – 3 times incorrectly before you get it right, your ear hears chaos and you’re probably playing too fast. No learning happens. Sigh :-(

  • Follow the pattern ... Bottom-Two-Down with mini-circles. Play 3 keys a day and play along with this VIDEO on I-V. No time for a video? Place the Circle of Fifths on your music rack. The (V) chord is always beside the (I) chord on the circle!

Day 1 – I-V in the ALL WHITE chord keys C F and G (starts at the beginning of the VIDEO)

Day 2 – MOUNTAIN chord keys A D and E ( (I) chords shaped like a mountain – 2:29 on the VIDEO)

Day 3 - VALLEY chord keys Ab (A flat) Db and Eb ( (I) chords shaped like a valley – 4:16 on the VIDEO)

Day 4 – ODD BALL chord keys B Bb and F# ( (I) chords that have a unique shape – 5:50 on the VIDEO)


Day 5 – 6 keys in the Circle of Fifths from G – Ab

Day 6 – 6 keys in the Circle of Fifths from Gb – G

Day 7 – Day of Rest ( Addicted? Try the whole circle!)

Added FUN - Groove on I-V with these different songs. Play the melody by ear...

Opening to Happy Birthday (melody starts on 5th of home key)

Happy (I) Birthday to (V) you Happy (V) Birthday to (I) you

Opening to Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (melody starts on 5th of home key)

(I) Rudolph The Red Nosed (I) Reindeer (I) Had a very shiny (V) Nose (V) And if you ever (V) saw it (V) You would even say it (I) glows

Opening to Ben by Michael Jackson (melody starts on 5th of home key)

(I) Ben, the two of us need (V) look no more, (I) we both found what we were (V) looking for.

Circle of 5ths in groups of 3
All White, Mountain, Valley and Oddball chord groups

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