My original song, Walk My Way, is composed of two basic chords (A7 and D7). However, this simple harmonic structure is filled out with elaborate parallel harmonies. All of these harmonies are derived from either the mixolydian or blues scales that correspond to these two chords. This technique creates the illusion of a much more complex harmonic structure.
The parallel harmonies of the right hand are further complemented by the style of straddled octaves in the left hand. The rhythmic performance of these straddled octaves varies between straight hits, syncopated accents and triplet patterns in combination with the right hand chords. These varied rhythmic options in combination with chromatic lines serve to create a left hand part that both compliments the right hand and fills out the arrangement.
The final element of this arrangement is the use of occasional riffs based off of the A blues scale. These riffs provide a temporary break from the primary playing format. The skillful combination of parallel harmony (with varied motion), left hand straddled octaves and blues riffs creates a varied and full arrangement that remains interesting and fresh. In the video, I clearly demonstrate the use of all these techniques.
This Learning Music With Ray video discusses a basic application of parallel harmony piano patterns within gospel and R&B music. In this lesson, I provide a step by step demonstration (and explanation) of the parallel harmony piano patterns found in my arrangement of the original song Walk My Way. I also provide an explanation of the left hand techniques and musical riffs used throughout the song arrangement.