Seeking Harmonic Apprentice

Are you intrigued by the Circle of Fifths? Do you wonder where melodies come from? Do traditional methods of learning harmony leave you confused and uninspired? If so, please read on.

I am a composer, musician and teacher and have spent more than sixty years discovering the never-ending connections in music and harmony and the journey continues each day. I explore harmony while playing and learning songs. The simple path to learning all of the nuances of harmony and the dance between melody and chords is to simply play songs!

What could be more fun or more efficient? The goal of piano lessons is to play songs we like, not scales, exercises or trite pieces that are learned and forgotten by the dozens. For the past five years, all of my students have only worked on learning the songs they want to play. It is a highly successful system that brings quick results and makes practicing a joy rather than a chore. Learning to read traditional notation is not a priority until one has learned several pieces and has built up familiarity with the keyboard and confidence while playing. At every step of the learning process, connections between melodies and chords can be seen and the understanding of chord structure and the development of one's musical ear are an organic flow.

The website Learn Music Now (upper left link) illustrates this method while teaching a basic two-hand arrangement of the song "Scarborough Faire" made famous by Simon and Garfunkel. Short videos along with text instructions are used to learn the song by rote. If you are a beginner considering this method, I highly recommend you test it out at your leisure. Spending 15-20 minutes a day working with this course can have you playing the song in a week or so. In the traditional method I used to employ years ago, learning this same song took a minimum of six months after learning dozens of tedious, forgettable pieces.

My name is Duane Frybarger and I have been making music for over six decades. I have found that people learn best by playing their favorite songs. Practicing is enjoyable and the rewards are immense. This course illustrates my philosophy of learning which is by playing the music we love, we enjoy the entire learning process. Why am I offering this? Because this is much better than a trial lesson. This is a series of lessons that you can test for yourself at your own pace and discover if it is a way of learning that works for you. If you like what's here and this way of learning, we can work together to learn your favorite songs using the same techniques.

If you are not a beginner and need help, advice or support in any area including harmony, efficient practice methods, performance techniques, improvisation, arrangements, composition, etc. we will use the same method of working on the songs you are currently learning, want to learn or are developing.

Please use the top link on the upper left to enter the Learn Music Now main page and start enjoying playing Scarborough Faire!

To hear samples of my solo piano improvisations and compositions, ukulele improvisations and compositions and MIDI composition, please visit the Listening Room link on the upper left to enter my music website.

Contact Information

For more information, please send an email to dfrybarger at gmail dot com.