Minor Line Cliché
Minor Line Cliché for Solo Piano
What can you do to make the song sound interesting when the chord is just sitting there to be held for such a long time? Note: guitarists can strum that one chord, but as a pianist you need to do something. Otherwise, you end up just holding one chord. Dull!
If you’ve ever heard a few minor chords in a row, but noticed that there was a descending bass line, chances are that you’re hearing the Minor Line Cliché. If you’ve ever look at a song and see the SAME minor chord lasting for two or more measures and wondered how to make it interesting, chances are that you’ll solve the problem by using the Minor Line Cliché.
Watch Ed Mascari’s video on the Minor Line Cliché for a simple straight forward explanation of the Minor Line Cliché. How it got it’s name, how to play it and when to use it.
Example No. 1 – Shows the Minor Line Cliché in block chords. Notice the chord symbols above the treble staff. Then look at the bass clef notes that you play for each chord.
Sometimes song books show the following chord symbols for the Minor Line Cliché: Gmin – Gb+ – Bb/F – C9 or Gmin – Gmin/maj7 – Gmin7 – Gmin6.
Example No. 2 – Shows the Minor Line Cliché with the um pah pattern.
You can use this pattern with the Minor Line Cliché when you are playing three note chords with um pah in songslike Anything You Can Do.
Example No. 3 – Minor Line Cliché with the alberti bass pattern (split chords).
You can use this pattern with the Minor Line Cliché when you are playing the other three note chords of the song withthe alberti bass accompaniment or even to provide contrast to fuller accompaniments, like My Funny Valentine.
Example No. 4 – Minor Line Cliché with rolling 10ths.
This works when you want a fuller and sometimesmore dramatic left hand accompaniment style. You can use the Minor Line Cliché with rolling 10ths in flowing songs such as The Summer Knows.
The next three examples will show you different ways to play the Minor Line Cliché with the 10th system. You can choose which of these you want to use based on the tempo, the accompaniment pattern in the rest of the song, your personal taste and/or ease of playing.
Example No. 5 – Minor Line Cliché using the 10th system.
This is the simplest and most common way that I play the Minor Line Cliché in songs that use the10th system, like How High the Moon.
Example No. 6 – Minor Line Cliché a stride piano accompaniment.
This is a good way to play the Minor Line Cliché with a stride piano accompaniment, like in Blue Skies.
Example No. 7 – Minor Line Cliché a walking bass accompaniment.
This is a good way to play the Minor Line Cliché with a walking bass accompaniment, like in Let’s Fall in Love.
Example No. 8 – Minor Line Cliché when it needs to fit into one measure.
This shows two ways to play the Minor Line Cliché when it needs to fit into one rather than the usual two measures, as in Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.
Get Ed Mascari’s arrangement of Blue Skies that he plays in his video on the Minor Line Cliché. This is a great example of the Minor Line Cliché at work in a wonderful standard from the American Song Book. Many of our piano students enjoy learning about and playing this wonderful music.