Modulations

Includes 2 hours of instruction and a study guide with classwork and examples

Modulations are not difficult if you know a few basic formulas. This 2-hour course will teach you four simple formulas and one advanced strategy for modulations.

A study guide with illustrations is included.

What you will learn in this course:
  • The universal formula for modulations that works between any two keys.
  • A simple modulation to go up a half step.
  • A modulation for moving down a fifth.
  • A modulation that requires no theory knowledge at all.
  • A strategy for more sophisticated modulations based on the concept of pivot chords.
  • How to make modulations work within the context of the song.
  • How modulations can help "shape" a song.


Package Savings: Purchase this course as part of the Arrangers Package and save $40. Learn more.

Back to School Savings: Save 25% on select packages with coupon FALL2014P. Valid through 9/2/14.

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Pay on your own schedule! Spend at least $80 and spread your payments over 5-8 months.

Want to talk to me before purchasing? My phone number is 888-815-9082 and I will answer any questions you want to ask to help you decide what courses you should buy. (If you get my voice mail, leave a message and I will call you back.)

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Prerequisites (what you need to know to understand this course)

1. How to read music (general basics such as naming notes, counting, key signatures, etc.).
2. An understanding of basic theory. You must be able to know how to build diatonic 7th chords (such as ii7 and V7. If you need help in this area, consider purchasing Theory for Church Pianists from GregHowlett.com.
3. To understand the last section of this course, you should understand basic functional harmony (how chords move). Only advanced pianists will use the last section, and you do not technically need it to do great modulations. If you want to understand functional harmony, consider purchasing Reharmonization from GregHowlett.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your return policy?
If you purchase and want to return this product, you are welcome to do so within 90 days of the purchase date. We have yet to see our first return!

How is this course different from all the rest on the market?
It is different in one very significant way. It is based on understanding harmony. There are methods for teaching congregational accompaniment that do not focus on harmony. While you may initially learn quicker using those methods, you will limit your long term potential.

What kind of church music will the concepts work with?
You can use these concepts with any music. In the DVDs, the concepts are demonstrated with simple hymns, but you can use them with practically any modern music.

How does the "Pay On Your Own Schedule" option work?
If you cannot afford to pay for this course right now, you can still get started today. When you check out, you can specify how much you want to be charged each month until the course is paid for. Most courses can be paid for over the course of 5-8 months. Click here to learn more.

Do I have to wait for this course to arrive by mail or can I view it online?
You can order and take the electronic version of this course. You simply need a DSL or similar internet connection. When you order, you will receive the study guide in PDF format and will be able to view/download the course as much as you want. This option will save you money and is especially effective if you have a laptop but no TV in the same room as your piano.
I got this as a Christmas gift from my parents. We were very impressed by how fast it got here after we ordered it. I have just finished the first book and learned a lot from it. The teaching is very simple and easy to understand. I am excited to do the rest of them.
Danny Chamberland

I ordered this package form Greg and it was received very promptly. The DVD's are first class, high quality product and the information is explained very well. One of the very best productions I have purchased. He explains things you need to know without boring you with minutia. There are very good musicians and there are very good teachers/instructors and most of the time they do not come in the same package. Greg is an excellent musician and also a very good teacher/instructor. I will purchase other products from Greg.
Clark R Doughty

I highly recommend Greg Howlett's course on reharmonization for anybody desiring to do more than just reproduce notes on a page. Greg will teach you how music works and how to take control of what you are playing. I taught myself how to reproduce notes, but this course taught me how to actually play the piano. It was exactly what I needed to make my music come alive, and all of my subsequent development as a pianist has built upon this foundation. Apart from learning basic theory and how to analyzed chords in hymns, I would not go any further without taking this course. These concepts are so important for hymn improvisation. Do not get this course if you are looking for a quick gimmicky method for learning piano. The concepts presented here will take months or longer to learn and even years to master.
J&E Woods

In this DVD serie is evrything included that you need to understand music, chords and the way they move, tensions and so on. The content of this DVD's should be standard when you start to learn a instrument, because they include everything that you could need even for beginners and also for advanced pianoplayer. I'm playing piano for many years and I was always looking to find a way to make my playing more interesting. The DVD from Greg Howlett helped me so much and it helps you, even if you want to create your own music!
Mag Brigitte Biskup

I have tried to study jazz books for 3 decades to learn how to play more interesting and colorful chords. I wish I had found this information then. I was so ready for this and I loved it! It made SO much sense of why I had struggled before. It seems so simple now! Thank you Greg! This was my missing piece!
Debra L.

I studied piano and music composition at a conservatory for 6 years and never received such a practical and instantly usable explanation to functional harmony as Greg presents here.

Having experience with basic harmonic concepts is a must, which Greg is clear about. I'd recommend this to any church pianist looking to move beyond 4 part hymns.
Joshua Andrew Walsh

This set takes the player from the basics to substitution chords and alternate harmony chords. This style is very straightforward and easy to understand. I really appreciate Greg sharing his expertise and methods.
Linda

This course by Greg Howlett can be easily followed by most musicians. Greg talks the viewer clearly and in detail through the various aspects of the course and includes exercises and answers for practice. Principles taught in this course are really useful for church pianists and anyone who has to play off lead sheets. After being given this course as a gift, I worked through it at my own pace and I would recommend this product to any musician keen to learn principles of playing off lead sheets.
Heath

This has definitely helped me learn more about piano playing! I play a lot by ear and on request so it has helped me expand my level of creativity. This product is great and I would recommend it for anyone!
Lisa

I have enjoyed Greg's music for several years. For me, the attraction was that he synchs well the rules of theory with the art of improvisation, employing both to produce a good product. So when I learned he was teaching how to do that I wanted to learn more. I've just started his series and it is remarkably easy to follow. Several times I found myself almost saying "oh that's what that is". You will be surprised how much you learn in just one hour. Give it a try.
Anonymous

I learned how to chart a song from Greg and I really love his lesson. He teaches us to be able to substitute chords in ways that sound better. If we want to serve the Lord and congregation better we should be able to do this better and Greg shows you how to do that :)

I think learning theory is very fundamental and basic to improvising your music. Greg teaches the importance of theory, how we apply the theory and he teaches in a way that is easy to understand. He also gives check points for us to really absorb and practice on our own. Great teacher & great lesson!
Lily Winoto

I've been playing the piano for over 10 years with a very basic understanding of theory. My understanding of theory was basically that certain chords go with certain keys, but I really didn't why. . All of the theory covered was easy to understand and practical. All the concepts that taught made sense and left no questions in my mind as how to apply them. I would highly recommend this course to any one, particularity someone who has always read notes but wants to improvise. I am very excited to FINALLY understand how music works and I'm looking forward to doing more of Greg's courses.
Sarah N

I am pretty much a self-taught pianist. When I saw this DVD available, I was hoping that it would help me understand some of the basics. I must say it has been very helpful, and has taken some of the mystery out of chords and the circle of fifths for me. Greg has a way of presenting the concepts clearly and simply. Anytime I didn't quite understand a concept, it was easy to go back and view it again. I am looking forward to the next DVD in the course.
Cynthia M Walters

To start off, I have always been fascinated with the piano, primarily church piano -- I just love the lush sounds it provides. With that said, I taught myself some piano before taking formal lessons a couple of years ago. Let me just say there is A LOT to learn on the piano. With regards to theory, in my current piano lessons, I just study theory on the side and then clarify with my instructor. About a year ago, I even purchased a music theory course -- however, I was unable to finish it because I lost interest (although I got through half of it). Now, moving onto the first foundational course of the series: Theory for Church Pianist.

Greg does a good job of presenting enough (theory) information and then providing lessons (in a workbook/study guide that corresponds with the lesson). This works for me because it gives me a structure and a routine. I don't really find courses that just disseminate information particularly useful and motivating. The lessons are concise enough but packed with very good information. You have to get down to the nitty gritty and work on some things -- for example, having to write out triads, having to write out 4 note chords, having to find color notes in certain keys, etc. With that said, one of the only pitfalls was I did find a discrepancy with the answers for the "diatonic 4-chord" checkpoint answers (in the workbook); however, upon watching the dvd (where he also goes over the answers), he talks the reader through the correct answer -- so although there was a moment of confusion and panic, those feelings were resolved when I popped in the dvd (to that particular section) -- as he provides an answer key (in the study guide) but also goes over the answers on the dvd.

Overall, I feel that these may be advanced concepts, but Greg does a good job of presenting this theory in a way that is inviting to the student and he does have a knack for being able to progress the students through these concepts. I am currently working on going over the Circle of Fifths in all 12 keys ... although it is a cumbersome task, I am motivated to do so ... and Greg has a huge role in that! I believe this course will provide a good foundation for the types of things I want to learn on the piano. And it is important that I stay diligent ... as there are more dvds I can't wait to work on in the series! But just taking it one step at a time!
Lex E

I went through this entire course about a year ago and am getting ready to go through it again and see what else I can pick up. I was a good classical pianist and competent in basic diatonic harmony, but had no formal training in theory and found even the apparently most basic introductions to advanced harmony to be incomprehensible. The format of this course, the well defined topics and progression, the informal discussion, the examples and the exercises provide just enough of the missing clues I needed to start 'getting' the structure of the music I had always been playing that had previously seemed just arbitrary. My playing immediately became enormously richer and I am still working on being able to proficiently apply many of the ideas. I was also able to finally start making headway with some Jazz harmony books that had long defeated me.

One important practical lesson was the importance of building a competent but unconscious knowledge of the basic before being able to build on it. The assignment for lesson 1 is basically 'learn the major and minor scales in all keys'. You will get much more out of these lesson if you do so, and likewise for learn of the 7th chords cold, .... The importance of voicings and the ideas for choosing them was also a revelation.

I do play in church and came across this through that, but I haven't now found any similar sort of program that covers the breadth of topics so completely and coherently and presented so well. So while there are some church specific topics (hymns, stride,...) this material is really very general and I can recommend it to anyway needing some help over the hump from basic competence to a deeper understanding in the hope of becoming a more inspired player.
Mike Schacht

I read music but because I had never learned how to chord I had been chained to my music books and it was difficult to keep practiced on all the pieces I need to play. This is the way to freedom--thanks for thoroughly covering all I will ever need to be an accomplished church pianist.
JZ

What I appreciate most about Greg is his teaching on theory, and even more importantly, how to use the theory. He gives you the foundation you need to go anywhere you want to with your music, unlike some teachers who show you how to play a few songs, but by the time you get home you can't remember what they told you to do. It has helped me to be able to take ideas I hear and use them in my own music, or to be able to make my own arrangements.
D. Sherman

I was so excited when my parents purchased the Complete Set of Church Pianist Courses by Greg Howlett. For me, as a 16-year-old early-advanced pianist, I was looking for something that would challenge me at my current level without necessarily taking the college route. I showed this set to my piano teacher, and she said it was the first time she had seen someone so thoroughly explain the concepts and principles that church pianists use when accompanying. I really appreciate how Greg Howlett explains the "why" of piano playing, giving you practical advice which you can apply to your own music.
Anonymous

I have worked through about a third of the Complete Set of Church Pianist Courses by Greg Howlett and have thoroughly enjoyed and understood each concept taught! It is very organized and not confusing at all. The homework is very helpful in solidifying what was taught in the previous section. I have learned very much so far on becoming a better church pianist and can't wait to finish the course!
Morgan

I bought Greg Howlett's whole sets of instructional DVDs last year. I have studied half of them and it has been a great and rewarding lesson. I live in Indonesia and so I had the softcopy version .mp4 downloaded to my laptop. It has Greg's live teaching on that DVD and I feel that he's very easy to understand although sometimes the subject itself is not that easy. But I improve a lot by learning his DVDs and thus better serve the church I'm accompanying :) Praise the Lord!
Lily Winoto

I have been teaching my daughter piano for over 8 years. But she's passing me by and I was looking for more challenge for her. This is the second Greg Howlett course she's taken and we're both very pleased with all she's learned. I chose this course after hearing from Greg's ad that anyone can learn to play by ear. I don't play by ear and thought it was a gift you either had or didn't. I have been so blessed to begin hearing my daughter play by ear as well as stylize and personalize her music. She's 14 years old and enjoys learning from him saying he explains things well and she enjoys the courses. To let you know how great these courses are, I bought one or two first and then bought about six more when he had a sale.
Anonymous

I bought the Congregational Accompaniment book and DVDs a few months ago and have enjoyed them. I often play the piano at my church and have found these lessons to be very helpful. Whether you are begining or have played church piano before the lessons are useful. Some points were a review and some of the lessons were new concepts for me. The style Greg uses to teach is casual with clear instructions that are easy to follow.
Bryan N Snyder

The pianist in our small church needed help and support, as she brings 3 small grandchildren to church. Greg's down-to-earth philosophy regarding congregational accompaniment has given me the courage to "come out of the wordwork" and give her some relief on rare occasions. His teaching of the stride method gives me comfort that simple is better for the congregation. With the independent study that I can do with the DVDs, hopefully my support for our wonderful and dedicated pianist will become more than rare. I am also fascinated with music theory, and love the thought of arranging. I look forward to that direction also. Greg emphasizes that the message of the music is most important, not the quantity of embellishments that the pianist can incorporate. I love that philosophy. Greg has been an answer to prayer.
Julie Tanner

I bought several of Greg 's courses a month ago and this is my favorite. He gives very easy to follow instructions for each step. There is a lot of flexibility to this method so you can adapt it to your style and make it your own. It is not a "cookie cutter" method. I will be using this method with my piano students and have recommended it to many people.
Lori Knutsen

I have reviewed many piano courses since beginning as a music director in the seventies and your course is by far the best I have reviewed and studied. Now as a pastor I am excited to be able to share it with our piano students and seasoned pianists serving in our ministry. Thank you for sharing your love for music and especially your emphasis on congregational accompaniment.

Tim Sparks
In a nutshell, it was an absolutely incredible experience to go through the content/techniques, samples and your experience. I have been playing keyboards since over 15 years and it was a pain to understand how to get these special harmonies/ sounds/ progressions going beyond the usual chords. I have referred to a number of sources and purchased the courses without much success in increasing my understanding and the skill level. It is your course which I think provides a very well insight into the aspect of reharmonization.

E.g. There are many courses that explain how to organise a 9th/ 11th/ 13th chord however it is only you who were spot on to teach that we should try and put the melody note on the 11th/ 13th and take it 'off the scale'. This was amazing.

I must say, I was very impressed and for this content I would have happily paid double. You should consider repricing this particular course.. :-)

A. D.
Your presentation of the lessons are great and the lessons are very informative and interesting. I love your teaching style and it's a lot of fun to listen to you and then watch your demonstrations on the piano of what you've covered, all of which are very clear and easy to understand.

Barbara
I really enjoyed your course on congregational accompaniment! I am currently beginning to play hymns using your octave interval tip as outlined in your course. I find it challenging and rewarding to incorporate this tip into our worship service. I hope in the future to order another course from you and would highly recommend your course to any pianist who desires to play better!

Darlene Hoggatt, Montana
Very good stuff - informative, straight to the point, useful and helpful in teaching myself to play the piano...

Peter, England
I received the DVD's last week, started one and have been encouraging my friends who are pianists to sit down and watch the DVD's with me . Every course you offer is either an area that I needed to know how to teach others, an area I desired for self improvement, or any area I had given up believing I could do.

I am inspired to keep learning because the DVD's offer the tools to actually improve my skills in a systematic, easy to understand format. Having the DVD is like bringing my own teacher to Brazil.

I have been here for four years participating on a team that is church planting, working in the areas of music and teaching. My primary goal with those I receive as students is to help equip the local church in the are of music; thus, I train to the specific end of developing hymn players. This course seems tailored to my situation-- improving my skills and visualizing the specific steps to pass on to others as I teach here. Because of how you have organized your courses, I have a clearer sense of what I could teach as a class (theory, charting songs, etc.) here at the Bible college.

Thank you so much for investing so much time into the video clips, links and DVD's. It is HUGE to me that the Lord brought all this across my path.

Tati Cordeiro
Your DVD's have helped me understand things concerning chords that have had me confused for a long time. The DVD on charting a song has been an eye-opener in learning the relationship of one chord to another. I had learned to play what was on the score but never before understood the theory behind the music. You have explained difficult things in easily understood terms.

Charles Dicks
I have just about finished previewing the three movies contained in this package. I have been playing for about 20+ years and for the most part self instructed with the exception of some very brief periods where I had the time to take some { music Therapy as I called it} with a great pianist here in NYC. I must tell you how much I enjoyed the lessons so far. I have really just watched them through at this point, and worked a little on some of the instruction, however, you manner of teaching and spirit is great to listen to and be around. I have not played in a Church now for about two years but am open to Gods leading as He wills, but in the meantime, this is fantastic instruction and I will persevere in it for a while to come. Thanks for the great job you have done on this production of the DVD and the patient manner in which you teach.

Charlie V.
I am thirteen years old, and I'm from Singapore. The concepts you taught were quite easy to understand, although I did have to watch it a few times to grasp them fully. Although I have almost no knowledge of theory and charting, the lesson helped me very much area such as open voicing, open arpeggios, rubato, and very importantly, 7ths. I have not really added a lot of color notes, but I found a few that seem to always work. For example, in the key of G major, if there is a D major chord, I like to add an Eb, which is the flat 9th. One color note that I picked up from your arrangement of Just As I Am is the G7 (b9th). It worked very well in the key of C major, especially in the hymns Just As I Am and Sweet Hour of Prayer. I am still trying to apply your concepts to other more complex keys and chords.

Bryner Lee
Hi Greg, thank you so much for your ministry. My friend bought me the arranger's package for Christmas and I just ordered the church musician's package, and I'm really excited to use these tools. Already, I am seeing improvements with my harmonies and such.

Carise F.
I have been reading the website for a couple of years and just decided that I should go ahead and order. Greg teaches so you can really understand. I am a music major and have been involved in music for many years. The problem is that I first took all my music theory 15 years ago and have started back to try to get my degree finished....well, I have found that you don't remember theory if you don't apply it and use it. So I can hardly wait to start working on my new lessons. Thanks you for making them affordable and offering all the free lessons and short clips.

Sheila Bishop
A couple days ago I downloaded a free course on Mood Music off of Greg Howlett's website. I would recommend it to anyone! I really like the way Greg makes things sound so easy and simple! I definitely have a lot of things to keep me busy improving! This is one of those areas that I have never quite gotten mastered and this course has a lot of good tips in it for me to work on!

Paul H.
Thank you for putting these courses together. I have just finished doing your Chart a song course and can already sight identify chords in C, F and G. I appreciate your teaching method and i like the way you present yourself

Raelene
I bought your piano course for my daughter. She is on lesson one...her piano teacher and I thought she she stay there for a year to be thoroughly comfortable with all the chords. She is going to be 12 in February and I am so thankful that she is learning this now. I know your method is going to help her be a wonderful church pianist someday. I am so thankful she loves music. My greatest dream for her is that she will play for the Lord. Your method is so great because you give precise instruction. I can't say enough how much I appreciate what you have done for future Christian musicians!

Delaine Harvey
I am enjoying several of your lessons that you made available this year. I have learned a lot and still trying to apply may concepts. The more that I practice and try the things that you teach, it becomes easier for me. Now, when I play, several of the sub chords are becoming second nature. I mainly play by ear but I can read music but I prefer not to read if I can by with it. I used the hymnal, etc as a guide and improvise much.

Adam
First and foremost I must thank you for all of your teaching. I cannot express how much I've learned from it. Last night I improvised the offertory for my church (I had an idea of the harmony I would use, but that's about all that was prepared beforehand). Much like you have mentioned recently in the blog, the improvised arrangement got a more meaningful response compared to other more organized, formal, and advanced arrangements I've played in the past. Needless to say, after experiencing what this is like I really want to learn the art of improvising, however difficult it may be. I'll be using Inspirational Improvisation to help with that.

Danny Gardner
Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into the "Inspirational Improvisation" DVD's. The section that was most valuable to me as a pianist was the voicing section. The chart you included on pg 15 of the booklet is invaluable. I have never seen anything like that for explaining voicing. I also enjoyed the minor chord substitutions, explanation of color notes, and step progression. If your plans are to do more DVD's, I am personally interested in advanced chord substitution, more voicings, and advanced chord progressions.

This particular series would be difficult for intermediate pianists and for pianists without music degrees. I am thankful to have two degrees in piano performance, however not one of them, or the thousands of piano lessons I have taken, have ever covered the topics in your series, leading me to become a very frustrated church pianist!! For the past several years I have worked to include improvisation in my own teaching curriculum.

Kerry Turner
Hi I ordered and downloaded the course on reharmonization last week. Thanks for your teaching - I am enjoying putting it into practice! I realise I was using some of the techniques already - 7ths, and some chord substitution (especially minor ones - what I would call II and VI).

Caroline C.
I recently purchased your DVD set on Improvisation, and I can't tell you how much I have gotten out of it already. I have been playing the piano for years and like yourself have a classical background. I have read several books on theory and jazz and only with the help of your instruction have been able to start putting two and two together.

Gregg Plese, Tyrone, GA
I recently bought and watched your course. I am doing what you suggested and going over the 5 chords in Lesson 1. Overall the course is excellent. A lot of courses like this hold back hoping for a part 2 and 3 just to make more money. You gave a lot of information that would take awhile to get through.

Bob D., Chicago, IL
I am an older lady that has played the piano for a small conregation for many years. However, I did not read music and really only chorded. I finally purchased some playing by ear and Inpsirational Improvisation. I also began to take piano lessons from a classicly trained pianist because I wanted my music to sound pretty. I have been taking piano lessons for about 8 months, and have been working on the ear training stuff also (inversions, I-IV-V song structure, etc.). I love your teaching and I have found so much of your material interesting.

Trina
I purchased your Reharmonization DVD and now the Reflections CD. I really enjoy your music ministry very much. I am 52 years old and have played in many Churches in the NYC area for a while now. I am self taught for the most part, if there is such a thing, and I think your lessons will help me very much. I enjoy your approach and manner; it is very heart felt and really just like sitting there and having a one on one lesson.

Charles Vacca

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