How to make a simple C scale sound soulful

When learning the piano, most people will simply start with the C scale, which is the easiest because it uses all the white keys only. People are aware that jazz soulful sounding chords use a lot of black keys which are the sharps / flats. How ever did you know that adding just two flats key e.g. B7 (Keys B, Eb, Gb and A) will make it all sound Neo Soul? Take Musiq Soulchild for example on the track “Just friends”. Look at the chords and the movement is basically a C Maj with the final chord being B7.

It Goes, Emin7th, Dmin7th, Cmaj7th and then B7.

That’s all it is, you don’t always need complex phat chords that are played with both hands, just that one out of scale chord can often do the trick. Especially a chord that is simple half a step away, in this case from C Maj to B7.

Never be put off by people playing complex chords and telling you it’s Neo Soul or R&B, it’s not the chords you use, it’s more about how they are strung together and how they work with each other. I really admire players who are able to get good deep chronic movement from minimal keys presses e.g. simple triads or 7ths at max.

4 thoughts on “How to make a simple C scale sound soulful”

  1. Well that’s refreshing to hear, thanks for sharing. I also though that complex chords were always necessary for the Neo Soul Genre. Examples like this show that it is not always necessary.

  2. Thank you for making it all sound so simple. This is a good example however many do use complex chords and theory is very important.

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