Giving thanks!

published15 days ago
2 min read

Hello! This week is the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US. But no matter where you live, I am thankful for you, and I encourage us all to take a moment to appreciate all that we have to be thankful for.

In honor of the holiday, I will not be conducting my usual Music Master Class on Thursday, but instead I invite you to join me in a special edition on Tuesday (in place of my usual Office Hours). That is today, so I look forward to seeing you there soon! See below for more info.

Also, as my way of thanking you personally for your support, I am engaging in that other seasonal tradition, the Black Friday sale. Enroll in just about any course to receive a special discount - valid this week and next only:

The links should include the discount automatically, but just to be safe, be sure you see coupon code BF2021 on checkout and apply it yourself if not. The sale also includes bundles, so feel free to browse the full course listing and apply the coupon code to whatever you like on checkout. The only exception is the Jazz Piano Holiday course, which I have actually closed to new enrollments since we're too far into it to be able to accept new students.

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, I demonstrate my favorite editing techniques - how to make changes to your music after entering it. This includes changing pitch, duration, key, instrumentation, and more!

The MuseScore Café is live on Wednesday at 12:30 PM Eastern (17:30 GMT), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

Tip of the Week

There is a great new plugin available for MuseScore that addresses an issue I know many people encounter - the desire to change duration of a note, or add or delete one, and automatically move subsequent notes earlier or later. To download install the plugin, visit its page on

We have user lvr124 to thank for this plugin! I plan to feature it in my Café on Wednesday, along with other editing techniques.

Thanksgiving Special Master Class

As mentioned above, in place of the regular Thursday master class, I will be doing a very special event on Tuesday (today!), at the usual time (12:30 PM Easterm, 17:30 GMT). It will be live via Zoom so we'll have the opportunity to talk face-to-face, and I have some fun and educational projects in mind for us too. For more info - including the Zoom link - see the event page on my community site. You will need to be a member of the community, but joining is free, so if you haven't done so yet, just click the Log In button on the site to get started. Your existing school account works, or you can create a new one for free.

In Theory

In one of the Jazz Piano Holiday lessons this week, and in a post to a discussion elsewhere on social media, I made the observation that different dominant seventh chords tend to take different alterations in a predictable way. You can learn all the theory explaining why this is, or you can just make use of it - and right now, let's just focus on the latter. The rule of thumb in major keys is this:

  • The V7 chord as well as most secondary dominants - I7, III7, VI7, VII7 - all tend to take b9 and/or b13
  • All other dominant seventh chords - including the secondary dominant II7 (V7/V) as well so-called backdoor dominants and tritone substitutions - tend to take #11
sheet music: C - E7b9 - Am

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