Piano arpeggios


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Piano arpeggios

Piano arpeggios: A multitude of sounds

THE arpeggios are an incredible way to create sound effects on a piano. The rapid tinkling of pianissimo major seventh arpeggios in the high notes can sound angelic.
Mysterious and dark, a strong slow arpeggio diminished in the base notes has a familiar but eerie sound. The full range of arpeggio sounds can produce a virtually unlimited combination of effects…no synthesizer required!

Piano arpeggios: Differences in scales, chords and arpeggios

You've probably already heard of scales and chords, those keyboard friends you work on every day.

THE ranges, is when you play notes one by one, going up or down. It's like climbing a musical ladder, step by step. We often discuss them before agreements.

THE Chords, is when you play several notes at the same time, like a happy little band. It can be 2, 3, 4, 5 or even more notes in a single chord.

But be prepared, because sometimes we like to play chords in solo mode, playing one note after another. And there, this is what we call a arpeggio !

Now rLet’s go into a little more detail.

Piano Arpeggios: What are arpeggios?

A arpeggio, it's a bit like playing a chord in solo mode, taking your time to press each note one by one, instead of mashing them all at once.

Let's take an agreement of C major. Normally, you would press your fingers 1, 3 and 5 on the C, E and G keys at the same time, creating an explosion of harmonious sounds.

But when you play this chord in arpeggio, you're going to make your fingers dance on the keyboard. You will start by pressing the C with your first finger, then you will slide towards the E with your third finger, and finally you will finish in style on the G with your fifth finger.

You can proceed in the same way with the following major chords:

  • D: D, F#, A, D
  • D#/Eb: D#, F##, A#, D# / Eb, G, Bb, Eb
  • E:E,G#,B,E
  • F: F, A, C, F
  • F#/Gb: F#, A#, C#, F# / Gb, Bb, Db, Gb
  • G: G, B, D, G
  • G#/Ab: G#, B#, D#, G# / Ab, C, Eb, Ab
  • A: A, C#, E, A
  • A#/Bb: A#, C##, E#, A# / Bb, D, F, Bb
  • B: B, D#, F#, B

Piano arpeggios: 4-note arpeggios.

Four-note arpeggios are a little more complicated. These are aimed at intermediate students, so if you're new to piano, skip them for now. Here are the most common versions of four-note arpeggios:

Major with major seventh

Major with minor seventh (also called “dominant”)

Augmented by a minor seventh

Minor with minor seventh (also called "minor seventh")

Diminished with minor seventh (also known as “half-diminished”)

Diminished with double-flat seventh (also known as “fully diminished” or simply “diminished”)

Piano Arpeggios: How are they written?

Arpeggios are a whole language. And guess what ? They are scored in different ways, so hang in there!

The first way is with an arrow pointing up to the left of the chord. It's like a signal telling you: “Hey, play one note at a time, starting with the lowest! »

Arpèges piano montant

But wait, there's more! This arrow can also point down, which means you'll play the chord one note at a time, but this time starting with the highest note.

Arpèges piano descendant

The second way is to write each note of the chord separately, instead of stacking them as you would for chords.

Now that you know how arpeggios are notated in our music, you are probably wondering why they are so important to learn and practice. Here are the main reasons

Piano Arpeggios: Why learn arpeggios?

There are plenty of good reasons to start learning and practicing arpeggios as soon as possible, in addition to working on scales and chords.

The main reasons:

For starters, arpeggios are everywhere in piano music. You can even find songs where the majority of notes are arpeggios! The more comfortable you are with them, the more easily you will be able to play music on the piano.

Then, arpeggios help us understand and master the chords. By breaking down the chords into all the keys and playing them as arpeggios, you'll learn where each finger should rest on the keyboard for each chord, as well as the movements and adjustments needed when playing those chords. It's an effective way to deepen your knowledge of chords.

Finally, practicing arpeggios strengthens the strength and dexterity of your hands and fingers. Playing notes one by one with arpeggios puts more strain on your muscles and coordination than when you simply play chords. This improves your flexibility and benefits your overall piano technique. Integrating arpeggios into your training is therefore an important step in achieving balanced playing.

Piano Arpeggios: Some important tips:

Here are some important tips to keep in mind when you start learning and playing arpeggios.

Piano Arpeggios: Tip 1

Start by learning and practicing your arpeggios one hand at a time before trying to play them with both hands together. It's easier and will help you play with both hands faster if you master them separately first.

Piano Arpeggios: Tip 2

Physically orient your hand and fingers in the same direction as the notes. If you are playing an ascending arpeggio, that is, from bottom to top, lean your hand to the right as you play. If you are playing a descending arpeggio, reverse and turn your hand to the left while playing from top to bottom.

Piano Arpeggios: Tip 3

Pay attention to the fingering of each arpeggio you play. Fingering is important because it is specifically written for your hand to help you place your fingers correctly on all the notes.

By following these tips, you will progress in learning arpeggios effectively and solidly. Remember to practice regularly and remain patient, because mastering the arpeggios takes time and perseverance. Have fun !

Piano Arpeggios: Tip 4

Set a goal to learn a new arpeggio every day or week, depending on your schedule. Start with the easiest one, like the C (C) arpeggio, then move on to the next one, like the D (D) arpeggio the next day or week. Play slowly at first, then increase your speed as you become more familiar with the notes and your fingers move faster across the keyboard.