I'm going to show you a piano run that sounds super fast and impressive -- but is actually quite easy to learn and play!
It's a speed riff based on a minor triad and is taken from a piece of music by C.P.E. Bach (who was the son of J.S. Bach). If you know the name of the piece, comment below!
What makes this simple is that it’s really just a series of broken chords with an extra note played with the left hand. And it’s a pattern that just repeats.
What is it?
All this run is, is a series of broken chords played in different inversions down the keyboard. I'm playing it in F minor, but it can be used with any chord. It sounds impressive because of the added left hand.
How to start practicing
Because this is based on chords -- you need to get comfortable playing the chord you've chosen. This means playing the chord in all of its inversions.
Go up and down the keyboard moving from the root to 1st inversion, to 2nd inversion and so on all the way up, then reverse it for the way down. It's important to get very comfortable with all the chord shapes and positions.
Breaking down the run
The run begins with a 1st inversion high up on the keyboard. It then works its way down rotating through the different inversions. This is where the practice from the earlier step will come in super handy.
Start by playing the chords in their different positions, and then try to play them as broken chords, from top to bottom.
Adding in the left hand - the complete run
Now it's time to sound impressive. That comes from adding the left hand. All you'll do with the left hand is play the BOTTOM note of whatever chord you are about to play.
So if it's a 1st inversion start by playing an Ab with the left hand. If it's a root chord, play the F. Doing this makes the whole run sound more complicated than it actually is. It also looks cool because you'll be using both of your hands to move down the keyboard.
Playing the run - SLOWLY
This is extremely important. This is building the ‘foundation’ of the run. It’s developing muscle memory, finger strength, and dexterity. If you don’t spend time on this part -- you won’t be able to play the run fast.
I know I talk a lot about how the key to playing fast is to start slow. But that’s because it’s TRUE!
So that’s the run! Follow these steps and you’ll be speeding around the keys in no time. And it’s a good idea to practice this with other chords, so you can get used to playing it in a variety of keys.
Have fun! And play fast.