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I get asked a lot of questions, and one of the most common ones is: “How do I add fills to my right hand when I’m chording?” 

Playing basic chords in root position or inversions is fine when you’re starting out, but after a while, you want to be able to make your songs sound more ‘musical’ and complex.

Fills are a great way to do this. We’ve done a few videos on fills in the past, but today I’m going to show you my absolute favorite fill.

It’s super simple, and something you can start practicing straight away.

So let’s go!

We’ll Start With A Song

So we need a chord progression to practice this over, and I like “Sweet But Phsycho” by Ava Max.

We’re in the key of C and the chords are: F-C-G-Am-G-F

It’s a typical 4-1-5-6 chord progression.

And it sounds … fine. But it could sound better.

My Favorite Fill – The Sus Trill

So I call this fill the “sus trill” because I’m starting with a sus2 chord and then putting in a quick trill to move from the 2 to the 3.

It sounds a lot more complicated than it is. I’m only shifting one note in the chord. It’s nice and subtle, but it gives the chord (and the progression) a whole new sound!

Like everything, the key is to start slowly, to build up your muscle memory.

Adding A Little Extra – Walking Back Down

Once you’re comfortable trilling from the 2nd up to the 3rd, you can change direction and walk back down.

All that’s happening is the sus2 resolves to the 3, and then you just walk back down to the 2 and then the root. The 5 finger never moves.

Try it out! It’s my hope that will inspire some creativity in your playing and allow you to step outside the comfort zone of basic chords.

For more awesome fills and riffs that you can try — check out our previous blog post.

Have fun playing the piano!

Lisa Witt

Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for 18 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others.

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