One Simple Riff To Sound Amazing

Lisa Witt  /  Practice / Jan 1

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Today I want to give you something super beautiful to play on the piano that’s also going to be easy for you to learn! I’ve got a very simple right-hand riff that we’re going to explore– and starting with just 2 chords, you’ll be playing amazing-sounding piano music in no time!

This is a beginner-friendly lesson, so even if you are brand new to the piano, it’s something I trust you’ll have fun with… but even experienced players will appreciate the simple beauty of this riff.

The Riff 🎹

All you have to do is play 3 notes!

G, F#, & D. Looks simple enough, but be sure to take some time to engrain this into your brain– otherwise, things might go sideways when we introduce the left hand.

Left Hand Progression

Once you’ve got that, I want you to alternate bass notes between E and C with your left hand. Be sure to follow along in the video for a sense of the timing.

🎹📝 Take Note: I’m playing octaves with my left hand in the video, but you can play single notes if you find it more comfortable or accessible. If you’ve got smaller hands and find you have trouble reaching across the keyboard, check out these important tips ‘n’ tricks to close the gap!

Expanding The Right Hand

Got that all sorted?? Let’s add a little more interest and intrigue to our right hand by introducing the ‘A’ key to the mix.

Follow along with me as a play, the new order of things is:

Right Hand Riff:

G – F# – D (x3)
A – G – F# (x1)

Okay, now here’s where things get exciting:

Elaborate! 🔀

I’ve got a few ideas in the video for you, but you can take this basic riff and get creative with different rhythms, and intensities– changing things up to make it your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and try adapting this melody to different keys and progressions!

Here’s one for you to get started with:

Left Hand Progression:

G – D – E – C

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

So there you have it– hours of entertainment, with just a few notes!

🔥🎹 Hot Tip: Sound instantly better and more professional by applying the sustain pedal to your playing. You can view the lesson here!

Review 📝

I really have a lot of fun with this riff, and it’s great for your practice. There is a simple beauty to the sound, but at the same time it still has that bit of tension and interest that really brings you in. I love the contrast between those two ideas, and this riff pulls in both directions.

I know that you’re going to create some beautiful music with this concept– so try it out, have some fun, and happy practicing! 💐💐💐

Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for 19 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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