An arpeggio (arpeggio) is a series of single notes played in sequence, starting with the lowest (or highest) note of a chord.
An arpeggio is one of the dispersed chords, and the way it is played is like playing a harp.
How to play arpeggios
Arpeggios, as mentioned earlier, play the notes of the chord in sequence on single notes.
Please see here first.
This one shows “original chords” in the lower half, “chord names” in the middle, and “arpeggios” in the upper half.
How should I play it in such a case?
Here is a forced rewriting of the notes.
This one also has the “original chord” in the lower half, the “chord name” in the middle, and the “arpeggio” in the upper half.
Please note that the round brackets are “tie”, not “slur”.
This time it is rewritten in 32nd notes.
This method of playing arpeggios is based on playing the notes of a chord in single-note order and matching the length of the original chord notes.
Incidentally, in this case, the chords and arpeggios were notated with the same start timing of the notes.
Conversely, you can play a single note before the chord begins, and there is no problem with timing the start of the chord to coincide with the end of all single note draws.
On the speed of arpeggios
I just rewrote the arpeggio in 32nd notes, but how fast should the arpeggio be exactly?
In fact, the speed of an arpeggio is not exactly fixed.
interval of the player.
is the interval of the player.
Therefore, to take it to the extreme, playing a single note at the speed of a 128th note is an arpeggio, and playing a single note at the speed of an eighth note is also an arpeggio.
However, no matter how many chords are whole notes, if you play a single note at the speed of a quarter note and make it an arpeggio, it is not an arpeggio at all.
Arpeggios are only “dispersed chords”, not “single notes”.
Ideally, each single note should be played at the fastest speed at which it can be heard and played smoothly.
However, if you play at a fast speed before you are used to it, you will lose “smoothness” and give the listener an uncomfortable feeling as if listening to a dissonant sound.
Let’s start by trying to play slowly and smoothly.
How to Practice Piano Arpeggios
Once your piano is ready, practice playing all types of arpeggios.
There are countless types of arpeggios and chords themselves.
Not all of them are arpeggios.
Before practicing arpeggios
Before practicing arpeggios, you must first relax.
When playing arpeggios, the note that is basically the root note is the thumb in the right hand and the little finger in the left hand.
Just as the pivot foot is important when kicking a soccer ball, the first root note is the most important part of a piano arpeggio.
The fingers must move in incessant waves from the root note.
Relax your shoulders and wrists to smooth out the movement of this wave.
Keep your back straight and your shoulders parallel to the floor (unless you have slouching shoulders).
If you need to move your body when playing arpeggios, make sure you can twist your hips from side to side in that position.
For more information on posture, please click here.
Also, the finger muscles need to be strengthened.
Basically, the thumb, middle finger, and little finger are used, but naturally the index and ring fingers are also used.
Exercise the muscles that control the movement of your fingers as you press the keys in sequence with five fingers, starting with the thumb on the right hand and the little finger on the left hand.
It is not like sports muscle training.
When you rhythmically beat the rhythm on a daily basis, try to beat the rhythm “tata-tan” from thumb to little finger in turn.
This method of finger movement cannot be mastered from the beginning.
When you are away from the piano, driving, listening to music you hear on the train, or humming, instead of clapping your hands, take turns ticking off the rhythm with your fingers.
settle on a finger
In actual performance, the hands and fingers are in constant motion.
It is not limited to arpeggios, but in the beginning, the finger to be struck may change every time you play.
Even if the player thinks he or she is playing the same note with slightly different fingers, the difference is often clear to the listener.
In some performances, it may be easier to connect from the preceding and following notes by using a different finger that is not the finger that would be used for the arpeggio alone.
Decide in advance which fingers will play the arpeggios in the score, considering the notes before and after and the shape of the fingers.
Be aware of tempo
Arpeggios are supposed to be played “smoothly”.
The main point of this “smooth” performance is to align its tempo.
Practice by actually playing the arpeggio.
At this time, be sure to use a metronome to play the fine single-note rhythms of the arpeggio in precise rhythm.
In the case of arpeggios, the notes (fingers) played do not stop ringing until the end of the chord.
Normally, the timing of finger release is also important for “smooth” playing, but in this case, there is no need to think about it.
The tempo at which the keys are pressed (struck) should be precisely aligned.
It is not necessary to play at high speed from the beginning.
Play single notes slowly at first, with only “matching tempo” in mind.
All that remains is to keep practicing.
However, do not practice too many arpeggios only at a time.
The important thing is to keep practicing.
Do not push yourself too hard, do not overindulge, and practice at a moderate speed.
Distributed chords that are more than just arpeggios
An arpeggio is one of the dispersed chords, but some people often mistakenly think that “dispersed chords = arpeggios.
This is a mistake in terms of its original meaning. There are several other dispersed chords besides arpeggios.
*However, even if it was originally a mistake, when it becomes common knowledge, it becomes the new common knowledge. Eventually, “dispersed chord = arpeggio” may be written in Kojien. However, I don’t think it will be accepted overseas.
Here are some examples of what other dispersed chords are available.
The pattern is to play the chords “low note”, “high note”, “middle note”, and “high note”.
It is often used mainly in what is called classical music, such as Mozart’s piano sonatas.
For those who use a teaching book like Bayer, this is a familiar dispersed chord.
Nicknamed “pop patterns,” these dispersed chords play the root note of the chord and the other notes in sequence.
It is especially found in contemporary J-Pop and other music, with typical examples being the intro to Remioromen’s “Powder Snow” and John Lennon’s “Imagine”.
Arpeggios are a great way to warm up your hands before practicing music, much like a sports team warms up before practice.
Sometimes you can complete an arpeggio by playing single notes in order from the higher notes of the chord.
It not only exercises the muscles in your fingers that you would not normally use, but also provides good stimulation for your brain.
Arpeggios, which have no fixed speed or order in which they are played, can be played creatively even while playing within the mold of the score.
Use your creativity and play arpeggios freely to add more depth to the song.