Piano Technique: Tackling the Bb Major arpeggio in chunks! (VIDEO)
Here we go again with my athletic mantra. Especially with the World Series having drawn to a close, pianists need to look to their sports heroes for relevant guidance in building their technique from the ground up.
So let’s start at home plate with the root of the tricky Bb Major arpeggio. This romp across the musical playground comes with challenges.
The Major arpeggio keys of C, G, D, A, E and B give the player a bonus. The thumbs meet in both hands between what I term “tunnel” fingers.
As an Example, in C Major, the thumbs in each hand meet on C’s, except for the beginning and end of the arpeggio where the outer notes, what I term the “bookends” use finger number 5 on C in the right hand at the peak, and on 5 in the LH as the arpeggio begins and trails off.
Insert and BLOCK out the middle notes between the collegial thumb meetings and you have a desired symmetry. If the tunnel fingers should happen to be “mirrors” of each other as in the MAJOR arpeggio keys of D, A, E, and B, you can coast along without a worry in the world.
Take D Major as a case in point. Thumbs meet on D within the progression, and tunnel fingers are in a reciprocal (mirror) relationship between right and left hand.
D F# A D F# A D
1 2 3 1 2 3 5
5 3 2 1 3 2 1
But the Bb Major Arpeggio does not enjoy such an “easy ride.” ( A motorcycle mantra, perhaps?)
In the Bb Major arpeggio, each hand has its own autonomous chunks that need to be practiced hands separately.
So if you start with the right hand and group D F Bb together which is the first inversion of the Bb Major chord, enlisting fingers 1, 2 and 4 you’re in the groove.
In the left hand, I chunk the root position Bb chord which is Bb D and F using fingers 3, 2, 1.
But please note that I start the arpeggio on 3′s in both hands, but end it on 4, RH and 3, LH.
The video examines each and every step along the way as the Bb Arpeggio is developed to a brisk tempo through slow and steady chunking.