Thursday, January 18, 2018

Arpeggio exercise in 6/4 - 7th chords in C and G

UPDATE: Too many things were bugging me about the original version of this page, so I updated it. I added measure repeats so you play each thing twice, and I added an ending in which you repeat the major 6, plus a stop. Download the updated pdf.

SECOND UPDATE: If you want to work in the min/Maj 7, put it between the min7 and min6.

Here's something new: recently a marimba has come into my possession, and I'm in the process of getting my chops back together with it... well... let's be honest; I never had much in the way of marimba chops. So this will be my big chance to get them together in the first place, with the hope that 35 years of field experience will speed me along with that. My mallet percussion books from college are buried somewhere in a) my mom's basement, or b) my basement, so rather than look for them I'll be developing my own materials based on what I know I need to work on, and on some piano and jazz books I'm working out of.

This is an easy and fun little arpeggio exercise for getting acquainted with the basic 7th chords in one key— well, there are some 6th chords in there too, and I did leave out the minor/major 7— I imagine there will be a future version of the exercise that will work that in. I've written it so you get the next chord by changing one note of the current chord, where possible.

Start with the left hand. Learn each measure individually, then play the entire exercise, playing each measure one, two, or four times. Memorize the sequence, with the chord names. The lick flows naturally enough that you should be able to develop considerable speed with it. Looking at the shapes the chords make on the keyboard helps you memorize them, but it would also be great to be able to play this without looking at the instrument. Repeat endlessly; it resolves a little nicer if you play the first measure again the last time through.

Get the pdf

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