What do you do with your right hand piano chords?
Good morning, this is Duane. We’ve talked a lot about left-hand chords, chords that you play in your left hand while the melody is going on, various kinds of chords. Today, I’d like to talk about right-hand chords. I’d like to discuss seven things you can do to right-hand chords, interesting things creative things. Of course, you can play a chord … That’s obvious, but I’d like to talk about seven things you can do that are a little different to that chord. First of all, I’d like to talk about a crunch. A crunch is where you play a chord, sometimes from the top down or the bottom up, but sometimes, also by sliding off a black key like that.
Let me do it [inaudible 00:00:44]. See, it gives a little punch to it. I call it a crunch. Another thing you can do is a two-one break. If you have a three-note chord like the C-chord, or D-chord or any kind of chord … Let’s take the C-chord … You can play two notes and then one, two, one. Then what you do is you is you invert it up or down, invert the chord upside-down and play it two-one there, two, one. See, I’m just trying the chord upside-down, inverting it, but I’m breaking it up in a two-one fashion, two, one, two, one … Like so. That can be used as a filler when you have a break in the action of the melody.
If you have a four-note chord, you can do a three-in-one break up. Play the top three notes and the bottom one, three, one. See that? Three, one, three, one … Whatever the chord is, three, one, three, one … You can do it on black keys of course, three, one, three, one. See that? In a four-note chord, just play the top three notes, then the bottom one and you can invert it up or down. That’s called a three-one breakup. Then you can do a straddle. A straddle is where you take … Let’s do a three-note straddle. You take your chord like that, but you straddle the middle note. You don’t play it.
Then you invert the chord up or down, and you also straddle that. You leave the middle note out of that. That’s the C-chord in root position. I’m leaving the middle note out. Then that’s the C-chord in first inversion. I’m leaving the middle note out. Here’s a C-chord in second inversion. I’m leaving the middle note out. See that? That’s called a straddle. Now a four-note straddle is where you have a four-note chord, and you play two notes but leave one out, two and the two, like a two-two breakup. I call it a straddle because you’re straddling that middle key.
There’s lots of uses for a straddle. Take any two notes of a four-note chord, and leave one out, and then straddle it. If that’s new to you, just take any chord … Like that’s F-major seventh, and take those two notes, and straddle one, and then play the next two. Just go back and forth so your hand will get a little memory of doing that, before you try to do anything else to it. That’s a straddle. Now, there’s also a tremolo. A tremolo is where you have a rapid alternate … You can play any chord. I’m going to play it a little lower so it’s a little fuller. Take a chord like that. That’s G-ninth. I can tremolo. Tremolo is a rapid shaking.
You can do it in the right hand. Of course, you can do it in the left hand while the right hand is playing the melody. That can be effective at times. Once you play a tremolo, you can also fire out of the tremolo. In other words, just like a cannon. You’re playing a tremolo, and then break it up from the bottom, and then go up to the next chord, the same chord an octave higher. That’s called a tremolo fired run. Listen. Come back down two of course. You might just try two octaves first. Let me do it very slowly. That’s called a tremolo fired run.
Then you can do what I call a waterfall. You can do it with any chord, but I like four-note chords. Let’s take a C-sixth chord. What you do is you break it down from the top, and then invert it down. That’s a C-sixth chord. Now invert it down, upside-down. Break it up. Come down like that. A lot of times, you can use your left hand and key it into some other technique. Once you get down, you can do something else. They’re helpful as introductions in a variety of things. I’ll do it slowly. In my left hand, I’m just illustrating what note my right hand is starting on but an octave higher. See that? You cascade it down. It’s like a cascading waterfall.
Well, there are seven simple techniques that your right hand can use to make more variety in you chords. Of course, they all take a little practice to develop it, but they’re very, very helpful. They’re like tools in your toolbox, so you can use them in various songs that you play. That’s it for today. If you enjoy this kind of thing, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our free piano tips if you haven’t already. I hope to see you there. Bye-bye for now.
Here it the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiPMegOktjQ&feature=youtu.be