How to Play Fast Arpeggios

An arpeggio is a broken chord.  I like to use fast arpeggios in my hymn arrangements.  So…how do I determine where to place a fast broken arpeggio?  Anywhere a word can be stretched (broadened) or held if you were singing the hymn.

One of my free piano hymn arrangements entitled “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” contains a fast arpeggio on the second page. (Shown below)

What-a-Friend-We-Have-in-Jesus-run

This fast arpeggio consists of 12 notes.  If you look closely, you’ll notice that I played 3 groups of one-octave arpeggios within the 12 note passage.  Each group has four notes beginning and ending with note “G”.

I’m basically using a g minor one-octave arpeggio made up of the notes: G-Bflat-D-G

How to finger this? Use right hand thumb (of course) to start each group.  For each group use the following fingering:  1 2 3 5

To properly blend this run into the arrangement…emphasize the right thumb at the beginning of the first group only; allowing the hand to relax and glide across the fast arpeggios in an even rhythmic flow.  How to do this?  Practice s-l-o-w  🙂

Careful not to play SO fast that it sounds “thrown in” …causing an interruption in the flow of thought.

Slow Motion Demo

 Now…for the complete arrangement at regular tempo…

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3 Responses to “How to Play Fast Arpeggios”

  1. Cecilia says:

    Hi,
    I am serving as pianist at my church in Indonesia. I really found your blog very helpful and I love your arrangements.
    I have downloaded some of the songs and started practising them. May I also request this song “what a friend I have in Jesus”?
    Or if it is available at your store, I will be happy to purchase it.
    Thank you. May God bless your ministries.

  2. Cecilia says:

    Thanks very much. 🙂

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