Monday Music Quote: Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 Monday Music Quote

"It is not hard to compose, but what is fabulously hard is to leave the superfluous (extra) notes under the table. "

Left-Hand Parts

Composers write harmony parts in many different ways. Here are some of the most common left-handed harmony parts found in piano music.

Blocked Chords

All notes of the harmony are played together at once. Play G-B-D-G with your left hand. Then play, G-C-E-G.



Broken Chords  

The left hand plays notes of a chord but not all at the same time. There are different ways of doing this.

Oom-pah: Piano Diana


As shown above, a repeated pattern of a single note followed by a chord. For more information, visit wikipedia.

Here's an example to practice. First play C with the l.h., then grab E-G-C with the l.h. Go down to low G, then play E-G-C chord again.
Arpeggiated chords: Piano Diana

Arpeggiated Chords  

As you can see from the above photo, notes of the chord are played one at a time, just like in an arpeggio. With the left hand, try practicing C-E-G-E (counting 1-e-&-a) then play, C-F-A-F.

Alberti Bass: Piano Diana

Alberti Bass

The notes of each chord are played in this order: bottom note, top note, middle note, top note.

Example: C-G-E-G // C-G-E-G //

For more information, visit Alberti Bass

Waltz Bass


The first note of the chord is on the first beat, followed by the other notes on beats 2 and 3.

For example, play the C note then grab E-G-C and play the block chord 2 times. Play low G, then play D-G-B 2 xs.
Be sure and check out the 300pg Piano By Ear Home Study Course
It's a great theory resource book to have in your library.

Best wishes this new year!

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"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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