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I am having trouble playing and memorizing the broken chords sequence:

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Should I try and practice on each triplet individually? because when I try to think on it as a broken chord I often can not play it correctly. Any other tips will be welcomed.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

There are a number of great ways to practice any given pattern. Taking the rhythmic skeleton of your passage, you can apply 3 different Duple-based patterns, each with two 16ths and an 8th. Modifying the rhythm of each triplet thusly helps to develop 3 overlapping schema for each possible way to group 3 notes. Note, it's better to think of these, not as three different rhythm patterns but as three different starting points for a rapid group of 3 notes.

The obvious thing to do next would be to add more notes.


In this case, you'll want to start to overlap, practicing the first triplet plus 2nd downbeat, then the 2nd triplet plus 3rd downbeat, and so on. This would continue on to 5 notes, 6 notes, and finally 7 notes, which would constitute two full triplets plus the following downbeat.

Diads, Triads

There are dozens of other ways to practice, but here is one more valuable way to approach your particular example.

Although the fingerings may not match, it is valuable to "flatten" each beat into a triad.


However, these particular arpeggiations are grouped into diads, so it's most helpful to flatten and organize them in that way.

Does this give you a few ideas to work with in this passage? I mocked these up quickly on my iPad so please forgive the incorrect enharmonic spellings used.

If you like my answer, I hope you'll accept it and up vote it. If you use Flickr at all, I hope you'll favorite one or two of my examples and add me as a contact. I look forward to your feedback!

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wow, thank you for this great and elaborate answer. Your advice about flatting into diads is very helpful:) (I can even use the same fingering) – iddober Mar 28 '13 at 13:31
thanks for your feedback! I hope you'll connect with me on fb, twitter, or any other services you might use, links to them are on my profile. I like this site as it is helping me to meet and connect with thoughtful musicians like yourself and I hope to stay in touch with them beyond just one question on stack exchange. – jordanconductor Mar 31 '13 at 18:10

I would advise you to write out the song using numbers instead of the chord letters. Eg using 1 for the chord based on the first note of the key and up to 7 for the last note. I actually recommend using roman numerals as they look better than numbers.

1 = I 2 = II


that way you will much better be able to see what is going on with the chords changes

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