I am trying to play the following passage on the piano in the left hand

Now while playing this, I notice some difficulties

  1. I hit inaccurate notes in the octaves, especially in the middle bar's last beat.
  2. I struggle to complete the last note of the arpeggiated chords to hit the following octave notes. Although I can play the arpeggiated chords alone, it's difficult to jump from there to the octave notes in such a short amount of time.

This piece is in 12/8 time signature and I'm supposed to play it at a tempo of 125 dotted crochets(the piece is indicated as Vivace)

  • 1
    Title and composer? (And arranger, if applicable?)
    – Aaron
    Apr 9, 2023 at 0:29
  • Does the score specify 135bpm, "Vivace", or both?
    – Aaron
    Apr 9, 2023 at 0:30
  • The score specifies Vivace. This is an extract from "Believer" arranged by Francesco Parrino.
    – Ved Rathi
    Apr 9, 2023 at 2:03
  • Perfect, thanks. What's the source 135bpm designation? (Oh, and we're talking Imagine Dragons, yes?)
    – Aaron
    Apr 9, 2023 at 2:23
  • yes, imagine dragons. I arrived at the 135 tempo by watching Francesco's video(youtu.be/_kJtgm1OUNA)
    – Ved Rathi
    Apr 9, 2023 at 4:36

3 Answers 3


The tutorial and the actual song

According to the comments, this score is an arrangement by Francisco Parrino, as performed in the below YouTube video.

There are two problems:

  1. The music shown in the score is never played anywhere in the video. The video version is actually a lot easier.
  2. The tempo of the video is between 125 and 128bpm, not 135, so even the score version is much easier to play at that tempo.

The original song (YouTube) is 125bpm.

There is no need to play it as fast as 135bpm.

For accuracy: staccato practice

For this exercise, treat the three-note groupings as block chords, playing all three notes simultaneously.

  1. Place your fingers at rest of the key-top surface of your starting chord (say, beat 3 of the center measure).
  2. From that resting position, play a pronounced staccato, "launching" your hand and arm upward.
  3. Create a smooth arc toward the target chord (say, beat 4 of the center measure).
  4. "Parachute" down to the target chord, landing gently and relaxed on the surface of the keys (without playing them).

The key to this exercise is being able to make no adjustments to the direction of the arc or to the fingers in landing. The entire movement should be as efficient as possible, involving the entire physical mechanism from fingertip to shoulder. That means a "two dimensional" arc (i.e., no changes of direction mid-course), no sudden changes of direction (i.e., only curves, no angles), and a clean landing (i.e., no adjusting a finger that accidentally came down slightly out of position).

For speed

  • First, do the above exercise. Speed is dependent on efficiency of movement. Any changes of direction, discontinuities, or adjustment require time, which slows things down.

  • Next, when playing as written, make sure that you're not accidentally holding any of the "triplet" notes. Each should be played separately, and when finished with one note, the hand should "forget" that note was ever played. That is, whatever effort went into that note, whatever position the finger was in, needs to be completely released so that the hand's center of balance is fully determined by the current note.

  • Based on the excerpt shown, the piece likely uses pedal. Make sure to change the pedal (release and re-press) after playing the arrival note. For example, after playing the last note in first measure, keep the pedal held until after playing the octave on beat 1 of the next measure. After the octave has sounded, then quickly change the pedal. In this way, the Bb will be sustained across the bar line, and you'll get a smoother transition that if you release the pedal early. But at the same time, you'll be able to play the Bb very quickly to help move to the octave in time. (Be careful not to create an artificial accent on the Bb.)

  • Thanks a lot for your help
    – Ved Rathi
    Apr 9, 2023 at 2:02

Start at a slow tempo, where you play everything fine.

Next apply automation, as I described here for a different question.


This is a variation of a very common 'vamp' pattern. Practice it like this. There are two hand shapes, the octave stretch and the close-position triad. And there are two hand positions. Don't try to connect them, just practice jumping straight from one to the other. enter image description here

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