28 votes

What's the proper piano notation for adding one note at a time to a chord and holding all the notes?

A broken chord like this is notated with double stems for each note. One set of stems corresponds to the eighth-note onsets of each pitch. The second set of stems corresponds to the duration of each ...
Aaron's user avatar
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21 votes

What's the proper piano notation for adding one note at a time to a chord and holding all the notes?

Just based off of the span of these pitches, most players can't play all of these pitches with one hand (assuming either a B♭–D or B–D♯ span). As such, I would argue that pedaling is the best bet. ...
Richard's user avatar
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17 votes

Where should I press white keys - between black keys or below them?

When it comes to fingering questions, the broader the question the more the answer will be: "it depends." That is probably why you find conflicting information online, too many answers that ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

How to notate an arpeggio that anticipates the beat

Grace notes are the proper way to do this. Including ties from each grace note to its corresponding main note indicates that each grace note should be held. The core of the answer can be found in What'...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
11 votes
Accepted

What do these left arrows or angle brackets mean to the left of a chord?

It's a weird arpeggio line. Can't think of anything else it COULD be! You've added the information that this was published in 1967. I'm wondering if it was produced with one of those 'music ...
Laurence's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

Is there a reason instructors teach chords before arpeggios?

Actually you might be on to something. I know from teaching beginning guitarist (and from my own personal experience) that learning to contort your fingers and hands into the correct position to ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Fingering C major arpeggio - Is fingering crucial when learning piano basics?

Fingering is entirely crucial, yes, and the benefits flower over a long period of time. It is often difficult for a beginner piano player to understand why on an intuitive level, but here are a few ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 1,566
10 votes
Accepted

Minor scale with only 6th degree raised by a half step?

A minor scale with the raised sixth degree is called the Dorian scale. It is actually a mode of the diatonic scale, which is the same as starting the major scale from the second degree, or starting ...
awe lotta's user avatar
  • 1,760
10 votes
Accepted

What do these squiggly arrows mean?

Stagger the notes, so play them as an arpeggio, one after the other, top to bottom (as the arrow shows direction).
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
10 votes

What do these left arrows or angle brackets mean to the left of a chord?

Just to put an exclamation point on @LaurencePayne's answer, here's the same measure of the same arrangement from https://hymnary.org/tune/living_for_jesus_a_life_that_lowden
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
9 votes

Struggling to switch chords when fingerstyle / arpeggio

There are a lot of good answers here but I didn't see what I was primarily looking for in them, so I will add it. In addition to patience and practice, there is a technique for making the chord ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
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9 votes

Struggling to switch chords when fingerstyle / arpeggio

Okay so if I understand you correctly you are not having any trouble with chord changes when using a pick (presumably to strum) but if you are playing fingerstyle one string at a time with a pattern ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
9 votes

Where should I press white keys - between black keys or below them?

Answer is - it depends!. Since our fingers aren't all the same length, each will press down its individual note at a different point anyway. Thumb, being a couple of inches less reach than the middle ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
9 votes

arpeggiated chord and half bracket symbol - what does it mean? (piano)

To understand the brackets, see What does the L-shaped symbol attached to C5 and G4 on the top staff mean?. In terms of execution of both cases, you'll play the bottom octave with your left hand, then ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
8 votes

Trouble with thumb placement when practicing arpeggios on a piano

It's not so much making your thumb go underneath the fingers/palm as moving your whole hand. As soon as you've played the first C, the whole hand should have started to move right. By the time your ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
8 votes

These two phrases use exactly the same notes, but one sounds major, the other minor. Why is that?

One on one. Tonic on first beat of a bar. Other main notes from tonic triad also on the main beats of each bar. Key C major. For the second example, the anacrucis is inconsequential (sorry!), again, ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
8 votes

Four-note arpeggio on string instrument

Arpeggios are an incredibly common figure in violin music. Most of the limitations you seem worried about simply don't exist. Arpeggios are just notes to us; there are no special rules about which ...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar
8 votes

What is the musical function of broken chords?

Broken chords — playing each note of the chord one after the other — allows the chord to serve a more clearly melodic function in addition to its harmonic one. Broken chords are very common in piano ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
7 votes

How to reference or calculate the percentage pitch change between two notes?

There are two types of formulas you can use to find the relation between notes— just intonation, and equal temperament; both of which have their benefits and trade-offs, which I will not go into in ...
margalo's user avatar
  • 1,047
7 votes
Accepted

Trouble with thumb placement when practicing arpeggios on a piano

The arm places the thumb. Using just your arm and gravity - not your thumb's abductor, play your thumb down on C, then from the arm, lift up the arm and hand and leading with your elbow play the ...
Malcolm Kogut's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What's the meaning of a half note with a flag?

There are no half notes with flags here. Notationally, there are two voices. The lower voice is moving in half notes. The half notes have downward-pointed stems to indicate that they belong to the ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.9k
7 votes

Piano arpeggio symbol: split vs drawn through

The long one in the first example sounds starting from the bottom note in the left hand and runs through to the top note in the right hand. In your second example, you start and finish both ...
Jomiddnz's user avatar
  • 5,047
7 votes

Four-note arpeggio on string instrument

I have played this particular section in the Mendelssohn before, so I have some knowledge about it. Mostly, the fingering depends on the speed at which you are going to perform the arpeggio and the ...
Alex K's user avatar
  • 315
7 votes

How does the chord progression G-F-Eb-D work?

This is pretty close to the 'Andalusian' or Spanish sequence, except that usually starts with, as would be here, Gm. There's some borrowing going on, but the direction of the harmonies takes us from I ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
7 votes

How does the chord progression G-F-Eb-D work?

It's a descending scale line in the bass (if the chords are in root position). This is a very common pattern since at least the 1500s. Were the G chord minor, this is sometimes known as the "...
ttw's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Glissando vs Arpeggio

Adding to Aaron's answer, a glissando doesn't have to be - in fact often isn't - comprised of any particular notes. In fact, on piano, it's usually deployed by sliding along all the white keys, when ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
6 votes

Struggling to switch chords when fingerstyle / arpeggio

This sounds to me like you do not have the picking technique down yet. This makes you focus on the right hand which leads to you struggling with the left-hand chord changes. My advice for you would ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 14.9k
6 votes

Struggling to switch chords when fingerstyle / arpeggio

You need to reduce your cognitive load. The other answers have some good ideas, but here is another quick one: Simplify the picking pattern you are practicing with. So instead of practicing an ...
Whelkaholism's user avatar

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