Rock Piano – Fast Sixteenth Notes

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Knowing some basic chord shapes can unlock many possibilities. One is to play chord tones as fast sixteenth notes. The effect is great, while the playing is rather simple.

In the following example, just move the same chord shape up and the keyboard starting on A minor, which will give you G major, F major, and G major again. The rhythmic pattern repeats until it ends on A minor. This last chord is played as a quick arpeggio, meaning you won’t hit the notes not at the same time, but one after another from the bottom to the top.

In the key of A minor, just as in C major, all chord shapes are just white keys, so playing fast is not difficult. The left hand plays the roots and an octave of the respective left hand chords. Hit them hard if you want to add a dynamic sound!

rock piano 16th notes

A minor

A minor

G major

G major

F major

F major

with drums:

Playing sixteenth notes in this manner can be part of the theme of a song, but you can also incorporate it into your soloing. You can either arpeggiate chords or play notes from scales, such as the major or minor pentatonic scale for example.

If you want to listen to a classic rock keyboard solo with flying fingers arpeggiating chords on white keys, check out Jump by the 80s rock band Van Halen. You will get an idea how things can sound if you really speed things up!