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Major and minor chords on C About this sound P...

OK, in the first two arpeggio projects you got familiar with some of the most basic (and most neglected) building blocks of music: major and minor triads (1 3 5, 1 b3 5). You played them until you were fluent in assorted articulations moving around the cycle (C F  Bb, Eb, etc.). (very likely you will need a whole lot more time than one day to reach this particular nirvana, but let’s pretend. You can put any of these projects on ice until you’re ready for them). Before we go on to the next bit of arpeggio exploration, let’s put a little icing on those triad cakes.

Ideas for attaining further depth in your triad knowledge (as ever, no ink on paper allowed – learn it all mentally, aurally, fingerly, choply).

•Play them also: 1 3 5 3 (up and back). Triplets go by so fast, don’t they. This duple version is more user-friendly.  In minor, of course, as well.

•Play them also in chromatic key order: C Db D Eb, etc. When you reach the octave, descend: C B Bb A, etc.

•Ditto, but this time, reverse the direction of every other triad, which works out pretty slick, i.e. C E G/Ab F Db/D F# A/Bb G Eb, etc.

•Jam on the triads. Spend time in every key and see how many different ways you can play each triad: different pitch order, different articulations, rhythms, dynamics, etc.

OK, finally getting down to the business of the day: Octave Major Arpeggios, something you may have had some flight time on.

•Play them all slurred at first (harder), up and back: 1 3 5 8 5 3 1. Repeat as many time in each key as necessary to ensure approximately equal familiarity. Spend the most time on the least familiar keys.

•Play through the cycle when all keys are fluent. Shoot for a time of under 30 seconds. 20 seconds is good time. 16 seconds is very good time. Anything under 16 is wow.

•At some point, treat yourself to some free play on the octave arpeggios. Start on different notes. Change directions a lot. Skip around (leaps). Make them into fanfares. Experiment with articulation. Jazz up the note values. Add rests at odd moments.

•Play them with a partner. 1) unison 2) in canon (up and back, one starting after the other; this one is fun with 3 or 4 players) 3) experiment with each of you choosing keys independently 4) go around the cycle either in unison or canon or ??? 5) free jam on the same arpeggio (key) or independently chosen keys (hint: steal a lot of the other guy’s ideas).