Beginners Guide to Runs and Fills on the Piano
Today I'm going to teach you a few finger exercises to help you build up speed and dexterity on the piano. Let's start our finger exercise in that old standby, C Major. With whatever hand you choose to start with, play the first five notes of the scale, using all five fingers. Work your way from C to G, then back down again. Don't play as fast as you can just yet.
Get this bible of Pop-Piano, learn to understand the language of music and express yourself just like the pros, by ear and by heart. Hack the Piano Launchpad. Get Access. How can I make my playing more interesting. What do I play in between those chords. In fact, I am still learning as we all should be forever. However, I think most of you will also agree that it is what is played in between them — the alternations in our piano playing — that separates the players from the fiddlers.
The Chord-Piano Method
Click on image for a clearer view. - We've all heard pianists who make us drool with musical jealousy when they play, using a tool box full of lighting-fast runs and clever fills that have us clamoring for more. I had no idea a piano could be played like that, and I was absolutely fascinated by all the interesting and exciting runs and fills he added to his improvisation of those standards.
These are things that you just add in on your own! We hear singers do this all the time when their voices go up really high and include a lot of consecutive notes that flow up and down. They sound like "extra notes" which makes sense because they are extra notes. Singers add these to the original framework of the song that they are singing according to their own personal preferences and technical knowledge and ability. Pianists do this all the time too!
Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. It may be surprising for you to learn that almost all runs and fills that a pianist plays are determined ahead of time. Improvisation is unwritten and flexible, but that does not mean that the pianist has no idea what he is going to play. A good church pianist has spent much time figuring out and perfecting possible runs. His improvisatory skill, however, is demonstrated in the application of that knowledge. Consider this: I attended a church which was blessed with many pianists. After attending for just a short time, I did not have to look towards the piano to know who was playing a particular offertory, or who was substituting for the congregational singing.