Learn to improvise. 2003-2004. Lesson 20: creating runs.

Just like the left hand can use broken chords to create a second part by adding some introducing notes to it, so can the right hand make runs out of those same chords after combining them with some notes. The chord forms the frame, the extra notes take care of an acceptable rhythm.

Runs fill the main melody with ornaments. Often they are rushed slovenly. This is probably by the idea they have to be fast. But they have especially a rhythmic meaning. This requires a clear articulation.

This is not obtained by sheer exercise, of which the effect disappears after a while anyway, but particularly by choosing a run which is easy to play.

So the point is to pay attention to the position of your hand. Look for a compromise between nice and easy.

In the first lessons you have been given the advise to learn for each chord one position, which is easy to play (also in combination with changing of chords) and which is also acceptable nice. These chords are well suited for the purpose we are aiming at.
The procedure to make runs may be as follows:

- Choose nice chords in a position with an easy grasp, e.g.:
E7 in the position e-g#-b-d, D7 in the position d-f#-a-c and A7 in the position a-c#-e-g.
Notice that the position of the hand in all these three cases is exactly the same. The position of the hand comes close to this position when it is in rest. This is an advantage. Moreover, it can be used for three chords which occur often in the initial keys C, G, F, Am, Dm, among others. So it is worthwhile to practice them.

- The next step is to play the grasp 4 times, every time an octave higher, so successively in octave 4, 5, 6 and 7, e.g. for D7 we play:
d4-f#4-a4-c5, d5-f#5-a5-c6, d6-f#6-a6-c7, d7-f#7-a7-c8.
Click to hear the meaning.

- Then we play the same chords in the same grasps, though broken.
Click to hear the meaning.

- The last step is to make it flowing by pasting the chords to each other by putting some notes in between them. These notes may be random. It is not important they are of a high harmonic quality. There purpose is the rhythm. So anything will do as long as it is easy to grasp and it gives the possibility to play it rhythmically with a clear articulation.
Click to hear the meaning.

- After we have made a good run, we learn it by heart and practice it, till we can play it like a machine gun.
The harmonic beauty has its basis from the chord, the rhythmic beauty from the ease.

Just like the second part for the left hand, also here it holds for the right one, that you can prepare certain runs for particular styles and initial keys.

For this reason it is good to specialize in one initial key and in a fixed position for the chords. (Many music methods disagree with this, which makes spicy rhythm difficult.)

For raising and falling runs the same procedure may be used, but I find for falling runs chords like Am easier to play.
Click to hear me play with (too) many runs.
Develop runs and play them.
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