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Triad Shapes Drills
- Page Two -

When you come to play the Triad Shapes drills in black-key keys (here, D major - F sharp and C sharp), your challenge is to get your hands up into and over the black keys, to play the triads.

It's then that you realise how different the keys feel under the hand.

You mustn't be reluctant to let your fingers slide right up the white keys between the black keys, or to play down in the gap between the black keys! Your fingers won't get trapped and swallowed up!

Let's dive right in and play Pattern One ascending in D, once with 1-3-5 on root position (circle) chords, and once with 1-2-4 on the root position chords - where convenient.

 Pattern One ascending in D

Notice that, for clarity, the fingering on the keyboard is still on the white keys. You 'apply' the key signature and sharpen white keys C and F, is shown by the key signature.

To refresh - rehearse these steps as you read them through - recall that:

  • Starting from a root position chord (circle), the top note goes up a step to make a first inversion chord (triangle);
  • Then the middle note goes up to make a second inversion chord (square symbol);
  • Then the bottom note goes up to get back to a root position chord (circle).

And repeat. Do you find you are starting to hear the next chord in advance?

 Pattern Two ascending in D

Recall that in Pattern Two, you:

  • Start from a root position chord (circle) but take the top two notes up a step to make a second inversion chord (square).
  • Then the middle note goes back down a step to make a first inversion chord (triangle symbol).
  • Then the bottom two notes go up a step to get back to a root position chord (circle).

Check the instructions against the voice movement diagrams over the music (below).

The same fingering rules apply - the first time through, use 1-3-5 for the first position (circle) chords. The second time, try it with fingers 1-2-4 for the root position chords.

Practice Pattern Two ascending in D.

Remember to always use fingers 1-2-5 for the first inversion (triangle) chord.

 Pattern One descending in D

Pattern One descending is the exact mirror image of Pattern One ascending.

  • Starting from a root position chord (circle), the bottom note goes down a step to make a second inversion chord (square);
  • Then the middle note goes down to make a first inversion chord (triangle);
  • Then the top note goes down to get back to a root position chord (circle).

The pattern repeats seven time over a whole octave.

Practice with both root position fingerings, as in the video.

 Pattern Two descending in D

In Pattern Two descending you:

  • Start from a root position chord (circle) and take the bottom two notes down a step to make a first inversion chord (triangle).
  • Then the middle note goes back up a step to make a second inversion chord (square).
  • Then the top two notes go down a step to get back to a root position chord (circle).

Play Pattern Two descending in C. Play through once using 1-3-5 for the root position (circle) chords, and once with 1-2-4 (where convenient).

Now go on to Page Three of the series, and put the
ascending and descending patterns together.


Thanks for studying with Musicarta
- Come back soon! -

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