Music Theory

Left hand arpeggios on the piano – Excercises

Here are the accompaniment techniques with left hand for some piano excerpts in classical and pop style. This is called arpeggio, that is essentially playing the chord notes, above all the root, the third and the fifth one.

  • Rarely some notes of passage can appear among the chord ones. Hardly always the arpeggio begins with the root unless it is clearly indicated by theme song.
  • The arpeggio often begins (above all in classical music) with the third and the fifth of the chord.

Caption of the formulas Number Indicates the chord note (for example the root) * It indicates an octave above ** It indicates two octaves above

Arpeggio with the quarters | piano

As you can see in the first bar, I here propose a very simple arpeggio with four quarters. In the first quarter there is the root, then it appears the fifth, the third and the fifth one again. On the contrary in the second bar there is a very simple (maybe banal) but good accompaniment.

Formula 1-5-3*-5 1-8-1-8


This kind of arpeggio is suitable for fast modulation, classical and pop excerpts.

Left hand arpeggio in semi-quarters

In the first bar I propose an arpeggio I really like for its simplicity and for the melodic design it offers. It follows this scheme :

Formula 1-5-3*-5-8-5-3-5 1-5-3*-5
piano arpeggios

  • There are some variations in the following examples.

Formula 1-5-3*-5-8-5-3-5

In this arpeggio there isn’t the third of the chord.

After all there are four simple typical accompaniments for piano excerpts you may use to accompany right hand which improvises or plays a theme or accompanies a singer or a group.

Formula 1-8-1-8-1-8-1-8 1-5-8-5*-3**-2**-1**-5* 1-5-8-5-1-5-8-5 1-5-3*-5-1-5-8-5
left hand piano

  • The first one is suitable for fast, pop and dance excerpts.
  • The second one is more suitable for classical or slow pop or melodic excerpts.

Left hand arpeggios on piano

In the end these are simple variations of the previous arpeggios.

Pro memoria | learn arpeggio with the left hand

Remember that these formulas are right for all the chords in each key; so you should play and master 12 major arpeggios (in every note), 12 dominant seventh chord arpeggios and so on… That is 12 x 5 = 60 arpeggios (in every formula).

Major Maj (7) Minor Min (7) Dominant seventh 7 Half diminished mi7/b5 Diminished dim (7

Be always calm and patient and remember that every zeal with piano is twice recompensed! In case you have any difficulties or if you don’t understand anything I will be very pleased to hear from you.