Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsLet’s have a look at another technique now called “arpeggiation” or “rolling” chords. Supposing our final chord in a piece is C major7, now we can play that by rolling the left hand.

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 secondsWe can roll both hands - and we can keep this going - rolling chords. And we can roll the other way - although that’s used less frequently.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 secondsLet’s have an example. Let’s look at “You Took Advantage Of Me” - “Satin Doll” does’t really lend itself to arpeggiation. I’m going to roll the first chord in the left hand - I’ll just roll it probably in the left hand. Then it’s E diminished. Then it’s F minor. When I play - because I’m rolling it - a seventh-tenth or a fifth-tenth - depends on how I’m feeling - F sharp diminished - another fifth-tenth.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 secondsAnd then let’s when we get to the end - do some dominant pedalling.

Skip to 1 minute and 48 secondsIt’s out of time

Skip to 3 minutes and 20 secondsOK, somebody may have noticed that I played a Ray chord in the middle there, and at the end I did a little bit of rolling down. It’s not supposed to be in time but this is the idea of rolling, at least in the left hand. We wouldn’t probably do a whole chorus of that but we would introduce it at moments when it seemed musically correct - arpeggiation.

Arpeggiation, example "You Took Advantage Of Me"

We consider the technique of arpeggiation or rolling chords and as an example apply it to the standard “You Took Advantage Of Me”.

You can download the chart for the tune of “You Took Advantage Of Me” in PDF format at the bottom of this step.

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This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: III. Solo Piano and Advanced Topics

Goldsmiths, University of London