man playing keyboard at Farmacia

Backtracking Tip for Piano Players

Backtracking is a great  tool to use to make your piano playing sound more interesting when you are stuck on the same chord for multiple measures.

For example in blues tunes, you are on the same chord for several measures here’s a technique you can use.

Here’s what it is: You are backtracking from the chord that you are on to a 4 chord before it.

So you play …

Switch back and forth and shift away to the 4 chord and back to the 1. An easier way to do it is to play a Major chord (a triad) and take the top 2 notes and move them up one note and then back down. That’s it.

It sounds like this … I’m going to play the root in my left hand.  You want to predominantly stay on the chord you’re playing but this technique allows you the freedom to move away from that chord a bit to make it sound more interesting. You can actually slide up on the 3rd. That sounds good too.

Be sure to change it when you get to a new chord.

Here’s a rock pattern … You would be playing it straight like this … Or if you are playing a gospel-shuffle pattern it would sound and look like this.

Again, when you are stuck on a single chord for multiple measures, you can use this technique.

Have fun!


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