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Keyboards: Patterns in Keyboard Land

Ian McIntosh


In this lesson Ian uncovers patterns (arpeggios) and gives you some ways to use them with taste and power.

Keyboards: Patterns in Keyboard Land

Ian McIntosh

Ian explains how Bethel tends to stick to the subdivions of rock – quarters and eights etc. It can feel quite boring for a pianist who is used to playing all over the keyboard.

Learn some patterns that add vibe and emotion to a song.

Always playing with the click – accent on the 1. Bethel uses a program called Ableton Live. Counting out your notes can help keep it on the click. Keep track of the 1 (start of your bar).

All of the patterns Ian uses are focused on the 3rd – the emotion note. It can also be the happy note, but they usually try to avoid that. It’s one of the spots in the key where the next step is only a half step up which creates some nice tension.

Another pattern Ian uses is taking an inversion and walking around that.

Ian demonstrates walking around the chords using the 6,4,1, and 5.

Ascending and descending patterns using either the third or root note have different effects on a song.

Inverting a pattern (playing it completely the opposite) creates an interesting sound. Using the pattern for rhythm too.

Names of the patterns Ian used:
  • Rhythmic pattern
  • Descending rhythmic
  • Ascending
  • Pattern-based
  • Straight descending