Learn to Play: Fast Piano Runs (Fills)

Fast piano runs – or fills, as they’re often called – can make your playing seem mature and sophisticated. Learning to play them can really help you wow your audience, but this might be difficult to master. In this video lesson you will learn how to practice your piano runs. I will present you with a few exercises in increasing order of difficulty to build up your technique and speed.

To master the art of playing fast piano fills, you must basically practice your right hand arpeggiation skills. This involves being able to play a chord “up and down the piano”. By practicing first running “up” and then running “up and down” the piano, you can slowly build your technique. This “Learn To Play” video will also discuss fingering, which is equally important when practicing. Finally, some sophisticated voicings will be shown to yield a very mature sound. Developing your speed and playing fast is always a challenge, but if you practice daily you will be able to play those fast piano fills before long!

Piano runs are a great device to “fill in the gaps” at the end of a musical phrase, but you should be mindful not to overuse them. This has the effect of turning your performance in a caricature.

My Related Videos

I have many other related piano lessons on Youtube which you are welcome to check out. The most related is probably my two-part arpeggio lesson which focuses on how to turn a left hand chord into an arpeggio:

Part 1/2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiZBq0U2BgU
Part 2/2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8erPyInlM7k

One of my videos about developing right hand technique: useful for improving all aspects of your piano playing, and in particular your runs and fills:

Here’s a “cheat” for doubling your playing speed using a delay unit if you have one (you will need a digital piano or synthesizer):

Other Related Links

A beautiful rendition of the mother of all piano runs, Chopin’s Etude No. 1 in C Major, by Evgeny Kissin:


A fellow Youtuber who has taken his left hand fills and runs exercises quite seriously. His left hand arpeggiation is quite good:


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