3 Ways To Make Your Left Hand Faster

Build your speed and strengthen your left hand with these exercises

"My left hand has a mind of its own."

 

You know the feeling ... you tell your left hand what to do, but it just won't listen.

 

This is especially true when it comes to building speed. Your right hand is ALWAYS faster than your left, and it's easier to build speed with your right than your left.

 

This is common!

 

Most people are right-handed, so it's natural that your dominant hand will develop faster and feel more comfortable. But here's the good news:

 

You can fix it!

 

Here are 3 exercises that will help build your left-hand speed. And that will help you build strength, dexterity, and CONFIDENCE. Plus you'll be able to play faster.

 

And that's always fun :)

 

Exercise # 1

 

This is a shorter version of an exercise from our Faster Fingers training course. It focuses on your fine motor skills and finger independence. It can be a little frustrating, so take it slow.

 

Here's the transcription:

 

 

You can see that you're just stepping up 2 notes and back down one. Always only using the five-finger scale. After playing this on C, move everything up one step to start on D, but still use the notes fo the C scale (no sharps or flats).

 

Moving from your 5 to 4 finger can be really challenging. If you watch the lesson you'll see my pinky still wants to jump up. 

 

Once you're comfortable in C then you can try it in other key signatures. But remember to start slow. Going too fast too soon can lead to frustration. And we're trying to avoid that!

 

Exercise # 2

 

I love this exercise because it involves jumping around the keyboard a bit, which mimics what you do when you play real songs!

 

You'll be playing octaves, but you'll play them broken, not together. So if you have smaller hands (like me) it's not a problem! Just play the bottom note and then to top note of the octave. Use your wrist to help you rotate to reach that top note if you have to.

 

But you won't just play the root note. You'll move through the notes of a chord. Take a C major chord for example. The notes of a C chord are C-E-G.

 

So play broken octaves back and forth on the C, and then JUMP to the E and play broken octaves there, before jumping up to the G and doing the same thing. Then come back down to the C.

 

To make this more challenging, choose different chords. Chords with black keys present a very nice challenge!

 

Exercise # 3

 

This is a CLASSIC left-hand pattern that comes from classical music. It's called the "Alberti Bass", named after Domenico Alberti. It can sound like a very intimidating patter, but it's very simple.

 

You take the notes of a chord and play them in a broken pattern of "bottom - top - middle - top - bottom - top - middle - top" and so on. That can sound confusing so here it is written out in sheet music:

 

 

There's a lot going on here, so let's break it down by measure. The first 2 measures are C major chords in root position. The notes are C-E-G.

 

But the pattern is the one I outlined above. See how it's bottom (C) - top (G) - middle (E) - top (G). That just repeats for 2 measures.

 

Then for the next 2 measure, we have an F chord in 2nd inversion. If you're not sure about inversions check out this lesson. But even though we are in an inversion we still use the same pattern of bottom (C) - top (A) - middle (F) - top (A) and that also repeats for 2 measure.

 

Then we're back to the C chord and do exactly the same thing we did in the first 2 measures.

 

Measures 7 and 8 are a little different because we have a G7 chord in an inversion.

 

Let's break that down a little bit.

 

A G7 chord has the notes G-B-D-F. You can see in measure 7 we have the notes B-G-F. So we're missing the D, but that's ok. It's the F note that makes this a G7 chord and gives it that feeling of tension. Read this lesson for more on 7th chords (and why they're so great!).

 

But still, the pattern stays the same. Bottom (B) - top (G) - middle (F) - top (G) and we repeat that for 2 measures before resolving and ending on the C.

 

Change takes time

 

As I mentioned at the start of this lesson, when you watch me you might notice that even after years of practice my pinky STILL wants to lift up. I told my hand has a mind of its own.

 

So don't feel discouraged it these are a little tricky. Change and improvement take time. But a few minutes a day and you will notice a difference.

 

Good luck, and have fun!

#Lisa Witt

#Left Hand Exercises

#Pianote

#Left Hand Piano

#How To Built Speed At Piano

#Left Hand Speed Piano

#Left Hand Piano Exercises

"1234" Piano Tutorial And Cover

This Feist song is magical and perfect for newer piano players

<< Download the FREE lead sheet here >>

 

"1234" by Feist has to be one of my favorite songs to sing and play on the piano. 

 

It's also one of my favorite songs to teach. Because while it's really magical and beautiful...

 

It's also SO simple!

 

There aren't too many chords to learn, and for most of the song, your right-hand plays the same thing. That means it's perfect for anyone who's new to the piano and wants to play something that sounds INSTANTLY awesome and impressive.

 

Plus -- it just makes you feel good.

 

The chords and their shapes

 

The verses all use the same chord progressions, and this is where we'll be keeping the same pattern for our right hand even though the chords change. This can be a little confusing when you look at the lead sheet:

 

 

That can look intimidating, especially for new players. But I'll show you exactly what shapes to play, and you'll see how simple it is.

 

The D chord:

 

This is the shape you'll be using with your right hand, and it WILL NOT change! So get comfortable :)

 

 

Play the top D with the pinky finger of your right hand, and let your 2nd finger (your index finger) play the A. Then you'll use your left hand to play that bottom D.

 

And your left hand is the only thing that's going to change for the whole riff.

 

The D/C# chord:

 

This is called a "slash chord" and it can be confusing for a lot of piano players. All it means is that you play a D chord in your right hand with a C# note in the bass.

 

But you're already playing a D chord with your right hand, so that doesn't have to change. Instead, you'll only have to step your left hand down from the D to the C#, so it will look like this:

 

 

The Bm chord:

 

Again your right-hand stays the same, and your left-hand steps down from C# to the B:

 

 

FUN FACT TIME!!! 

 

A B-minor chord has the notes B-D-F#. Now you should notice there is no F# here, and there's an A! That means this is actually a B-minor-7 chord (Bm7). The A is the 7th note of the B minor scale. I love 7th chords, and we have a full lesson on them here

 

The G chord:

 

The last chord of this progression and you can probably guess what we're going to do. That's right, keep the right-hand the same and move only the left:

 

 

MORE FUN FACT TIME!!

 

A G chord has the notes G-B-D. Here you can see we have the G and the D, but no B. Instead we have an A. This is actually a Gsus2 chord! We have "suspended" the B (taken it away) and replaced it with the A (which is the 2nd note of a G scale - hence the number 2). This creates a really nice feeling of tension that needs to be resolved. You can find more on suspended chords here.

 

Ok, nerdy theory over. This pattern repeats for every single verse! And learning this will mean you've learned most of the song (yay!).

 

The pre-chorus

 

Things change a little bit when we get to the pre-chorus (or second line of the verse, however you want to think about it). Now we are going to swap out that D/C# slash chord and replace it with an Em chord:

 

 

In the video, I like to use the 1st inversion of E minor. I know inversions can be confusing, so we have a complete lesson on them here.

 

But remember -- you're only changing ONE chord. The rest stays the same.

 

There's only one more part of this song to learn, and it's super simple.

 

The chorus (only 2 chords)

 

This chorus is really beautiful and simple to play. There are only 2 chords, and we already know one of them! That means before even looking at the chorus you can already play 50% of it.

 

Pretty cool, huh!

 

Here it is:

 

 

And you'll play each of these chords in root position. So for the A chord you'll play A-C#-E and for the G it'll be G-B-D.

 

If you want to get fancier I show a nice little trill that I like to include (you can find it at the 3:33 mark in the video).

 

And that is it. The entire song repeats and uses the same chord progressions and patterns.

 

Make sure you watch to the end to see my cover version as well.

 

I hope you feel as happy learning this song as I do every time I play it.

 

Have fun!

#Lisa Witt

#Pianote

#Feist Piano Tutorial

#1234 Piano Tutorial

#Easy Beginner Piano Songs

#How To Play 1234 By Feist On Piano

Piano Theme From "Nuvole Bianche" (Ludovico Einaudi)

Learn the theme and how to create your own Einaudi masterpiece

<< Download the FREE music here >>

 

"Nuvole Bianche" is an EPIC piano composition by Ludovico Einaudi. It's emotional, beautiful and the piece builds as it progresses.

 

Today we're going to look at the first main theme of the piece. I decided to focus on this theme because it's arguably the most recognizable part of the song, and it's a bit more accessible to piano players of different skill levels.

 

Not everyone will be able to play all of this

 

And that's ok. It's not a beginner piece of music. But I would encourage you to play what you can. That may only be the opening chords. But try it, get inspired and then practice so you can learn the rest :) 

 

At its heart, it's actually a very simple piece of music, using only 4 chords. And if you've been following along with our lessons for a while, you'll recognize the order.

 

The chord progression

 

This piece might "sound" like a classical composition, but when you look at the structure and chords it's actually much closer to a pop-progression. That's because it uses 4 chords, and those chords are the very well-known 1-5-4-6 chords, but in a 6-4-1-5 order.

 

Let's take a look:

 

 

One thing to notice here is how the notes of the chords are spread between the left and right hands. But the notes are all the normal ones you would expect to see.

 

There is also a slash chord to deal with. That G/D just means you play a G chord with a D note as the bottom note. It works really nicely leading into that D sus chord, where you substitute the 3rd note of the chord (F#) for the 4th (G) before resolving back to a D major.

 

These chords are the backbone of the entire song. They repeat over and over (and over), so it's really important that you get VERY comfortable with them. Practice this intro until you know if like the back of your hand.

 

Then you're ready to move on. And the first thing you might think is...

 

What the heck is 12/8 time??!!

 

I'm going to tell you right now - DON'T FOCUS ON THE TIME SIGNATURE!

 

12/8 means there are 12-eighth notes per measure. But that's just confusing, and honestly, I don't recommend trying to count this song out. I find it's much easier to LISTEN to it and get a feeling of how the melody and rhythm goes in your head. It will make life a lot easier, and you'll have enough to think about without counting to 12 over and over again.

 

Not that's out of the way, let's take a look at first melody line:

 

 

This looks really busy, but when we break it down you'll see it's quite simple (but that doesn't mean it's easy!).

 

The left hand is playing octaves with a fifth added. And that's it for now. The right hand is a bit more complicated with the rhythm, but the notes themselves are quite simple.

 

The second melody line is similar -- BUT there are some minor differences to watch out for in the second and third measures:

 

 

All of this brings me to my biggest tip for this entire piece.

 

Take it slow!

 

Your life will be SO much better if you slow it down and focus on playing each note correctly. Once you can do that, then you can work on building your speed.

 

That means breaking down that right-hand melody and playing it by itself. Start slow, then build the tempo. THEN add the left and start slow again. It might sound frustrating and time-consuming but honestly, it's the best piece of advice I could ever give for learning a new piece. 

 

The good news is that the right-hand melody continues to repeat for the rest of the theme. So once you have it, you have it.

 

The bad news?

 

The left-hand gets a little crazy!

 

Take a look if you don't believe me:

 

 

That's a lot of notes. 

 

But again, let's take it slow and break it down. When you look closely you'll see that the notes are EXACTLY the same as the notes you've already been playing. But instead of playing them all together at once, you are now going to break them out and play each one separately.

 

It uses a rocking pattern that is very common in classical music. Again, start slow and practice it hand separately until it feels comfortable. Then you can add your right hand, but remember to take it slow and gradually build your speed.

 

And that's it for the theme. If you'd like a complete tutorial for the rest of the piece comment to let me know!

 

But there's one more thing I wanted to talk about...

 

Writing your own Einaudi piece

 

What I love about this piece is that the underlying structure is simple and very common. This piece doesn't use any crazy chords and the progression simply repeats.

 

I love using pieces like this for inspiration, and as a starting point for my own improvisations. For example, I might use these chords as my ingredients. Then I'll make adjustments to the tempo, maybe the order of the chords and the melodies.

 

And I would absolutely encourage you to do the same. If you do, I'd LOVE to hear what you come up with :)

 

Good luck, and happy practicing!

#Lisa Witt

#Nuvole Bianche

#Ludovico Einaudi Piano

#How To Play Nuvole Bianche On Piano

#How To Play Ludovico Einaudi On Piano

#Nuvole Bianche Piano Tutorial

#Piano Theme Nuvole Bianche

#Pianote