We all want to be able to sound fancier while we're playing our chord progressions. This applies to jamming with a band, accompanying yourself while you sing, improvising, songwriting, and anything that involves chording. Many people are concerned that they don't do enough with their left hand which results in an empty sound. Fear not! There are some really simple ways that you can make your progression sound much more connected and full by adding in fresh rhythms and notes into your left hand. Here are some ideas!
1) Do more of what you are already doing
As a beginner, you are likely just playing a single note per measure in your left hand as your right-hand plays through the progression. Try adding in a few more of the exact same notes you are playing in your left hand. This sounds especially good if you add in notes on the offbeat or the “and”. This is demonstrated perfectly in the video lesson!
2) Use passing notes
Anytime you travel the distance of a third (for example from Am to F) you can play the note in between on the offbeat to travel you up or down to the chord you are transitioning to.
3) Play notes that compliment the root note
You can choose any note of the chord you are playing to use as the bass- you don’t have to stick with the root note. Try subbing for the 3rd or 5th for a fresh sound!
4) Add octaves
Using octaves will help you to create a really rich and deep sound when played in solid form. You can also break them up and play them broken to help you pass between your chord. Experiment with playing heavy octaves low on the keyboard, or light octaves in a broken form a little higher up to see how it changes the vibe of what you are playing.
Once you get going with these ideas you will realize that the possibilities are endless!