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Left Hand Playing Made Easy

Jordan Leibel - Apr 10, 2017

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The left hand is the big sticking point for so many piano players. Syncing up both hands is one of the greatest hurdles all pianists face early on. But when you finally jump that hurdle and find yourself playing fluidly with both hands together,  well there’s no better feeling than that!  So here are some ways to make your left hand playing easier and more natural.  

The first thing your left hand should be focused on is maintaining a sense of rhythm. Seeing as the left hand typically fills a support role in your playing, naturally, you should make sure that your left hand is as supportive as possible!   

An easy way to start doing that is to simply play a chord progression with simple octaves in the bass. Keeping the left hand as just octaves means you don’t have to really worry about coordinating precise finger movements with the right hand. Instead, you can focus on developing accuracy as your chords move from root note to root note.  

 


Once you start to feel comfortable with octaves, you can start thinking about clever ways to transition from chord to chord. It can be as simple as playing a broken arpeggio of the chord you’re on as a way to work yourself into the next chord.  


Combining octave root notes with broken arpeggios is a great way to really work out your left hand. A left-hand pattern such as this will build on both your broad keyboard accuracy as well as your fine motor skills. It’s a challenge to be sure, but once you get into the flow of it the results will speak for themselves!

Other ways to accompany yourself include playing 8th notes in your left hand to establish a pulse that your right hand can play over. Again, a pattern like this is more about building rhythmic motion rather than keyboard accuracy, so your priority here should be mostly on timing.

 


How about taking an 8th note rhythm and playing a broken chord progression? This is one of those patterns that sounds a lot trickier than it actually is, so I recommend focusing solely on the left hand. Forget about the right until the left-hand pattern becomes a second nature instinct.  


Developing a strong left hand requires some real focus and determination. It takes a healthy balance of instinct and discipline. You want to be so comfortable with your left hand playing that you don’t have to think about it, and yet you should always be aware of what it’s doing.

 

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#Left Hand

Hi, I'm Jordan Leibel

I've worked as a composer for film, commercial, and theatre projects as well as a session musician and producer for recording projects. And now, I'm super excited to teach you a thing or two through Pianote!