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#1108798 - 12/18/04 12:20 PM My Left Hand Is Evil
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
I have become increasingly disappointed with my left hand. It just can't do anything right. If it is told to play quietly, it plays so quietly that the notes don't sound. It is a copy-cat, changing what it is doing in response to what the right hand is doing, even when it isn't supposed to.

Recently, my left hand was singled out for criticism by my piano teacher's husband. It was supposed to be doing quiet, legato accompaniment to the right hand. But no. It was loud, then soft, then loud. Awful.

Seriously, has anyone found a way to attack these problems? I've heard there are piano pieces for left hand alone. Would that help, and which ones should I get? I thought I was doing well with the whole independence of the hands thing, but apparently not.
_________________________
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#1108799 - 12/18/04 02:57 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
You are too funny. We could get biblical - If thy eye offends thee, pluck it out. If that left hand won't behave whack it off or tie it behind your back! Sorry, Cindy - couldn't resist!
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#1108800 - 12/18/04 04:27 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
Try doing something completely different (but simple) with your right hand while doing something reasonably simple (like scales or arpeggios or simple chord progressions) with your left hand.

Tape an Emory board to your leg and file your right-hand finger-nails while playing with your left hand. Squeeze a rubber ball with your right hand, or use a set of those Chinese "worry balls" .. or whatever the single entendre name is. Button or unbutton a button somewhere ... your choice of button, of course. Flip an inoperable Bic.

DON'T (at least at first) do something that requires individual finger control in the right hand .. i.e. nothing that would tend to mimic or distract the left hand. The idea is break the too-close connection between the dominant and support hands by doing something mindless ... but doing something with the dominant hand while doing something more deliberate with the support (left) hand.

After the reflexive "trailing" connection is broken down somewhat, you may find it easier to have more conscious control of the left hand when both hands are doing similar things.


Bob

I'm not sure[/b] this will work on the piano, but it worked like gang-busters at the marriage counselor's office.


(note to self: those were supposed to be take-home exercises.)

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#1108801 - 12/18/04 04:35 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
 Quote:
Originally posted by teachum:
If that left hand won't behave, whack it off [/b]
teachum! this is a family forum
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1108802 - 12/18/04 04:40 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
Yes, I should have mentioned that arm movements should be kept to a minimum.

Sorry for the oversight,
Bob

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#1108803 - 12/18/04 05:09 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
BACH BACH BACH!!!! And tons of hand alone practice. Seriously, you asked if there were pieces for the LH alone--yes, and there are books that concentrate on the left hand development. Get some publishers catalogs and look for them. Scriabin, Blumenfeld, Leschetizky, and others wrote pieces for the LH alone as well. To improve my LH I practised Hanon twice in the left to once in the right--then together. Now Mound will pounce on this like white on rice, I know, but it really helps. I did this for about a year and I can do almost anything with the Left that I can do with the Right.

Moszkowski, Henselt, Chopin, others have etudes that emphasize the LH so you might want to consider those as vehicles to learn control. I would suggest, as Leimer and Gieseking do, that you pick something and take it to perfection rather than trying to do multiple things and accomplishing little. Also, I would suggest you use the metronome so that it is disciplined practice rather than have it possibly speed up, slow down as your physical ability demanded. The metronome makes sure each note is on time and the tempo is consistent. When you feel like you've gained your goal, then you can continue or not as you see fit.

Or your teacher can advise you on a process to bring it up to some kind of par with the right. You didn't say whether your teacher had suggested any procedure--or not. Hm . . .have you asked?

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#1108804 - 12/18/04 07:18 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
 Quote:
Originally posted by RKVS1:

I'm not sure[/b] this will work on the piano, but it worked like gang-busters at the marriage counselor's office.


(note to self: those were supposed to be take-home exercises.) [/b]
Wow, the marriage counselor is also a piano teacher? That should make for some interesting sessions! ;\)
_________________________
markb--The Count of Casio

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#1108805 - 12/18/04 08:52 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
No, nothing as complicated or Renaissancien as that, mark.

Counselor's couch had broken, and had borrowed the piano teachers leather double wide for a week or two, that's all.

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#1108806 - 12/18/04 09:29 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
Apple - Should I have said "lop it off?" What were YOU thinking?
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#1108807 - 12/18/04 09:34 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
sbout Jack Frost...?
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1108808 - 12/18/04 09:45 PM Re: My Left Hand Is Evil
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
sbout Jack Frost...? [/b]
Huh? Guess my brains addled from too much playing today - about 5 hours! You've lost me.
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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