Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1228786 - 07/09/09 12:31 AM Left Hand Trouble
SilverSunlight Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/03/09
Posts: 12
I need some help with my left hand when playing by ear. I'm mostly a classical pianist, but I play by ear sometimes for fun. I find it easy to figure out the melody by ear and put chords with it, but my problem is that my left hand accompaniment is always really boring. I never know what to do with my left hand. I usually just end up doing open spaced chords, arpeggios, or really boring broken chord patterns that I repeat over and over. How can I make my left hand part more interesting?

Top
Piano & Music Accessories
#1228814 - 07/09/09 04:33 AM Re: Left Hand Trouble [Re: SilverSunlight]
dario77 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/09
Posts: 35
play melody in left, while stabbing chords in teh right

also try echoeing melody that is played in right hand

Top
#1228846 - 07/09/09 08:44 AM Re: Left Hand Trouble [Re: dario77]
dave solazzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 160
Loc: syracuse ny
you could play some stride patterns with your left hand...or a walking bass line.
_________________________
http://davesolazzo.com

Top
#1228885 - 07/09/09 10:44 AM Re: Left Hand Trouble [Re: dave solazzo]
SilverSunlight Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/03/09
Posts: 12
Pardon my ignorance, but what's a stride pattern and a walking bass line?

Top
#1228889 - 07/09/09 11:03 AM Re: Left Hand Trouble [Re: SilverSunlight]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: SilverSunlight
Pardon my ignorance, but what's a stride pattern and a walking bass line?


Stride:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stride_piano


Walking Bass:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_bass
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

Top
#1228970 - 07/09/09 02:15 PM Re: Left Hand Trouble [Re: rocket88]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I'm also mostly a classical player, but I try to get in
as much jazz and popular playing as possible. I've
been struggling with the same things you describe
for years. I've tried wading through jazz method
books but soon gave up from the sheer tedium of it.

What I've found thus far is that it seems to be beneficial
to do as much improvising as possible. This thing
about playing by ear which you describe I also tried, but
I personally found that this is sort of like putting the cart
before the horse. That is, what you need to do is
develop the ability to improvise first, then the ability
to play songs by ear should come naturally over time.

To improvise I use 4-note seventh chords, which seem
to be a good compromise between basic 3-note triads and
the larger 9th, 11th, and 13th chords. Using just
sevenths in the l.h., you can improvise all kinds of
things in the r.h., and just these "block" chords in
the l.h. is nothing to sneer at. Sevenths are already
pretty sophisticated in themselves--note in classical
music how much impressive stuff is just "block" chords
in the lt. and elaborate improvisatory stuff in the
rt. And of course you can also do improvisatory
things in the l.h. too.

This is where classical music comes in. A lot of
folks like to rigidly separate classical and jazz,
but they're really much the same, and when playing
your classical pieces you should always be on the
lookout for sounds and patterns and techniques that
you can add to your jazz improvisation. What kind of
stuff does the the r.h. do in classical? What does the
l.h. do? These things can be added to your jazz
improvisation. And thus your classical practicing
will be beneficial to your jazz improvisation practice.


Another thing I've found beneficial is to play
jazz and popular pieces from the score. There are hundreds
of books you can buy with fully written out scores
of jazz and popular songs. By playing them, you get
ideas of how to arrange and improvise, and you train
your ear for this kind of playing.

Top
#1228972 - 07/09/09 02:28 PM Re: Left Hand Trouble [Re: Gyro]
SilverSunlight Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/03/09
Posts: 12
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. Gyro, I actually don't play that much jazz. I usually play familiar folk songs, pop songs, and Christmas carols. I would like to learn jazz but I don't know the first thing about it so it seems really intimidating. How would I go about learning a little jazz improvisation? Where should I start? Also, would it help my left hand problem if I listened to recordings of piano music and tried to imitate the left hand patterns that they use?

Top
#1228975 - 07/09/09 02:37 PM Re: Left Hand Trouble [Re: SilverSunlight]
Swingin' Barb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 889
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: SilverSunlight
How would I go about learning a little jazz improvisation?

Have you checked out the following thread in the Adult Beginners Forum?

"Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc."

You can jump in there at any time. It is very informal.

Barb


Edited by Swingin' Barb (07/09/09 02:38 PM)
_________________________
A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com

Top
#1229094 - 07/09/09 08:02 PM Re: Left Hand Trouble [Re: Swingin' Barb]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Play the chords DFAC, EGBD, and FACE with the l.h.
Using just those three chords, in any order, you can improvise
all kinds of jazz-like tunes with the r.h. Then
you can add more chords, and so forth.

Top
#1229718 - 07/10/09 06:42 PM Re: Left Hand Trouble [Re: Gyro]
JazzPianoEducator Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 203
Loc: Denver, CO
If you plan on playing solo piano your left hand approach will be different than if you plan on playing with a group (ie a bass player to put the root notes in the bass)

My suggestion is to check out the following:

Learn some simple walking bass lines over the blues progression
http://www.lessonrating.com/free-piano-lessons-left-hand-walking-bass.html
Learn from LH boogie patterns over the blues progression
http://www.lessonrating.com/free-piano-lessons-left-hand-boogie-bass.html
Take a song and learn the chord progression in multiple inversions so you get comfortable varying how you play the chords in your left hand and so they are not always in the same inversion
Check out rootless ii-V-I voicings (more advanced)
http://www.lessonrating.com/free-piano-lessons-ii-V-I-basic-piano-voicings-12-keys.html
http://www.lessonrating.com/free-piano-lessons-ii-V-I-four-note-piano-voicings-12-keys.html
Experiment with playing 10ths in your left hand

Getting a good left hand is about working on your technique but also learning how to be creative in using the chords presented to you. The more you learn to improvise your LH accomp on the fly the more interesting your playing will sound. Try and get familiar with the feel and sound of as many voicings as you can.

Hope this helps!
_________________________
Find Piano Lessons | Piano Teacher Advertising

Top

Moderator:  sharpsandflats 
What's Hot!!
75,000 Members and Growing!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
153 registered (ajames, Abby Pianoman, Alex-SapRenovation, AndresD, 44 invisible), 1589 Guests and 15 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75509 Members
42 Forums
156151 Topics
2293151 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Embedded ads?
by Peyton
26 minutes 25 seconds ago
Who's inspiring you right now?
by Arizona Sage
Today at 08:58 AM
Best way to dispose of an old piano?
by fizikisto
Today at 08:33 AM
Mendelssohn on meaning in music
by phantomFive
Today at 04:08 AM
Youtube! :)
by PianoPlayer98
Today at 02:46 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission