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
(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
#2220897 - 01/26/14 06:13 AM Playing left/right hands louder/quieter?
Jayden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 102
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
I'm learning a song, and the bass seems to be overpowering the treble from the right hand.

It's really difficult to play the right hand louder while playing soft with the left... I am referring only to the parts where you are hitting a key with both your left and right hands simultaneously. I've tried, but it usually results in the right hand making a sound before the left does (since the right hand is pushing down with more velocity/faster). Is the only solution for this pushing the left keys down slightly before you start pushing the right keys down?

Here's what I mean, in the part of the song that's giving me trouble:

unedited: http://picosong.com/YyDr/ (see how the treble is being overpowered and downed out by the bass in the left hand)

edited version: http://picosong.com/Yyzw/ (I edited the MIDI and increased the right hand velocity. I want to play more like this, it sounds far better).


Edited by Jayden (01/26/14 06:16 AM)
_________________________
XXXV
XXXIII

Top
(ads P/S)

Petrof Pianos

#2220920 - 01/26/14 07:45 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I was not able to listen to your clip, but your description of the problem was sufficient I think. When playing two different dynamics in each hand there shouldn't be a timing difference. So this tells me that there is something wrong with how you play piano. After all, you should be able to play softly and still keep the beat. That you can't means your problem is most likely due to just how you play them together.

The way you fix this is by "shadowplaying".
-First, make sure you practice playing the LH alone many times with a metronome softly so that you can do that well
-When you cqn do this easily, play the RH loudly, but instead of actually pressing the LH keys, just barely press them so they do not sound but your fingers are still touching the keys. Be sure to feel them happen at the same time as the RH
-When you can do this well after a few repetitions then try actually playing the LH, being sure to listen and adjust as you go
-If need be, work in small chunks (a few measures at a time) and frequently play the LH alone to remind yourself of the feeling of playing softly in time.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2221222 - 01/27/14 01:24 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Jayden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 102
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Ok I will try doing that for awhile. See if it helps.

This is the first song I have played so far that truly needs the left hand to be played quieter, otherwise it doesn't sound right, so I am not quite used to it yet.

Thanks for that. It's pretty much the same suggestion I have seen in every other post about this, so it must work.
_________________________
XXXV
XXXIII

Top
#2221225 - 01/27/14 01:37 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1973
Loc: Philadelphia area
balancing intervals is the best part of piano playing.

Top
#2221227 - 01/27/14 01:43 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Jayden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 102
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Balancing intervals? What do you mean by that?

edit: hey, I think I am getting the hang of it already. woo.


Edited by Jayden (01/27/14 01:58 AM)
_________________________
XXXV
XXXIII

Top
#2221240 - 01/27/14 02:58 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1638
Loc: Australia
As beginners it is fairly common to have little or no control over the weight we play so don't worry if you don't get it right at first. Morodiene's exercise is the answer and I hope it works for you. But as you have only been playing for just over a month you are still adapting to the instrument (a lifelong journey really), and such subtleties take experience and time.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

Top
#2221250 - 01/27/14 04:11 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Morodiene]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 979
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
The way you fix this is by "shadowplaying"
That's a great idea, and perfect to fix the problem on this song.

I'll simply add that years ago a coach recommended some exercises in independent dynamics that really helped. We used Hanon, but you can use scales or any other repetitive pattern where both hands are playing the same thing. Start by playing both soft. Then increase the volume of both hands together. Then you try to decrease the volume of one while keeping the other up. Then decrease the volume of the other to match the softer one. Continue raising/lowering the volume of individual hands. I remember it being extremely frustrating at the time, but eventually you get the hang of it.
_________________________
-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music

Top
#2221332 - 01/27/14 09:00 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Ataru074 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 340
Loc: Houston, TX
+1 for what Brian is saying.
Scales with alternate dynamics are really useful

exercise 1:
Scales in parallel motion:
RH start F, diminuendo to pp going up, crescendo to F going down.
LH start pp, crescendo to F going up, diminuendo to pp going down.

Exercise 2:
the opposite of 1

Exercise 3:
Scales in opposite motion.
RH start F, diminuendo to pp going up, crescendo to F going down.
LH start pp, crescendo to F going down, diminuendo to pp going up.

Exercise 4:
the opposite of 3.

These are a little more advanced and you need really to care about having all the dynamics...
you should hear the transitioning from one hand to the other about half the way going up or down.

as usual, hand separates first and then together.... it's hard and takes quite some control to master, but for example it's the only way to gain enough control on LH dynamics to play more complex pieces with enough expression and not with a single hand pounding. (comes to mind the development of the pastoral sonata or this part of op 110. http://youtu.be/uzIZu0JoT2E?t=2m54s )
_________________________
===============================================
working on:
Bach: BWV 871
Mozart: Kv310
Beethoven: Op 14 #2
===============================================

Top
#2221515 - 01/27/14 03:23 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
Agreed. I use my hanon work to basically practice that and kill two birds with one stone. Basically how I got it to "work" is I start playing both hands softly. Then they kind of go on auto pilot and I make my right hand hit a bit heavier. I don't even think about the left hand once I've got it going.
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

Top
#2221646 - 01/27/14 08:00 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

Play the RH loudly, but instead of actually pressing the LH keys, just barely press them so they do not sound but your fingers are still touching the keys. Be sure to feel them happen at the same time as the RH


Don't underestimate this brutal torturous exercise from Morodiene. It's tough but really works. Then you move on to doing the same 'voicing' on a single hand, for specific chords, etc.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

Top
#2221681 - 01/27/14 09:47 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1092
Loc: western MA, USA
A more basic exercise that gets at the same thing, used successfully with lots of students who know it as the Tapping Exercise:

Level 1. Play half notes with both finger 2s on Cs repeatedly. Then one hand taps its C silently in half notes, touching the key top but making no sound, while the other continues to play its C in half notes. Then switch the hands.

Level 2. Same as level 1 but instead of playing and silent tapping, use ff playing and pp playing.

Level 3. Pick the easiest possible piece you can play that has a melody in one hand and accompaniment in the other hand. Play the melody ff and accompaniment pp, then switch the hands (aka KILL THE MELODY.)
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Sometimes a bagatelle is just a bagatelle. Beethoven Op. 33
Daily 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 2, Pischna
Loving Fauré/Barcarolles and Ravel/Tombeau de Couperin
Always a fan of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

Top
#2221690 - 01/27/14 10:06 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Bloggs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: Jayden
I'm learning a song, and the bass seems to be overpowering the treble from the right hand.

It's really difficult to play the right hand louder while playing soft with the left... I am referring only to the parts where you are hitting a key with both your left and right hands simultaneously.


I'm sorry for being completely useless, but you're going to hate voicing in one hand. grin



Tone differentiation is tricky stuff.

Top
#2221694 - 01/27/14 10:27 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Bloggs]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
You should be grateful it's Lento ma non troppo. shocked
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

Top
#2221696 - 01/27/14 10:32 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 979
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
You should be grateful it's Lento ma non troppo. shocked
ma non troppo wink
_________________________
-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music

Top
#2221746 - 01/28/14 03:34 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Brian Lucas]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Ha! Good one. laugh
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

Top
#2221754 - 01/28/14 04:42 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Jayden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 102
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
So I seem to be able to do it now. Haven't tried those exercises yet, guess my brain just kind of figured it out.

the whole "don't play the left hand softer, play the right hand louder" philosophy seems to be working well for me.
_________________________
XXXV
XXXIII

Top
#2221968 - 01/28/14 04:32 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
Glad to hear, that's how I got hands to do it.
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

Top
#2222265 - 01/29/14 02:09 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Jayden
Is the only solution for this pushing the left keys down slightly before you start pushing the right keys down?

No. Actually, what happens is your right hand will usually travel a little farther to get there (think "bigger motion"). It doesn't have to, but in the beginning it is much easier to coordinate a small movement with a large movement than to try to coordinate two different velocities over the same distance.

Morodiene's exercise is pretty much the best bet. One variant on it that you can do away from the keys: lightly tap your left hand fingertips on a desk/tabletop/etc, and tap your right hand harder so it makes a louder noise. You can practice doing a lot of things this way, without having to worry about right notes. It really can help you get the feel for what your hands have to do when you sit back down at a keyboard.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

Top
#2222302 - 01/29/14 04:39 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
wimpiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1395
Loc: The Netherlands
In my humble opinion playing the right hand louder is not the solution. It might be an "easy" trick to accomplish it but you are most likely not playing the left hand pianissimo (or perhaps just even piano) which was likely the intention of the composer.

I must say you're previous results impressed me though I'm afraid you're learning lots of bad habits. My teacher has (already in this short period that I started playing) corrected me quite a number of times, especially when it comes to accents and dynamics. Even on relatively easy things like broken chords. You don't have a basis and you're going directly for "master level" works.

This way you will most likely never truly master those pieces. You might be able to play the notes (or not even, just what you think the notes are but most likely you are way of) but won't be able to make it music.

I'm not trying to be harsh but your approach does not seem wise to me.


Edited by wimpiano (01/29/14 04:40 AM)
_________________________
Schimmel 116 S ..

Top
#2222360 - 01/29/14 07:46 AM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Jayden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 102
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
I know what you mean, and I have been well aware of this since before I even started.

It's about balancing short-term/long-term gain. In the short term, I have a few songs I want to play well, because they mean something to me. In the long term, I will be correcting my technique and learning the foundations. This is not lost on me.

Right now, my only interest is playing this song better, and that means playing the right hand louder/ left hand softer.

If it feels good playing it, and sounds good, I couldn't really care about the technique I am using at this moment. That comes soon, but not until I am done fulfilling my short term goals. I have all the time in the world and habits aren't hard to break.

As for me pursuing 'master level' works, it's not my goal to play them absolutely perfect. It's my goal to play them to my own standard of satisfaction (a standard that will go up with experience. And my standard tells me that this piece sounds far better with a softer left hand). I think one of the reasons people take so long learning this instrument is because they spend so much time with pieces either at or below their level. The best way to learn effectively is to continuously use content above your level.

Thanks for the suggestions smile

Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Jayden
Is the only solution for this pushing the left keys down slightly before you start pushing the right keys down?

No. Actually, what happens is your right hand will usually travel a little farther to get there (think "bigger motion"). It doesn't have to, but in the beginning it is much easier to coordinate a small movement with a large movement than to try to coordinate two different velocities over the same distance.


I see. That's useful information. I think I've been coordinating two different velocities over the last day or so, which seems to work for this situation now. I don't think I am using a larger motion, but that makes a lot of sense for future situations.


Edited by Jayden (01/29/14 08:09 AM)
_________________________
XXXV
XXXIII

Top
#2222622 - 01/29/14 02:56 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
I disagree with wimpiano, if you play both hands piano, then start playing your right hand louder, as long as the left hand doesn't get louder as well, you are accomplishing piano in left and forte in right.
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

Top
#2222644 - 01/29/14 03:38 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2334
Loc: SoCal
Singing the melody while playing the piece has helped me.
_________________________
Gary

Top
#2222660 - 01/29/14 04:13 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1441
Loc: Reseda, California
Another example: "La Vie en Rose" -- the left walks down the scale playing open octaves in the deep bass, against mostly a single note melody line with a few chords on the right.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

Top
#2222861 - 01/29/14 11:00 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: JohnSprung]
Jayden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 102
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Another example: "La Vie en Rose" -- the left walks down the scale playing open octaves in the deep bass, against mostly a single note melody line with a few chords on the right.



That sounds perfect for this situation.
_________________________
XXXV
XXXIII

Top
#2223226 - 01/30/14 03:34 PM Re: Playing left/right hands louder/quieter? [Re: Jayden]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1441
Loc: Reseda, California
PM your e-mail address, and I can send you a PDF and music XML.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

Top

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
8 Live Ragtime Piano Players on the Cape!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
You must like every major composer
by JoelW
Today at 07:32 PM
Physis Piano K4 EX, tell me more...
by thercman
Today at 07:14 PM
Are pianos sometimes voiced or tuned differently for jazz?
by Jake Jackson
Today at 06:18 PM
Stay safe, Ottawa
by jehalliday
Today at 03:51 PM
Which Books did Chopin Study?
by Batuhan
Today at 03:12 PM
Who's Online
118 registered (anotherscott, 36251, A-Tom, Alux, 33 invisible), 1296 Guests and 14 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76619 Members
42 Forums
158425 Topics
2326561 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
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