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#403189 - 09/12/01 07:49 PM left hand
jfs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 1
Loc: Osseo, Wisconsin
Can someone tell me how to acquire a good,
solid left hand. What books to practice from, how long should it take to really get
proficient? Thanks for the advice. jfs

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#403190 - 09/13/01 07:32 AM Re: left hand
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19841
Loc: Victoria, BC
What works for some does not always work for others. You don't give any idea how proficient you already are nor what you mean by "a good, solid left hand."

For interdependence of fingers, some like (?) Hanon, some don't. It's hard, I think, to beat scales and arpeggios, though for developing both hands.

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#403191 - 09/13/01 11:03 AM Re: left hand
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
Hanons are good to develop independance between the 4th and 5th fingers. But this is only one peice of excersize that you should do. scales and arpeggios are good for hand coordination and accuracy. There are some good peices, hard and easy, out there if you want to build strength and emotion in the left hand playing. Chopin's prelude No. 6 ( op 28), for example, has left hand melody and is good for developing expression, and is farly easy. To build strength, things like Beethoven's sonata Op. 2 No 1 Movement 4 is great for devoloping strength and stamina, though it is a rather hard peice.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff

#403192 - 09/13/01 11:55 AM Re: left hand
Brendan Offline

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5538
Loc: McAllen, TX
I agree with Bruce; practice scales and arpeggios with careful attention to your left hand and the movements that it makes - how you are moving your thumb under your hand during cross-unders. Also, try to keep both of your elbows a little raised; this helps you engage the whole arm instead of keeping it limited to the hand.

For later study, try to get your technique from the pieces that you play. Work on some Etudes or pick a piece with varied technical writing for the left hand (ideally both hands).


#403193 - 09/13/01 12:27 PM Re: left hand
swb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/01
Posts: 68
Loc: Dallas, Texas
This may seem blatantly obvious, but when you're working on Hanon, scales, etc.. - don't alway do them hands together. It's so easy to ignore the weak hand this way. Be sure to practice hands apart.

Two strengthening exercises I like (non-piano) for either hand: 1. lay a newspaper section open on the table in front of you. Lay one hand flat on the paper, then begin to gather the paper up into that hand, until you've crumpled it all into a ball. Sounds easy, but it takes more strength than you'd expect. 2. bounce a large gym ball/therapy ball against the wall above eye level, just using fingertips - lots of repetitions (100 - 300). You can do this one-handed or using both.


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