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Piano, Left hand

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DonMeixner 07 Jan 00 - 02:46 PM
Michael K. 07 Jan 00 - 03:09 PM
Michael K. 07 Jan 00 - 03:17 PM
DonMeixner 08 Jan 00 - 04:28 PM
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Subject: Piano, Left hand
From: DonMeixner
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 02:46 PM

I have been toying with the notion of the piano for years and now i have one in the house. I can find my way around the right hand a little and i can build chords OK with the right but what happens with the left? Is it strictly for rhythmic chords? Can a book or video be reccomended? I actually only know one person who plays poano and she is so self concious she won't even talk about playing it.


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Subject: RE: Piano, Left hand
From: Michael K.
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 03:09 PM

For now, given that you are just starting out, don't worry about building chords with the left hand. Use the left hand as bass, to reinforce the chords you form with your right hand. You use the root note of the chord as your bass in the left hand, playing that root either with just the left hand pinky finger, or as an octave (which sounds fuller) using pinky and thumb.

So if you're playing say a C Chord in the right hand (notes...C, E and G) you want to play an octave of C notes at the same time, with the left hand.

A couple of good practise exercises for the left hand would be to take that octave position and practise playing a C scale (and other scales) using the octave method. Then try ''walking'' the octaves...which means, pinky down first, then thumb, then pinky down on next note in the scale, then thumb....This is a fundamental method for getting a ''boogie woogie'' feel in the left hand...once you have it down and speed it up and swing it a little.

I am sure Mel Bay has tonnes of books on piano instruction...I don't really know what book to suggest as it's been 40 years since I started. Try my suggestions though. I think they will help and get you started in a good direction. (Don't worry about forming chord shapes in the left hand for now; this comes later on when you no longer have to think about what your right hand is doing.)

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Subject: RE: Piano, Left hand
From: Michael K.
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 03:17 PM

Just thought of another thing Don. When you practise what I suggest above, keep your arms and wrists parallel to keyboard (almost the same position as you would use to type).....the up and downward motion of playing the octave scales should be a relaxed up and down movement of the hand while the wrist angle remains somewhat the same manner as when you wave to someone.

You should have a lower overall ''arc'' of where your fingers are stiking the keys than say the position/angle your fingerpicking hand would pick guitar strings. Same applies to the right hand position. All finger movement should be generated by the fingers, with a slight rocking motion eminating from the wrists.

This way you will build up muscles and your hands won't get tired too quickly. Keys are quite effortless to play compared to picking acoustic instruments. Enjoy and have fun exploring.

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Subject: RE: Piano, Left hand
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 04:28 PM

Thank you Michael, I am doing this exercise. Clumbsily but I am doing it.


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