• Here Are Left Hand Ideas For Starters On The Piano

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    You arrived at this page because you’re interested in learning ideas for the left hand.

    One of the challenges most keyboard players face is knowing what to do with the left hand and that’s why we’re dedicating this lesson to studying the left hand extensively.

    There are a variety of stuff a beginner can apply on the left hand and it varies from notes to octaves and fifths. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

    #1 – Use Of Root Notes

    A note is a musical sound of a precise pitch.

    The root note of a chord is one of the options of what can be played in the left hand to accompany a right hand chord. For example, given the C major triad:

    …where the root note is C:

    …the root note (which is C) can be played on the left hand:

    …against the C major triad on the right hand:

    Check out the C major triad (with the left hand note):

    Following the same procedure, you can play the root note of any given chord on the left hand.

    For the D minor triad:

    …the root note (which is D):

    …can be played on the left hand:

    …over the right hand chord.

    Application Of Root Notes

    Root notes can be applied over any chord progression. Check out this 1-4 chord progression in the key of C major using root notes on the left hand.

    Chord 1:

    Chord 4:

    #2 – Use Of Octave Intervals

    An octave (as an interval) is the distance between two notes that are an eighth apart.

    Duplicating the root note of any given chord produces an octave. In the case of C:

    …adding its duplicate produces its octave (“C-C”):

    One of the ways to reinforce the left hand is to duplicate the root note on the left hand by playing it as an octave.

    Instead of the left hand root note:

    …octaves can be used:

    …for a more reinforced left hand.

    Application Of Octave Intervals

    Here’s a 1-4 chord progression in the key of C major using octave intervals on the left hand.

    Chord 1:

    Chord 4:

    #3 – Use Of Fifth Intervals

    A fifth interval is the distance between two notes that are five steps apart from each other.

    Another left hand idea you don’t want to miss is the use of fifth intervals, which are basically formed by two notes that are five scale tones apart from each other.

    In the key of C major:

    …C and G:

    …are five scale tones apart (C, D, E, F, and G) apart:

    Therefore, C and G:

    …can be played over the C major triad:

    Check it out:

    “Here Are All The Fifth Intervals In The Key Of C Major…”

    For the first tone of the scale (C):

    …is (C-G):

    For the second tone of the scale (D):

    …is (D-A):

    For the third tone of the scale (E):

    …is (E-B):

    For the fourth tone of the scale (F):

    …is (F-C):

    For the fifth tone of the scale (G):

    …is (G-D):

    For the sixth tone of the scale (A):

    …is (A-E):

    For the seventh tone of the scale (B):

    …is (B-F):

    Fifth intervals are also easy to derive because they are basically a combination of the lowest and highest sounding notes in a chord. In the C major chord:

    …the lowest and highest sounding tones (which are C and G):

    …form a perfect fifth interval.

    Final Words

    For starters, practicing and mastering these left hand devices in all twelve keys can be challenging, however, it’s rewarding.

    All the best!

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 dillon munro

    my dream one day is to sing with piano self accompaniment. it’s challenging because i’m teaching myself, but i’ll do it !!. thank for that info, it was a great help and encouragement for me to continue to stick to it. send more info on the use of the left hand, and also the best and most effective way to practice chords.

    Reply

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