• Revealed: What Intermediate Players Do On The Left Hand

    in Chords & Progressions,Experienced players,Piano,Theory

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    If you’re interested in learning what intermediate players do on the left hand, then you arrived at the right page.

    What most beginners can do on the left hand are usually limited to root notes, fifth intervals, and octaves.Over the C major triad, most beginners would play any of the following on the left hand:

    The root note (C):

    …fifth interval (“C-G”):

    …or octave (“C-C”):

    However, as they progress to the intermediate level, there is need for a better left hand that can do more.

    So, we’ll be covering some of those left hand ideas that intermediate players cannot do without.

    #1 – “Use Of Seventh Intervals”

    A seventh interval is a product of the relationship between the first and seventh tones of the scale.

    There are two common seventh interval types that are used on the hand:

    • The major seventh interval
    • The minor seventh interval

    The major seventh interval is formed by the relationship between the first and seventh tones of the major scale. For example, in the key of C major:

    …where the first and seventh tones are C and B:

    …the interval “C-B” is a major seventh interval.

    Although minor seventh intervals are derived from minor scales, they can be formed from major seventh intervals by lowering the highest sounding pitch in a major seventh interval by a half-step.

    Lowering the highest sounding note in “C-B”:

    …which is is B:

    …to Bb:

    …produces “C-Bb”:

    …a minor seventh interval.

    Apart from the first and fourth tones of the scale where major seventh intervals are used, minor intervals are used in the remainder scale tones.

    “Check Out These Left Hand Seventh Intervals In The Key Of C Major…”

    1st tone (C-B):

    …a major seventh interval.

    2nd tone (D-C):

    …a minor seventh interval.

    3rd tone (E-D):

    …a minor seventh interval

    4th tone (F-E):

    …a major seventh interval.

    5th tone (G-F):

    …a minor seventh interval

    6th tone (A-G):

    …a minor seventh interval

    7th tone (B-A):

    …a minor seventh interval

    The Application Of Seventh Intervals

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

    Chord 1:

    Chord 4:

    #2 – “The Use Of Filled-In Octaves”

    An octave is a product of the relationship between two notes that are are eighth apart from each other.

    The left-hand octave is usually filled in by the intermediate player who desires a thicker texture. The octave is filled-in with the fifth tone of the scale (be it a major or minor scale) except in rare occasions.

    So, instead of the use of the C octave:

    …to accompany the C major triad:

    …the left hand octave (“C-C”) is filled-in with the fifth tone of the scale (which is G):

    …to produce the C filled-in octave:

    “Check Out The Filled-In Octaves For All Twelve Tones On The Keyboard…”

    Attention: Filled-in octaves can be used for major, minor, and dominant chords; triads, seventh and extended chords.

    C filled-in octave:

    Db filled-in octave:

    D filled-in octave:

    Eb filled-in octave:

    E filled-in octave:

    F filled-in octave:

    Gb filled-in octave:

    G filled-in octave:

    Ab filled-in octave:

    A filled-in octave:

    Bb filled-in octave:

    B filled-in octave:

    The Application Of Filled-In Octaves

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

    Chord 1:

    Chord 4:

    #3 – “The Use Of Filled-In Seventh Intervals”

    It’s easier to understand the concept of filled-in seventh intervals because it’s related to the last concept we covered; the filled-in octave.

    The texture of the seventh interval can be enhanced by the addition of the fifth tone of the scale that fills-in the interval between the root and the seventh. Using the C major seventh interval as a reference:

    …we can increase the texture of the C major seventh interval by the addition of the fifth tone of the scale (which is G):

    …to produce the filled-in seventh interval:

    Same thing is applicable on the minor seventh interval. The addition of the fifth tone (G):

    …to the C minor seventh interval:

    This produces the C minor seventh interval:

    “Here Are All The Filled-In Major Seventh Intervals…”

    C filled-in major seventh:

    Db filled-in major seventh:

    D filled-in major seventh:

    Eb filled-in major seventh:

    E filled-in major seventh:

    F filled-in major seventh:

    Gb filled-in major seventh:

    G filled-in major seventh:

    Ab filled-in major seventh:

    A filled-in major seventh:

    Bb filled-in major seventh:

    B filled-in major seventh:

    “Also Check Out All The Filled-In Minor Seventh Intervals…”

    C filled-in minor seventh:

    C# filled-in minor seventh:

    D filled-in minor seventh:

    Eb filled-in minor seventh:

    E filled-in minor seventh:

    F filled-in minor seventh:

    F# filled-in minor seventh:

    G filled-in minor seventh:

    G# filled-in minor seventh:

    A filled-in minor seventh:

    Bb filled-in minor seventh:

    B filled-in minor seventh:

    The Application Of Filled-In Seventh Intervals

    Filled-in sevenths can be applied over any chord progression. Check out this 7-3-6 chord progression in the key of C major using filled-in seventh intervals on the left hand.

    Chord 7:

    Chord 3:

    Chord 6:

    Final Words

    Using the left hand ideas we’ve covered in this lesson, you can take your playing to the next level by sophisticating your left hand with filled-in octaves, filled-in seventh intervals, and seventh intervals.

    It is important for you to practice playing these ideas in all twelve keys.

    All the best!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    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 the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.




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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Remi

    Hello thanks for the lesson. I understood everything except the “The Application Of Filled-In Seventh Intervals” Can you help me out please ?

    Reply

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