Casual to Confident Piano Player

Make Your Left Hand Cooperate (3 Exercises for Piano)

revolutionary technique methods technique Jun 03, 2024

If you're struggling to get your left hand to cooperate, you're not alone. Most people find it challenging to play freely and fluidly with their left hand, even if they’re left-handed.

I’m going to give you three exercises to help your left hand cooperate better, each with added benefits. Plus a bonus tip!

Exercise 1: Copycat Exercise

The Copycat Exercise is fun and beneficial. It helps your left hand move in new ways and makes your brain work harder. Here's how to do it:

  1. Pick a Pattern: Choose a right-hand pattern from any piece of music. For example, let's use the opening notes of Fur Elise: E, D#, E, D#, E, B, D, C, A.

  2. Play with the Right Hand: Play the pattern a few times with your right hand to get the rhythm, musicality, and flow.

  3. Mimic with the Left Hand: Transfer the same pattern to your left hand and play it until it sounds as good as it does with your right hand.

This exercise not only strengthens your left hand but also improves the connection between your brain and your left hand. It also helps you understand the piece of music better.

Exercise 2: Five Finger Patterns

Five Finger Patterns are versatile and beneficial for developing proper technique in your left hand.

  1. C Major Pattern: Start with the C major five-finger pattern (C-D-E-F-G).

  2. Proper Technique: Keep each finger on the edge of the keys, rounded and glued to the keys, without lifting them too much.

  3. Arcing Motion: Use a slight arcing motion of the wrist, moving from left to right and back, ensuring even sound and control over your fingers.

Practicing slowly with a focus on evenness of sound will gradually improve your left hand's technique and control.

Exercise 3: Jumping

Jumping helps your left hand get used to changing positions and making jumps, which is often required in music.

  1. Chord Progression: Use a chord progression like C major (C-G-E), G major (G-B-D), A minor (A-C-E), and F major (F-A-C).

  2. Maintain Triad Position: Keep your hand in the triad position, guiding with the pinky finger to ensure smooth transitions.

  3. Practice in Rhythm: Practice slowly, counting in rhythm to ensure your left hand knows when and where to jump.

By anchoring your pinky finger and maintaining hand position, you’ll improve your left hand’s ability to make jumps accurately and smoothly.

Bonus Tip: Count Out Loud

Count out loud while practicing. This strengthens the relationship between your hands, helping them to cooperate better. Counting out loud provides clear instructions from your brain to your hands, ensuring they know where to be and when to be there.

To see these exercises in action, check out the full length tutorial on the YouTube channel πŸ‘‡πŸ»

Sight reading is the secret sauce behind beautiful and accurate piano playing that no one’s talking about!

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