Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

Schumann's 4th Finger
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Modern Piano Moving
Modern Piano Moving
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online
147 registered (Austin B, ajames, AndyE, 36251, ando, anke0020, 33 invisible), 2008 Guests and 11 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1142211 - 03/07/05 06:06 PM Syncopation - freeing the right hand
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Right now when I do a blues improv I "match" the rhythm of the right hand with the left hand. I can do triplets, 16ths etc. with the right hand, but only in synch with the left (i.e. three notes in the right hand, for one beat of the left).

Every time I try to syncopate the right hand to make it sound less mechanical - I lose the rhythm. Do I just need more practice to make the beat in the left hand more solid? How does one practice "separating" the rhythm and beat of the hands?

Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1142212 - 03/07/05 06:44 PM Re: Syncopation - freeing the right hand
schuyler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/05
Posts: 374
id suggest practicing the left hand separate a good amount...usually with this stuff...one day it just clicks and you can play the right hand freely while keeping the left in perfect time...itll simply take time.
...when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace...

#1142213 - 03/07/05 09:07 PM Re: Syncopation - freeing the right hand
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
Yeah, practice the hands separate, and use a metronome always. \:\)
Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples

#1142214 - 03/07/05 09:20 PM Re: Syncopation - freeing the right hand
apple* Offline

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
jeffrey... believe it or not I am exposed to alot of syncopation in Catholic church music... \:\)

You can definitely conquer it with lots of practice.... You have to have your body feel and direct the syncopation to really do it well.. try absorbing the rhythm thru dance...click it with a head wag and drift back.. and let your fingers follow..
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

#1142215 - 03/08/05 12:32 AM Re: Syncopation - freeing the right hand
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 1740
Loc: Los Angeles
Tap a rhythm in your right hand, and tap a different rhythm in your left..

Practice this day in and day out (without annoying the **** out of the people around you).

Their are really two parts to this: Mental and physical. Taking note memory and finger position out of the mix frees your mind to concentrate on only the rhythm. Once you master doing this on a table, you really won't have to think much about it @ the piano.
Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Restored Steinway

My soundcloud page

#1142216 - 03/08/05 07:46 AM Re: Syncopation - freeing the right hand
JazzManToo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/04
Posts: 104
Loc: Somerville, Massachusetts
Angeleno Jazzer gives an excellent suggestion. And if you're serious about freeing up those hands during improvisation, you might consider looking at a Jazz drumming book that emphasizes independence. It will be filled with patterns to practice. Hand (and foot) independence is the name of the game for drummers. You can make up patterns yourself, just try to cover all possibilities.
Love that #11!

#1142217 - 03/08/05 08:04 AM Re: Syncopation - freeing the right hand
JazzManToo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/04
Posts: 104
Loc: Somerville, Massachusetts
Forgot the important part: At some point you have to translate the hand independence to finger independence. And you can practice that on a tabletop (or on your leg) as well. Tap out various rhythm/fingering patterns. Separate patterns for each hand. When improvising at the piano, every time you try to play R.H./L.H. pattern that doesn't quite gel, there's a pattern to practice away from the piano.
Love that #11!

#1142218 - 03/08/05 11:23 AM Re: Syncopation - freeing the right hand
g#maj Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 126
Loc: No. Va
Hi, my first post here.

Syncopation is tough because were conditioned to following the one. It can be hard to deviate from it on purpose, and harder still to return to it smoothly.

Im mainly a piano player, but when I learned bass, I read about a way to build a more fluid and controlled sense of time: Set a simple drum machine pattern (or a metronome) at around 90 or so bpm. (Use something slow enough to work with, but not so fast that you fool yourself that youre doing OK.) Then, on the and precisely between each 1-2-3-4 beat -- play a note. Play these notes exactly in the middle of each beat, right on top of the and. Play something simple and melodic, like maybe a one octave C scale. Mentally, hear the and as you play each note.

Do this one handed only, while letting your ear internalize the machine or metronomes time.

This was so tough for me initially that, when I learned it on bass, I had to use hammer-ons fingering the note on the neck with enough force and speed to make the sound (the other hand didnt pluck the string).

At first, I kept drifting back to playing notes right on top of the 1-2-3-4. But the exercise became easier, and gradually I learned to dance with the beat and play ahead or behind it with varying amounts of willful stretch and freedom. The skill transferred to piano easily, where of course the left hand took over initial timing duties and set boundaries for the right. Soon enough, though, the left started taking liberties and the right had to calm down. Piano is fun that way. Each hand has its own brain, as it were.

With good time, even the humble C scale can sound interesting. To make this exercise harder, set the bpm slower. Slower rates teach you to track the silence between the beats.

The whole experience taught me the power of rests and phrasing.

#1142219 - 03/08/05 06:55 PM Re: Syncopation - freeing the right hand
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Thanks for all the ideas. I tried g#'s off-beat idea today with the metronome - and I think it worked a bit. I kept going back in synch, but I kept at it and it started to sound better. Just one note in the right hand. Now I need to add more.

I will try the off-pattern hand drumming as well. I tried this a bit - but it almost hurts my brain and I get confused. I will need to practice this a lot.

Of course if I had apple's natural talent, I could just feel the rhythm ... but I think I will need to practice a lot with a metronome. \:\)

Thanks for all the ideas. I am trying all of them.


Moderator:  sharpsandflats 
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
What's Hot!!
New Forums Location & New Piano World Site
Why Do You Play The Piano?
Posting Pictures on the Forums
on Piano World

Piano Classified Ads
Pierce Piano Atlas

Sweetwater Hiring Keyboard Player!
Sweetwater Hiring Keyboard Player
Grotrian Concert
for Pianoteq out now
A. Geyer Pianos
A. Geyer Pianos
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Piano Wire Music Wire Piano Strings

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Best way to learn Scales (in what order)?
by uptick
04/27/17 11:49 AM
Why relaxation is fundamental to artistry
by Richrf
04/27/17 11:12 AM
ATCL Recital programme advice
by Persephone
04/27/17 10:36 AM
Lakeside piano
by Austin B
04/27/17 09:13 AM
Inon Barnatan to substitute for Ingrid Fliter
by Hank M
04/27/17 08:01 AM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
87,521 Registered Members
44 Forums
179,242 Topics
2,619,747 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |

copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission