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#1396871 - 03/16/10 10:07 AM Improving Left Hand  
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Batuhan Offline
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I need suggestions for improving left hand strength and velocity except Hanon. I do scales 4 octave both hand but my left hand exhaust early and cant catch up my right hand velocity.

Last edited by Batuhan; 03/16/10 10:15 AM.

Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

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#1396888 - 03/16/10 10:32 AM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Batuhan]  
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Pogorelich. Offline
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Memorize the left hand (in tempo) of all the pieces you're working on.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1397046 - 03/16/10 02:24 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Pogorelich.]  
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DameMyra Offline
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I learned Op. 10, No. 12 last semester, and even though I never got it up to the metronome marking indicated (160), it really helped my left hand immeasureably. And it is a great piece of music you can add to your rep.


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#1397124 - 03/16/10 04:10 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: DameMyra]  
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Russ Roberts Offline
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I am only at an intermediate level, but have taken up Hanon seriously for the first time in my life, and I do that and scales with ONLY the left hand--and work it 2-3 times as hard as the right, and have been making excellent gains. Of course that is all relative to where my left hand started out--which was pretty deplorable.

Russ


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#1397153 - 03/16/10 05:04 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Russ Roberts]  
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joaquin112 Offline
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When I was starting, what I used to do was play piano pieces with my left hand instead of my right. Very simple ones at first and more difficult ones later on. This helped me improve my coordination greatly.

#1397160 - 03/16/10 05:17 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: joaquin112]  
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All of the above comments are excellent points, I'll just add on and say that - if you are right handed - you should never expect your left hand's dexterity to match that of your right, no matter how hard you work. Certain things are by nature weaker than others, and at times you will feel like the right hand's fingers are becokning for your left hand to come running with them, when it's as if they left hand fingers have barely learned to walk..

So you must compromise by not only working your left hand 2 or 3 times harder than your right, but also, in repertoire itself, just spend more time on the left hand and employ a greater variety of practice techniques (rhythms, groupings, hold and poke, etc.) Angelina's advice about memorizing the left hand alone in tempo is a very good one..

#1397174 - 03/16/10 05:38 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Russ Roberts]  
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Batuhan Offline
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Originally Posted by Russ Roberts
I am only at an intermediate level, but have taken up Hanon seriously for the first time in my life, and I do that and scales with ONLY the left hand--and work it 2-3 times as hard as the right, and have been making excellent gains. Of course that is all relative to where my left hand started out--which was pretty deplorable.

Russ


I finished Hanon but its not helped me for developing strength and velocity to my left hand. Therefore i said except Hanon above.

@AngelinaPogorelich

Good suggestion maybe i will start to Godowsky's Op. 10 No. 12 transcription for the left-hand alone tomorrow. Like DameMyra. With metronome i think it can helps me a lot.

@Opus_Maximus

Im right handed. I heard Art Tatum's left hand and right hand have same dexterity. And he is right handed maybe this is lie anyway thanks for your help.

I wait other suggestions too any help is very important for me.

Last edited by Batuhan; 03/16/10 05:41 PM.

Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

#1397180 - 03/16/10 05:49 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Batuhan]  
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Whether someone's left or right hand is weaker than the other is a very individual thing. I'm right handed but it's no stronger or more dexterous than my left.

#1397187 - 03/16/10 05:53 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: bpmusic]  
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Batuhan Offline
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Originally Posted by bpmusic
Whether someone's left or right hand is weaker than the other is a very individual thing. I'm right handed but it's no stronger or more dexterous than my left.


So you are ambidextrous ha


Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

#1397260 - 03/16/10 07:04 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Batuhan]  
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wr Offline
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Originally Posted by Batuhan


I finished Hanon but its not helped me for developing strength and velocity to my left hand. Therefore i said except Hanon above.



You don't "finish" Hanon - you just move to playing them in all keys and with varied articulations and accents, faster and faster and faster, ad infinitum.

But anyway, pick up a copy of the Moszkowski op. 92 etudes for the left hand - they will definitely improve your hand if you work on them conscientiously, using the fingerings given.

But remember, an important part of the process is what goes on in your mind, not just the physical element.


#1397261 - 03/16/10 07:05 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Batuhan]  
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custard apple Offline
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Have you tried Czerny's School of Velocity ?
You're right about Art Tatum. The best jazz players have incredible left hands which are as dexterous as their right.
I'm working on strengthening my left hand.

#1397278 - 03/16/10 07:28 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: custard apple]  
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Batuhan Offline
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@wr
Actually i saw an article about Hanon exercises after i finished his book and i stopped working Hanon. Here is the link http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.III.7.8

I will look Moszkowski op. 92 etudes thanks.

@custard apple

No i didnt try Czerny's School of Velocity but i heard about his 24 Studies for the Left Hand, Op. 718. But i dont know this is help me or not.

Yes i read this article yesterday on wiki: Around 1950 when Bud Powell was opening for Tatum at Birdland, Powell reportedly said to Tatum: "Man, I'm going to really show you about tempo and playing fast. Anytime you're ready." Tatum laughed and replied: "Look, you come in here tomorrow, and anything you do with your right hand, I'll do with my left." Powell never took up the challenge.

What are you working on for strengthening your left hand ? Maybe you want to share with me.


Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

#1397309 - 03/16/10 08:21 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Batuhan]  
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wr Offline
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Originally Posted by Batuhan
@wr
Actually i saw an article about Hanon exercises after i finished his book and i stopped working Hanon. Here is the link http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.III.7.8



Hanon has been used for many decades by many of the best pianists and teachers. Personally, I wouldn't take the word of Chang, who is neither a professional pianist nor a respected piano teacher, over their example. But that's just me...






#1397313 - 03/16/10 08:28 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: wr]  
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Horowitzian Offline
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Batuhan
@wr
Actually i saw an article about Hanon exercises after i finished his book and i stopped working Hanon. Here is the link http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.III.7.8



Hanon has been used for many decades by many of the best pianists and teachers. Personally, I wouldn't take the word of Chang, who is neither a professional pianist nor a respected piano teacher, over their example. But that's just me...







Agreed 100%; there's a whole lot of rot in that article.

That said, I wouldn't call Hanon a panacea, but it's damn good for what it is. And who says you have to follow Hanon's instructions (like lifting the fingers)?

Last edited by Horowitzian; 03/16/10 08:30 PM.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1397318 - 03/16/10 08:32 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Batuhan Offline
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After Horowitzian i decided to return Hanon exercises grin


Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

#1397319 - 03/16/10 08:35 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Batuhan]  
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Horowitzian Offline
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Return them where? grin And no, Hanon probably won't make you play like that clown in your avatar, just like it won't make me play like the great artist in mine. laugh

Last edited by Horowitzian; 03/16/10 08:37 PM.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1397324 - 03/16/10 08:44 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Batuhan]  
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Horowitzian Offline
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Originally Posted by Batuhan
I need suggestions for improving left hand strength and velocity except Hanon. I do scales 4 octave both hand but my left hand exhaust early and cant catch up my right hand velocity.


Try this exercise, with a metronome at a slow tempo. As slow as necessary. When I first did this exercise, I seem to remember starting with quarter note = 55 or something. Play each up and down, of course.

  • 1 octave in quarter notes (crotchets)
  • 2 octaves in eighth notes (quavers)
  • 3 octaves in triplets
  • 4 octaves in sixteenth notes (semiquavers)


Another helpful scales hint I have picked up: watch your weaker hand as you play them and not your stronger hand. It is our natural tendency to "ignore" the weak hand; giving it more visual attention will work wonders for equalizing the hands. It may — and probably does — sound weird, but it really works!

Last edited by Horowitzian; 03/16/10 08:44 PM.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1397325 - 03/16/10 08:45 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Batuhan Offline
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Return them where? grin And no, Hanon probably won't make you play like that clown in your avatar, just like it won't make me play like the great artist in mine. laugh


Clown ha


Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

#1397329 - 03/16/10 08:48 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Batuhan Offline
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Originally Posted by Batuhan
I need suggestions for improving left hand strength and velocity except Hanon. I do scales 4 octave both hand but my left hand exhaust early and cant catch up my right hand velocity.


Try this exercise, with a metronome at a slow tempo. As slow as necessary. When I first did this exercise, I seem to remember starting with quarter note = 55 or something. Play each up and down, of course.

  • 1 octave in quarter notes (crotchets)
  • 2 octaves in eighth notes (quavers)
  • 3 octaves in triplets
  • 4 octaves in sixteenth notes (semiquavers)


Another helpful scales hint I have picked up: watch your weaker hand as you play them and not your stronger hand. It is our natural tendency to "ignore" the weak hand; giving it more visual attention will work wonders for equalizing the hands. It may — and probably does — sound weird, but it really works!


Yes i always watch my left hand when i play scales this is interesting. I will try your suggestions.

Last edited by Batuhan; 03/16/10 08:51 PM.

Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

#1397403 - 03/16/10 10:41 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Batuhan]  
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It's about two weeks ago that I've bought Hanon and I think my left hand is already stronger. And I'm still on the 1st exercise.
I'm doing it from the jazz rhythm point of view. A professional jazz performer told me to get it up to half note = 60, and then to do it in every key chromatically: C#,D,D# etc.

Re your point about jazzers, Earl Hines who greatly influenced Art Tatum, sought out the best left hand player and the best right hand player in Pittsburg Pennsylvania, and combined their strengths.

#1397407 - 03/16/10 10:45 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Batuhan]  
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Horowitzian Offline
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Batuhan: I played through some scales earlier, and another hint I can offer is to watch your left hand going up and your right hand going down. Force the hand that is behind to lead the other hand rather than the other way around.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1397451 - 03/16/10 11:44 PM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Sometimes I practice Bach's Prelude in C from Well Tempered with the left hand only, albeit with really strange fingering.

Last edited by Rui725; 03/16/10 11:44 PM.
#1397759 - 03/17/10 11:29 AM Re: Improving Left Hand [Re: Rui725]  
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If you are serious of doing Godowsky's version of Op. 10 No. 12, you might want to try doing Op. 10 No. 1 but playing the right hand part one octave lower using the left hand. (or the Godowsky's versions of the same etude, whichever is more musically pleasing to you)

It's obviously difficult at first, but start slowly and gradually left hand parts in other pieces won't seem so difficult anymore.


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