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I can't play left hand :(
#2402120 03/24/15 01:44 PM
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I'm 21 years old and I'm *trying* to teach myself to play the Piano. Basically, I can play right hand and left hand with ONE HAND only with ease, but when it comes to playing both hands my left hand seems to spaze out and my brain doesn't function properly. When I play both hands I can play the right, but I can't play the left together. I really need some tips. How do people do this? It's like holding 2 chopsticks and interacting with it simultaneously lol.
I'm learning One Summers Day by Joe Hisaishi if anyone wanted to know.

Really appreciate the help laugh

FYI - been playing Piano for less than 1 week, smile

Last edited by Cappuccino; 03/24/15 01:53 PM.
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Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402123 03/24/15 01:49 PM
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Go slowly. I can tell you from experience it won't happen overnight cause if it did then everyone could play the piano wink

I started out doing RH then LH then together. It takes some time (took me a few months to get the hang of playing HT when I learn a new piece) just have some patience and the more you do it then the easier it will get.

Everyone does things differently so test out what works for you. What works for me may not work for you just just have to try different techniques and find the one that works.

PS Welcome to the board smile

Last edited by Anita Potter; 03/24/15 01:49 PM.

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Re: I can't play left hand :(
Anita Potter #2402126 03/24/15 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Anita Potter
Go slowly. I can tell you from experience it won't happen overnight cause if it did then everyone could play the piano wink

I started out doing RH then LH then together. It takes some time (took me a few months to get the hang of playing HT when I learn a new piece) just have some patience and the more you do it then the easier it will get.

Everyone does things differently so test out what works for you. What works for me may not work for you just just have to try different techniques and find the one that works.

PS Welcome to the board smile

Thank you smile
I have some other questions to ask if that's ok with you ^^

Is it bad to write down all the letters on the sheet? I really don't want to sight read and do the theory thingy because I really don't have time for that due to work and uni. If I do that does that mean I wont be able to read notes? Would you call this cheating? Is this a good idea? ;_;

Last edited by Cappuccino; 03/24/15 01:58 PM.
Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402127 03/24/15 02:01 PM
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Not being able to put hands together indicatess you arr practicing too fast or the pirce is too hard. In my opinion it is better to progresas systamtically though sucxxcusively hardere pieCes. Ymmv


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Re: I can't play left hand :(
DragonPianoPlayer #2402134 03/24/15 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DragonPianoPlayer
Not being able to put hands together indicatess you arr practicing too fast or the pirce is too hard. In my opinion it is better to progresas systamtically though sucxxcusively hardere pieCes. Ymmv

I'm confused @_@

Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402147 03/24/15 03:01 PM
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Cappuccino,
It's o.k. to write the letter names down at first. Think of it like training wheels though. You want to ditch the training wheels as soon as you are able. Instead of memorizing the position of every possible note on the two staves, a different approach can be to memorize the positions of a few "landmark" notes (I suggest memorizing the positions of the C's in both staves, the G's in the trebble clef, and the F's in the Bass clef (the Clef symbol marks the position of those respective notes). Then learn to think in terms of distances (intervals) from your landmark notes. So, if a note is on the next line up from one of your memorized landmark notes....you know that to get there you have to go up to the space above the landmark note then up to the line where the real note is sitting. That means that note is 2 notes above your landmark note.

Hope that makes sense.

Also, you probably don't want to hear this but it's probably a bad idea to just jump into playing songs. It's better to learn the basics through a systematic method (and even better still if you have a teacher). If you're a student at a Uni, you might be able to take a piano class or get lessons from one of the music department faculty. If you simply lack the time or finances to do that, you might be better off going through some systematic method like the Alfred's All in One course or the Fundamental Keys piano course. (or even both of them together smile.

Warm Regards.


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Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402149 03/24/15 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Cappuccino
I'm 21 years old and I'm *trying* to teach myself to play the Piano. Basically, I can play right hand and left hand with ONE HAND only with ease, but when it comes to playing both hands my left hand seems to spaze out and my brain doesn't function properly. When I play both hands I can play the right, but I can't play the left together. I really need some tips. How do people do this? It's like holding 2 chopsticks and interacting with it simultaneously lol.
I'm learning One Summers Day by Joe Hisaishi if anyone wanted to know.

Really appreciate the help laugh

FYI - been playing Piano for less than 1 week, smile



To learn to play piano ...

If possible, get a teacher and do what you are told.

That is the best way to do it.

If you are not going to do that, then ...

Get a piano method book and go through it page by page, slowly and carefully. Be sure you can do what you encounter on each page before moving to the next page. If you hurry through it, you will get nowhere fast and will be wasting your time.

If you keep trying to learn pieces of music like the one you mention, you have no chance of success.

Good Luck


Don

Casio PX-S1000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402151 03/24/15 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Cappuccino
Thank you smile
I have some other questions to ask if that's ok with you ^^

Is it bad to write down all the letters on the sheet? I really don't want to sight read and do the theory thingy because I really don't have time for that due to work and uni. If I do that does that mean I wont be able to read notes? Would you call this cheating? Is this a good idea? ;_;


I've written on sheet music but not originals in the book. Make a copy of it and scribble on it to your heart's content. I do still have to write the bass clef notes down especially when it's above the staff and its into where the treble clef is since it's a bit confusing to me.


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Re: I can't play left hand :(
fizikisto #2402156 03/24/15 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fizikisto
Cappuccino,
It's o.k. to write the letter names down at first. Think of it like training wheels though. You want to ditch the training wheels as soon as you are able. Instead of memorizing the position of every possible note on the two staves, a different approach can be to memorize the positions of a few "landmark" notes (I suggest memorizing the positions of the C's in both staves, the G's in the trebble clef, and the F's in the Bass clef (the Clef symbol marks the position of those respective notes). Then learn to think in terms of distances (intervals) from your landmark notes. So, if a note is on the next line up from one of your memorized landmark notes....you know that to get there you have to go up to the space above the landmark note then up to the line where the real note is sitting. That means that note is 2 notes above your landmark note.

Hope that makes sense.

Also, you probably don't want to hear this but it's probably a bad idea to just jump into playing songs. It's better to learn the basics through a systematic method (and even better still if you have a teacher). If you're a student at a Uni, you might be able to take a piano class or get lessons from one of the music department faculty. If you simply lack the time or finances to do that, you might be better off going through some systematic method like the Alfred's All in One course or the Fundamental Keys piano course. (or even both of them together smile.

Warm Regards.

Thank you smile
My friend taught me this -

All
Children
Enjoy
Grapes

Good
Boy
Deserve
Favor
Always

and I can't remember the others top of my head right now *_*

Believe it or not I know how to play all the Grade 1 scales but that does not help me in terms of playing I don't think, because I can't read the notes, therefore I have to write down the letters on the sheet lol.

My uni does have a Piano class but it's group base sessions (20+ students) and everyone is talking over each other and everyone is doing their own business. I can't stand that. So that's a no no. That's just me though, I prefer learning alone when it comes to practical stuff like playing Piano.

I really don't mind learning everything online. I know irl lessons are expensive, however I do not have that kind of money sadly.

Is this book your referring too? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adult-All-One-Course-Technique/dp/0882848186

Also what is this *I play by ear* business? What exactly does that mean? They play by listening to the music and magically they know how to play? If yes then please teach me hahaha ! wink

Ignore my grammar I typed all this on my Ipad.

Last edited by Cappuccino; 03/24/15 03:31 PM.
Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402227 03/24/15 06:14 PM
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"I don't have time to do it properly" is not an excuse. If you can waste your time learning hard stuff incorrectly, and then unlearn it, you have time to learn it correctly, step by step as several people here have suggested.

Get the Alfred's book, sit down for 15 minutes a day and don't turn the page till you can do what is on the page you are looking at. You'll get there.


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Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402248 03/24/15 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Cappuccino

...
Also what is this *I play by ear* business? What exactly does that mean? They play by listening to the music and magically they know how to play?

That is the idea, yes. However, there is nothing magical about it. When you become advanced at it, you may be able to do it as you have described here. There is a long way to go before that happens though, and even then material beyond ones current everyday playing capacity is still going to pose a challenge.

Trying to learn to play solely by ear is not advised. Suggest rather, that you pick one of the many methods offered previously and just rely on your ear for correction. IE. you will know when you've done it wrong as it does not sound right. Your ear will tell you when it is wrong. But, focus on the score until you are able to get it right.



Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402273 03/24/15 09:12 PM
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Hi there, pianist/teacher here.

You will save yourself so much grief by working with a teacher for a small number of lessons. 2 months doesn't cost as much as a long period, and the beginner stages are the most important time to work with a teacher. If you are in uni you may even be able to get lessons with a professor, or get vouchers from your school for private lessons.

Whether you do this or not, just so you know, I don't usually introduce 2-hand playing for students in the first week of study. Usually there are at least a couple weeks of one-hand playing, sometimes much more. When 2-hand playing is introduced the 2 hands are doing the same thing at the same time (unison), at least for a couple of pieces. Then we do a piece where the hands have two different things to do, and we often only do one measure of the piece that lesson. Then the student goes home and practices only that measure for a week. It always feels like your head is going to explode at first. After a week on one measure, it is easier, and 2-hand learning goes a lot more quickly and smoothly (never again only one measure per week.)



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Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402280 03/24/15 09:43 PM
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One thing I realized a while ago is that "method books" and teachers bring you to "hands together" by a series of steps.
You need to PACE YOURSELF through these, or BE paced through them by a teacher.

In pop methods it may be just holding the root note of a chord for the whole measure, then later a tri-chord, again held for the whole measure, later root on one beat with 3 and 5 on another, arpeggiating the chord, etc.
Point is you are learning to use the left hand for very simple things at first and increasing the complexity GRADUALLY.

In more "classical" methods, i.e. NON pop/Chord oriented, you will find that the elementary exercises and pieces are sort of "hands alternate" and then "hands alternate with a bit of overlap" eventually progressing to full "hands together".

At least that has been my experience and once I figured that out I was willing to SLOW DOWN.

Re: I can't play left hand :(
Dru Morgan #2402318 03/25/15 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Dru Morgan
"I don't have time to do it properly" is not an excuse. If you can waste your time learning hard stuff incorrectly, and then unlearn it, you have time to learn it correctly, step by step as several people here have suggested.
. . .


+1.

You've been playing for _one week_ ? Nobody really learns much in a week. Adjust your time scale to "months" (if you're young) or "years" (if you're old).

. Charles


. Charles
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Re: I can't play left hand :(
Charles Cohen #2402359 03/25/15 06:27 AM
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To recap my point about practicing slowly when you first start playing hands together you need to
Work with incredibly small chunks or music. It may be a single mesure or less.
Practice slower than you can possibly imagine. It may be 15 seconds for each note.
Only after you can play that smll section together perfectly many times in a row at this slow speed should you speed it up. It will start with small speed increases.
Then you move on to the next measure. Then put them together.

The mantra of teachers everywhere is practice slower. Ok maybe a very tiny exageration, but not much.

No matterhow long you play piano for,you will come upon times when you need to use a painstakingly slow approach to prcticing it.

Now if you keep on trying to learn a piece that is not for beginners, it will take you 6 months to learn that ONE piece. And rthe next piece will take you another 6 months. Is this how you want to learn pieces? This is part of why you are hearing sugestions to get a method book. Outside of some specific problems everyone has (like hands together for the first couple of times) most of these pieces will take a week or less to get to a decent point. Plus you will probably be able to work on more than one piece each week. So After 6 months or 8 you've finished this book and maybe can learn your original piece in a month and enjoy learning it much more. To me that's a more valuable use of my time.


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Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402363 03/25/15 07:04 AM
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Below is a list of forum members who did NOT have problems playing both hands when they started learning:


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: I can't play left hand :(
Cappuccino #2402372 03/25/15 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Cappuccino
I can play right hand and left hand with ONE HAND only with ease, but when it comes to playing both hands my left hand seems to spaze out and my brain doesn't function properly.


This is normal. Co-ordinating the hands as they're doing different things is hard, and a skill, but like all skills, can be learned. It's not an easy skill to learn, but it's like that for everybody. It requires patience, perseverance, and baby steps. Like others, I've used the Alfred course book, and the advice you've had here is all good. Finding a good teacher will be the best investment you can make, if you're serious about learning. It took me months of practice on my own just to get two bars of hands together on the first simple piece I tried, but the elation on finally realising that even I could do this spurred me to get a teacher. Best move I ever made.


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