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Joined: Oct 2009
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J
john fh Offline OP
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I have a question about how non-classical pianist play or treat the left hand as written on sheet music, sheet music books, and any other sheet where the left hand is already written out.

Does anyone play just or only what is written? If played as written, how does it sound? Is it worth learning or am I better off to stick with patterns and or jazz chords?

I ask this question because even though I can read the bass clef, slowly, I have never played it. I was taught to use one or more of several left hand patterns when playing the left hand.

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The easiest way to create a left hand accompaniment is to play chords by reading chord symbols.

Your approach to this technique will differ depending on which style of music you are playing but in my area, jazz, there is a well established voicing technique that most players use.

I have a lesson on this here: (requires paid subscription)

https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/chords-voicings#rootless-voicings-with-added-tension

Prior to learning this technique it is imperative that you know how to play the basic root position chords to the most common set of 5 chord types: major 7, dominant 7, minor 7, minor 7b5 and diminished 7.

I have a free lesson on how to learn these chords here:

https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/chords-voicings#five-essential-seventh-chords

Please contact me with any questions.


Bill
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Hi

In the non-classical area, particularly in pop/rock sheet music, the LH parts tend to be based on the basslines used in the recordings concerned. And these are not normally very representative of what the original keyboard player actually played. So playing this sort of sheet music as written tends to sound pretty poor.

My reading is pretty good, but it's very rare that I actually read a LH part.
In fact I'd say I never read a LH part unless:

a. I'm playing from an authentic transcription (whether Jazz or Rock) OR
b. I'm playing classical OR
c. any other form where I don't have the talent to make up a LH part!

If I'm playing from a lead sheet (for Jazz tunes where I play the melody) I read the RH tune and mainly use Jazz chords in the LH. When I'm playing Pop/Rock in the band I'm in, I use chords charts and play from those and I make up both the right and left-hand parts.

Of course what I do, isn't the only way you can approach this. I'm sure others will make their own suggestions. You need to find what works for you.

Hope that helps a bit.

Cheers


Simon

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