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#3094408 03/17/21 05:01 PM
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TBell Offline OP
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Are there any good exercises to become proficient in playing a bass note, then followed by chords an octave or more up the scale, all with the left hand?

Example:
[Linked Image]

So there is a decent amount of keys between the bass note and chords and arm\hand movement is needed to land on the right notes. Anyone know of some exercises to improve this type of spatial arrangement?

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TBell #3094426 03/17/21 05:52 PM
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If LH jumps are your question, I would morph the same jump into different keys, different LH starting note, different octave range. I don’t think you need a written exercise for that; just experiment with note, chord and octave options. Add jumping from a chord DOWN to a note.

If you want a strong LH workout, look at music composed for the LH alone. It will wake your brain and LH up. They are more daunting than they appear on paper.


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TBell #3094452 03/17/21 07:03 PM
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It may seem counter-intuitive and I'm not sure why it works (although for many it does work to the point that teachers teach this):

Practice the jump from the bass note to the chord without playing the chord. Your fingers should be on the notes of the chord without sounding them. This way you are practicing the feel of the space, and your mind is not focused on playing the notes of the chord themselves.

It seems to be one way of cementing the spatial distances related to jumps, left or right hand.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by BruceD
Practice the jump from the bass note to the chord without playing the chord. Your fingers should be on the notes of the chord without sounding them. This way you are practicing the feel of the space, and your mind is not focused on playing the notes of the chord themselves.

I found this advice in a video once...I have found it very helpful. I practice this way both directions (bass note to chord and chord back to bass note). I do play all the notes, I just pause to make sure I'm in the right spot first.

I also do this with my eyes closed. I still look when I'm playing the piece, but it makes me more confident and improves accuracy.

I find it helpful if the right hand part is very familiar/solid when you have these jumps (or memorized if possible), so you can just focus on making that leap in the LH.

Last edited by JB_PW; 03/17/21 07:25 PM.
TBell #3094500 03/17/21 09:20 PM
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OP:

Your example reminded me immediately of Stride piano - used in early forms of Jazz. There are leaps in the left hand from base note to chord and back, on repeat.

James P. Johnson was known as the father of Stride: you should be able to track down some of his or other players pieces for practice.

The suggestions above sounded good too - I’m going to try them.

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Originally Posted by terentius
OP:

Your example reminded me immediately of Stride piano - used in early forms of Jazz. There are leaps in the left hand from base note to chord and back, on repeat.

James P. Johnson was known as the father of Stride: you should be able to track down some of his or other players pieces for practice.

The suggestions above sounded good too - I’m going to try them.

Oooh
Stride piano is a great suggestionβ€”- and fun music beats an exercise every time πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by dogperson
..fun music beats an exercise every time πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

I agree with that 100%. Much stride would be very difficult for a beginner though, perhaps start with the simpler ragtime of Joplin, Scott and Lamb, the scores of which are easy to find and which contain the same left hand movements.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
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Originally Posted by Ted
...
I agree with that 100%. Much stride would be very difficult for a beginner though, perhaps start with the simpler ragtime of Joplin, Scott and Lamb, the scores of which are easy to find and which contain the same left hand movements.

I don't think ragtime is a good alternative for stride. For generally getting your LH moving, sure but ragtime has very unique patterns to sync with unique rhythms. Like every strain is a little to quite different.

But, stride you can apply to many things and across many genres.

The note accuracy part of it is important, but the crux of it is in the feel. Once you can get the feel of stride you can easily improve the accuracy and complexity of the stride, but the reverse will not happen.

So, I think it would be best to start with easy, standards that work well with stride. Joplin is too far out there, and though it seems similar is actually quite different. To my thinking anyway.

TBell #3094709 03/18/21 12:01 PM
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All good suggestions which I will try. I don't mind an exercise if it means not butchering a song. So far I've been playing the single note of a scale, followed by three inversions of its matching chord, then moving to the next note of the scale etc.

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When I was learning I was told that for large jumps the most important thing is not how you land on keys, but how you launch your arm in to the air. Push off from the keys slightly and use your shoulder joint to launch abruptly your relaxed arm and hand in to the air on a high arc trajectory and let it fall almost freely on the target keys. The final part of the trajectory must be very steep, almost vertical, and without any hesitations. With practice your accuracy will increase and your arcs will become lower.

TBell #3094727 03/18/21 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TBell
All good suggestions which I will try. I don't mind an exercise if it means not butchering a song. So far I've been playing the single note of a scale, followed by three inversions of its matching chord, then moving to the next note of the scale etc.

I would recommend not playing all inversions sequentially if you are working on jumps. Rather: note + chord, not + inversion, note + inversion
You will get 3x more practice on the jumps

Last edited by dogperson; 03/18/21 12:35 PM.

"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
TBell #3094735 03/18/21 12:55 PM
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I agree with the jumps but try not to play the chords and when you do play the chords play them softly at first. For me this seemed to help get the movement for the jumps but then I had to concentrate on not pounding down the chords. This is one of those where you must practice, practice, and keep on practicing! If someone knows a short-cut please let me know laugh


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.

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