Do you struggle with your left hand?

About 90% of the world is right-hand dominant. 

That also means about 90% of the world would struggle to play piano with their left hand, let alone coordinate their left hand with their right hand to play the correct notes at the correct times. 

So, if you’re struggling with your left hand, bass notes and chords, there are many tips and tricks you can use to “retrain your brain” to tell your hands to play different notes. I included a few of my favorites below:

Play your left hand first

If you’re familiar with the song, you will probably have the melody down within a few times of playing the song all the way through. If you are not familiar with the song… you’ll have the melody down within a few more times of playing the song all the way through. Ha! 

But, after we learn the melody line and can play it at the correct tempo, we tend to want to add the chords in our left hand at the same pace. That’s problematic …

You might be *just* getting comfortable playing the melody line by itself at some tempo. That does NOT mean your noggin will be happy with you trying to add the other hand and all that entails at the same speed. An obvious need is to slow things way down at first when trying to play hands together the first few times through. But here’s another big tip to share in addition to slowing down …

Practice with your left hand first. By learning the chord progression first, you teach your brain the “structure” (or harmony) of the song to be played with your left hand. I find it is then easier to mentally lay a melody line “on top” of those chords, than have your left hand try and keep up with your right hand while learning the chords to a new song. 

Roll the chords

Do you struggle to play more than one note at a time? Even I struggled with that for a while. Most students struggle to play chords at some point. The key to perfecting playing three or four notes at a time is to roll your chords. For example if you have a C major chord to play with your left hand, start by playing the C with your little finger individually, then play the E, and then the G. Then start to play them closer and closer together. Eventually, it will sound like they’re rolled together into one sound. You’ll be able to play all three notes of the chord together with ease before you know it.

So, there’s a couple of quick ideas you can add to your basket of tricks as you work on new tunes if you are having some issues getting your left hand to “behave” with your right. 🙂

Have fun!

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