“I am having trouble playing with the left hand”
Thank you very much for all the information, I had already started piano
lessons with a local teacher in April this year, then shortly afterwards my
husband found your site and your information has helped me tremendously, I
practise every day, I am learning on a grand piano at my teachers and then
was coming home to practise on a keyboard but recently my husband has helped
me to buy a digital piano the model is a Winchester WDP-60 and its so much
different to a keyboard as the keyboard I was practising on is my sons when
he was having lessons at primary school but he is grown up now. (So it is a
very old instrument).
The piano sound is so much better and I can record myself playing on it.
I am having trouble playing with the left hand, I can do it a bit but I am
having trouble reading the music on paper and trying to remember what notes
to play with that hand, I can play with my right hand very well. I wish I
could play the piano by ear but I still have a long way to go yet.
I have enjoyed your piano course very much.
Sorry I have taken so long to reply to you.
I look forward to hearing from you.
The piano you have bought is a good one.
The Winchester WDP-60 is made in Korea by
the Dynatone Corporation.
In fact, we are using one here in our music school.
Playing well with the left-hand takes a lot practice
What I find works best is to spend at least 15 minutes
per day sight reading.
Try not to look at the keys too often and you will see
some improvements in the left hand fairly quickly.
Thank you for your latest tips.
I have a couple of questions:
I practice in my recording studio at home, where I play on a full size dummy
keyboard triggering midi notes from different software on my PC etc.
This is the same setup as my piano teacher. What is the correct height
setting of the keyboard and chair height etc.
Also I’m just starting to use the sustain pedal…any tips to advance me on
that learning curve?
Reply/ Hi Jim Pettigrew
Your arms should be parallel to the floor (at 90 degrees).
So adjust the seat or the keyboard height to achieve this.
The sustain pedal takes a bit of getting used to.
As a rule when you want to sustain notes, you should play
the note or chord before pressing the pedal down…
This should be a quick movement and make sure you don’t
let go of the key until the pedal is pressed down.
hi there thanks alot for all the lessons.
at the moment i’m doing my best to memorise the major scales and the minor scales as well as the chords. could you please give me some lessons on chords as that is my area of interest at the moment. thanks alot and God bless
Reply/ Hi Martha
My main expertise is in teaching how to read music.
However, I have a friend that is an expert on chords. His name is Duane.
Duane has written many excellent courses that teach you how to play chords.
This is the one I recommend for you: http://budurl.com/harmonisewithchords
And here is a really useful chord finder chart: http://budurl.com/pianochordfinder
I found your five free lessons interesting, but I have to confess here that, when at school, I did attain Grade 6 piano. I have two specific problems which I was hoping your course might solve, although I realize that it is aimed at the complete beginner. I’ll be brief but here is my story.
I learned to play piano by ear when I was 3. We lived deep in the country and lessons were not available. However, I have always been very musical. When I passed my 11-plus (boy, how that dates me!), I went to high school 14 miles away. It wasn’t until I was 14 when we chose our options for ‘O’ level that my parents thought I ought to take lessons. By this time, I had taught myself the first movement of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ sonata and things like that, but my sight reading was worse than desperate. I began lessons in the September. In November, I passed Grade 1, in March, Grade 3 and in June Grade 5. I then took another 12 months before I did Grade 6. You can see where all this is leading, can’t you? My fingering has always been quite as bad as my sight-reading. I sing very seriously and can sight-sing most things very well, even complex music, I find it easy to sight sing. I have spent my life in various choral societies and operatic groups, singing principal roles etc. and my singing teacher Janet Shell thinks I should have turned pro years ago. But what I would dearly love to do is be able to sight-read on the piano.
The two problems mentioned earlier make that extremely difficult. I seem to get a kind of panic-ridden dyslexia when I try to read and my eyes simply cannot see what the notes are, which is silly because I know perfectly well what they are when I look at them in isolation. This is confusing, since I took a secretarial course including touch-typing and shorthand, so my eyes should know to keep going and looking ahead but I can’t work out why this does not happen. Allied to this is the fact that because I did the grades too quickly, I never had a good basic grounding on fingering. Indeed, when not looking at the keyboard, I have no idea where my hands are in relation to the notes. I can see that the next note is down a tone but my fingers seem to just grab at any old note they can reach.
Do you have any suggestions to combat these two problems?
Thanks and regards
Answer/ Hi Avril
You appear to be an extremely accomplished musician.
The only thing holding you back is your sight reading –
which actually holds MOST people back — it is not an easy
thing to do!
All you need is practice and more practice.
Pick up as much music as you can that you have never seen
before and just plough your way through it.
It will be slow at first, but if you do this day-by-day you will
definitely see some signs of improvement after a short while.
You will notice that your reading speed will increase.
The reason for this is that you brain will start to recognize
chords and your fingers will automatically find the right notes
on the keyboard. It is all about your brain recognizing these
patterns over and over again.
Have you read my sight reading article yet?
Here it is in case you haven’t: