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Syncing up Left Hand and Right Hand


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#1 booger

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:54 PM

hi, tm

I'm lagging a bit behind you in the series but this is how i handle
section 20 "blueberry hill" and how i do most of the hard stuff that
I've encountered so far. I like the response from Will about the head tapping,belly rubbing.It's my approach as well. I work the LH until i have
it nutted ( or in the pocket ),then add the RH at slower tempo in whole
notes,quarters,eighths and finally triplets and then like mystery and the
other responders gradually increase the bpm until I'm up to speed.This
seems to work well for me, especially useful for the syncopations.

#2 Will Barrow

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 08:56 PM

Hey tm21 and All,
Independence between hands,especially when playing music that has some syncopation in it[i.e."The Entertainer"],is indeed a challenge for most players.A few basic suggestions-some of which have been mentioned by others in this thread;Make sure you really have the parts DOWN,hands seperately,so that not much effort is required to play them.If you can say the alphabet while you play it,for example,then you've really got it down.Go very slowly when putting the hands together-in terms of tempo...Take small "bites" at a time-for example,if you're putting the hands together on "The Entertainer",do the pick up notes to the melody[D and D#]and play the first 2 beats with both hands-slowly...Once you begin to feel what it's like to have you're left hand "anchoring" the beat while the right hand syncopates against it,this will get easier-and feel really cool.Practice this small bit AWAY from the piano with a slow pulse going-so it becomes even more natural.This very deliberate approach helps you're body to develop that independence you need-which is not "NATURAL" for most folks-it's a rub your tummy/pat your head-type thing.Be patient,and NEVER allow yourself to be frustrated or discouraged,if you can help it.Chip away at it-and allow yourself to enjoy playing the stuff that you can play as a break from this challenging
process.Also,listen to the music you're working on,played by a master-
and really get it in your ears[listen "hands seperately" and together].
Have fun[most importantly],
Will

#3 kbeaumont

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 06:23 PM

I have been working a lot on this problem. I have been practising a lot of different bass lines from a book. First I work only the left hand, then I eventually get to where I can do it fast without looking at my hand. Then I slow it down and start working in the right hand. I'm not to the entertainer yet, I'm only starting session 20. Stride style seems to me to be all about muscle memory. On my guitar I can jump up and down the fretboard without looking at my hands or the guitar, its because the intervals are so ingrained I don't have to think about it. I have been practising some New Orleans style blues that has a lot of octave jumps in the bass line. I find that the more I do this kind of thing, the easier it gets on the next bass line I encounter. Its working for me.

#4 tm21

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 05:51 PM

Hello,
Thank you so much for the replies. I found that using a metronome and very slowly breaking it down really worked for me. It was a bit tedious but well worth it in the end. Does this get easier the more it is practiced? Or do more advanced players still struggle with it? Thanks again for the tips and encouragement. You guys are the best.

#5 Kent

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 09:49 PM

It's a common problem. Just keep working on it. Break down each part, both left and right hand. Work on one then the other, then both together. Go as slow as you need to go to not make errors. Little by little, speed up to the correct tempo. Over time it will come to you. Don't give up. :D

:lol: Mystery beat me to posting while I was typing my response. :lol:

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#6 Mystery

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 09:45 PM

Hello tm21,

I'm certainly not Will, but because nobody to date has replied to your plea for help, I'll offer a suggestion for you to consider.

Follow Will's advice and when a problem occurs --- slow it down, break it down and practice "additively!"

During practice sessions, I suggest you use a metronome whenever possible to help you with "timing." You will also benefit from marking where each beat occurs in both staves of the notation.

* Now that you have each hand working well separately, practice playing with both hands, but slow down the tempo and practice only one phrase (or even one measure) of the piece at a time, until you can play that segment of the piece with both hands, comfortably and flawlessly.

Then add another phrase (or measure), still at a slow tempo, and practice the combined segments in the same way. Continue that process until you've succeeded in playing the entire piece comfortably and flawlessly at a slow tempo.

Next, increase the tempo slightly (perhaps by as little as 4 quarter-note beats per minute) and practice playing the whole piece at that increased tempo.

If you have trouble when playing the entire piece at that faster tempo, break the piece into phrases (or measures), and practice "additively," as you did at the slower tempo.

If you still have trouble playing with both hands simultaneously, slow down the tempo and practice the piece until you can play it comfortably and without any significant errors. Then repeat the process outlined here, starting at the paragraph marked with an asterisk (*).

Don't rush this process! It is frequently true that, "Haste makes waste." Use your practice time wisely. When feeling frustrated (and we all have, at times), play something that you have already mastered and enjoy that experience. Come back to the challenging material in another practice session later that same day, or the next day.

Make mellifluous music!

Happy 88s,

Mystery

#7 tm21

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 08:40 PM

Does anyone have advice on this issue? Am I the only one struggling with this?? HELP!

#8 Kent

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 07:20 PM

Welcome :D

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#9 tm21

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 10:32 AM

Hey Will, I've really enjoyed the course and have made it all the way up to the Ragtime Session.

However, I am having major difficulties syncing up my left hand with my right hand. For the song "The Entertainer" I can play each part individually, but I can't seem to put it all together. It seems practically impossible for me. Is this a common problem? Do you have any tips or pointers on how to achieve smooth playing with both the left hand and right hand working together? I don't know which hand to focus on while I'm playing, and I find that if I focus on one hand, the other hand just gives out. I'm really struggling with this.

P.S. I watched your performance of Maple Leaf Rag and was totally floored at the way you played such complex left hand parts with even more complex right hand parts in perfect synchronization. That was truly amazing.

#10 dubbleKrown

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 07:42 PM

Hi Will - I have sort of mastered the entertainer (simplified version) and tried to play a small piece of the maple leaf rag. You cover it briefly in the rag time sessions. I can do the right hand and left hand parts separately but it's a real challenge to put the two hands together. The maple leaf rag seems to be several steps up in difficulty from the entertainer. Would that be fair to say? I am attempting the oompah oompah baseline (left hand) with the arpeggiated octaves (right hand).  How can I get over this hurdle? Thanks for your help.



#11 DavidRamey

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 09:16 PM

Will hasn't posted since August 31, 2013, 19 months.


David Ramey

 





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