Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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OurRedPiano
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Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by OurRedPiano » 16 Feb 2012, 17:30

I've been practicing piano lately with two hands at the same time. I'm starting to get the hang of it but still, it would be nice to play like a pro!

I can't be the only one who deals with this. Who else gets annoyed by this?

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Gill the Piano » 16 Feb 2012, 18:30

Just lots of patience and slow steady practice. No short cuts, unfortunately!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 17 Feb 2012, 21:14

I`m very new to reading music with a keyboard. Not new to reading music itself though . Mainly I have been using the right hand . I am getting used to the bass stave although it all seems to be used with the right hand. I think it may be time to play everything with the left hand for a few weeks. Then it might start to balance out properly. The bass stave is coming into focus . That`s been the gap in my music reading . Of course the left hand needs to learn all the ways to find the notes too . I forgot to mention the business of reading the bass notes too while the treble clef is bagging all the attention.

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 18 Feb 2012, 12:16

It might help to focus on what happens in the bass stave where the notes overlap onto the treble stave.The notes just around middle C can confuse you until you sort it all out.It`s feels as if there are many notes drifting around in the gap between treble and bass. But middle C is really the only note there.The space at the bottom of the treble and above the bass are just either side of middle C.That`s it.
I made a cheat for myself out of soft plastic sheet.It`s a white strip of stuff that covers work surfaces in the kitchen. Cut a length about an inch and a half wide to reach all along the piano keyboard.The music staves are drawn on it with the notes and note names .There may be commercial versions around already. I use that if I get stuck but still rely on the music for most of the playing. Play pieces that you know already to help avoid mistakes . Get used to the basic signposts of D , A and E in the treble and extend outwards as you become familiar with it all. Fur Elise is a good example of a piece to help measure out the note positions and think of your hand as a ruler checking the distances. Get familiar with octave stretches to help with confidence.They appear fairly often.

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 18 Feb 2012, 15:44

Many adult learners who have piano lessons with me experience this annoyance!
However, only VERY FEW learn the systematic approach of hand co-ordination properly, and in an organised method. The ones that just mess about, or try to play their music at top speed get shuffled to the back of my mind.

Firstly - when we learned to walk, did we start going walking on tight ropes, or did our parents take us to stepping stones (through a torrent river) to learn walking?? Of course not - this requires greater co-ordination skills.... yet , many think that by adding the left hand will just "come naturally" ...... it wont.

Here are some general tips:-

1. Learn each hand VERY SLOWLY - less than half speed.
2. Learn tunes in unison... LH one octave below RH
3. Remember the "rule of 6"
4. Slowly learn scales/ contrary motion scales/ 5 finger exercises
5. Stick to "one note in the bass" per bar for now for RH melodies.
6. Stay in C major (or A minor) for several months
7. Gradually introduce basic chord triads
8. Learn tunes that "share" the melody between hands.

Try this book.... Piano Lessons Bk 1 by F Waterman & M Harewood (Faber)

Then see your progress in leaps & bounds - dont cut corners, dont include bad habits - and have some lessons with a professional teacher who will guide you.
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Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 18 Feb 2012, 18:04

I shall write that list out. Lots of good things in there. I might need a list of bad habits too. I don`t know what they are.

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by OurRedPiano » 29 Feb 2012, 01:20

The rule of 6? I'll Google it.

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 09 Mar 2012, 14:16

The Bach book of 48 is excellent for learning the piano. The very first prelude reaches down just below the bass stave and Bach presents little problems for you to solve as you expand into the pieces.If a gap is greater than an octave he leaves enough room for you to work out the way to play the notes. Bach was very considerate in that way. I play all the ones I can manage with that idea in mind. If it`s a bit difficult I feel Bach grinning over my shoulder waiting for me to see the way to do it. He`s waiting for the penny to drop. And the music is always beautiful , as far as I can do it justice. Hats off to Johan Sebastian.

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 15 Mar 2012, 02:08

This next question may pop up in another place quite soon. I have slightly short hands for the piano so is there a way to edit some of the chords to avoid losing the musical content ? If I cannot physically reach all the notes at the same time is there an accepted way to work round the problem? No particular piece in mind but quite a few.

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Gill the Piano » 15 Mar 2012, 18:43

My friend once asked Ashkenazy, who is not tall/big, how he managed the huge Rakhmaninov chords.
'Cheat,' he said.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 15 Mar 2012, 21:01

I wondered if playing the highest and lowest notes came first but if a middle note moves from natural to flat I need to hear the alteration. It`s all good to be using the left hand more.

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 17 Mar 2012, 13:10

My big event this week. I had the right hand full with a chord and had to reach across and play one note higher with my left hand. "Just like they do on tv ,I thought. Just like Sokolov ." Simple pleasures. For me that was a First .

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Gill the Piano » 17 Mar 2012, 15:32

I still remember my first 'cross hands' piece - 'Sur La Glace A Sweet Briar' by Caroline....summat. Thought I was ready for the Wigmore Hall... Such a sense of achievement - a 'proper' piece!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Is Using Both Hands On The Piano Getting On Your Nerves?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 23 Dec 2012, 13:50

Bach knew the two hands problem already from teaching his children and teaching or learning from his brothers. That`s why the first C major Prelude is so accomodating . No unruly stretches and mostly convenient repeats to drive the message home. The piano would be a poor instrument without the colour , grandeur and resonance of those low notes .

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