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It seems like I never play chords with my left hand.


yorgatron

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I play single notes,basslines,5ths,octaves,but I really don't like the sound of a chord on the low end.

maybe this is more of an organ playing style I'm starting to develop?

even my electric piano seems more like an organ,tone-wise.

most of what I play is geared toward playing in a band,but will this be detrimental to learning how to play solo?

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I never play in the lower register, since I have bass and guitar in my band. I do chords with my left hand, but these are high-pitched pads. I don't think it has something to do with playing solo - you.ve gotta adjust to different situations.

Stuff I play on piano at home is Very diff. From what I play in the band.

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I play single notes,basslines,5ths,octaves,but I really don't like the sound of a chord on the low end.

maybe this is more of an organ playing style I'm starting to develop?

even my electric piano seems more like an organ,tone-wise.

most of what I play is geared toward playing in a band,but will this be detrimental to learning how to play solo?

 

Maybe you should try playing wider chords? I also don't like the sound of tight chords in left hand, but some wide left hand chords sound really nice. For example, I-V-X.

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Who does? Even solo, it's easy to get muddy down there. Most solo stuff LH is what you describe as working, single notes, 5ths, etc.

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I wish I could. I love the way jazz players use their left hands. I can only do a tiny bit of that. But they're playing chords in the middle of the keyboard, not much below Middle C.

 

Then again, the style I admire most is players like Max Middleton, who don't play a left-hand and right-hand part, but a *whole* part that often involves sophisticated left-hand playing. Just listen with care sometime to Jeff Beck's "'Cause We've Ended as Lovers" (written by Stevie Wonder).

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I have been slowly improving my left hand by playing a lot of 9th chords, 1st position

 

My XS motif and M3M kick in a cool variety of bass riffs based on my left handed

chords

 

In addition, and on piano, my left handed chords nicely sets up my right hand

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I hope the OP isn't actually trying to play chords below C2. :eek:

 

Otherwise, LH chords are important when it comes to playing solo piano. :cool:

PD

 

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Who does? Even solo, it's easy to get muddy down there. Most solo stuff LH is what you describe as working, single notes, 5ths, etc.

 

:freak: who does? everybody does. Play some stride piano to begin with. (e.g. rags)

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I have the same problem too. My left hand is locked on I-V-VIII. Sounds pretty empty, and i'm open to any books teaching some better LH Chords.

 

Also, when comping, i have difficulties sharing chord notes on my RH and LH. I end up playing most of the notes on RH, and I-V or I-VII on LH. Real problem for me.

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Then again, the style I admire most is players like Max Middleton, who don't play a left-hand and right-hand part, but a *whole* part that often involves sophisticated left-hand playing. Just listen with care sometime to Jeff Beck's "'Cause We've Ended as Lovers" (written by Stevie Wonder).
Greatest. Song. Ever.
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I voice stuff down low with the left hand all the time, piano or organ. It's all in how you do it

Stop teasing folks. Not everyone is willing to endure the Olympic diet required to reach it. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I have the same problem too. My left hand is locked on I-V-VIII. Sounds pretty empty, and i'm open to any books teaching some better LH Chords.

 

Also, when comping, i have difficulties sharing chord notes on my RH and LH. I end up playing most of the notes on RH, and I-V or I-VII on LH. Real problem for me.

Start by voicing the 3rd and 7th in the left hand, build from that
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In my "modern" rock band, I usually play the root of the chord in the baritone-tenor range of the keyboard (To fill the space more, and to back up the guitar, who's strumming eighth notes too). Then, my right hand is free for sustained chords or semi-melodic, Jon Lord-esque comping. Occasionally, I'll play a chord in RH and play a counter-bass line in the LH.

 

I'm currently compiling a solo piano version of Take Five, based on a Real Book transcription and the first page of a piano chart I got online. For some parts, I comp with my left hand (Occasionally, sustaining a bass note with my pinky) and play the melody with my right hand. Other times, I shift comping duties to the thumb and index finger of my right hand, keeping the other 3 fingers open for melody while my left hand pounds out some bass. :laugh:

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My casio keyboard has a great setting where I just press one note down there and it plays the whole chord for me!! :D;)

 

Jokes aside, if you want to cop a jazz thing you can do the McCoy Tyner LH where you play voicings made up only of fourths.

 

For example, if the change is some type of

C major: play E-A-D (3,6,9)

F7: play Eb-A-D (7,3,13)

G7sus: G-C-F (1,4,7)

 

etc.

 

 

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I prefer to break chords up, spread them out, etc., when in the lower registers (whether arps or whatever). But there may also be times where my left hand is above middle "C" and my right hand is soloing higher up still.

 

I'm not a very accomplished keyboardist so I just do what each song takes and learn the song; "real" keyboardists have actual technique which they tend to employ on most of the songs they play.

 

This again gets back to that earlier argument about "keyboardists" vs. "synthesists", or whatever the terminology was that was used in that discussion.

 

I don't tend to like tightly packed chords though, in ensemble playing, as they can get in the way of other instruments by hogging chunks of the audio spectrum. So at the very least, I tend to spread out any chord I play, whether in the left hand or right hand, and as I like "jazz" chords I tend to drop the third or fifth to have room for the "other" notes.

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Another trick I'll do in the left hand goers back to my jazz bass playing days, where I'll do a "walking bass line" that essentially breaks up the chords, but may spread over three octaves at times.

 

I did this in my "Doctor Who" arrangement while playing triplet arpeggios in the right hand. This is one of my favourite ways to "cover" a chord without playing in a blockish way, as all of the important notes in the chord progression show up to support other harmonisation and leads. I call it my "baroque-classical" style, as it combines influences from Bach and Beethoven.

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OK,so I'm not the only one playing like this.

I'm still relatively new to this,so I buy "teach yourself keys" books and they always have you play some big block chord that sounds like a bucket of mud,then you play the melody line over that.

lame.

I had a feeling I was on the right track.

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I play single notes,basslines,5ths,octaves,but I really don't like the sound of a chord on the low end.

maybe this is more of an organ playing style I'm starting to develop?

even my electric piano seems more like an organ,tone-wise.

most of what I play is geared toward playing in a band,but will this be detrimental to learning how to play solo?

 

Im in the same boat, it got to the point where all the stuff i play sounds the same.

 

I went for a few lessons with Eddie Harvey (great guy btw) who is a jazz piano teacher at TVU where i study. It made a lot of sense! Thats what my playing is missing, comping..

 

As a lot of the guys already mentioned the 5ths 7ths 9ths 13ths can be played with the left hand while filling in with the right with other chord notes plus melody line.. the example that Jazz+ gave of Keith Jarret is great.

 

It seems to me that all of the cycles have to be learned by heart so that i dont need to think about where the left hand needs to go. Its also about breaking the 'bad' habbit of playing root all the time in the LH ie separating hands instead of using both hands more closely (if that makes sense).

 

Eddie suggested a great book, one which he uses to teach his students its called Jazz Keyboard Harmony by Phil DeGREG.

Being lazy doesnt help and this stuff requires practicing and concentration to break the habbit while learning a new way of LH RH usage in playing. Thats my case at least, hope it helps.

 

Nik

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I hope the OP isn't actually trying to play chords below C2. :eek:

 

Otherwise, LH chords are important when it comes to playing solo piano. :cool:

Hey, Paul McCartney did just fine without ever playing any LH chords! ;)

 

(Mr. McCartney aside, Prof is correct.)

 

Even when not playing chords below C2, you can play very significant intervals down there. The real surprise is how they might not be the intervals you might suspect. Again, see Max Middleton's Rhodes part on CWEAL, as I mentioned above. No doubt jazz is full of stuff like this; I'm just spouting one I studied myself.

 

I found 3 kinds of things there:

 

1) Stuff I could have easily thought of myself

2) Stuff I never would have thought of, but made perfect sense

3) Stuff I have no idea at all why it works at all and bewilders me to no end

 

add to the above, stuff that's thrown in on left hand that doesn't so much seem to serve a harmonic purpose as to punch up or change the timbre of the right hand part. I don't know what I'm talking about here, all I can say is it's what it seems to do.

 

I made a MIDI part for that tune, btw -- if anyone wants to disect it and let me know where I goofed (which I'm sure is plenty of places, it's all just my best guesses), just say so. Here's an audio clip.

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