Category: Practice and Performance
Playing hands together can be a challenge for many beginner pianists – I think this is especially true for adult beginners. And it doesn’t seem logical… You can get the right hand working perfectly – and the left hand… but once you put them together it is like neither hand knows its job! The music sounds disjointed and the musician gets confused. Or maybe that’s just me… Either way, the good news is that it gets easier!
A few tips to make the leap of faith:
- Practice hands separately until you are comfortable with each hand.
- Take a few deep breaths and try some relaxation techniques. Visualize yourself playing hands together while reading the sheet music in your head. Visualize yourself on a beach with a piña colada in your hand..
- Play the right hand notes on the keyboard and tap the left-hand to practice timing. After that switch up the hands: play the left hand notes on the keyboard and tap the right hand.
- Sloooooooowly play the piece hands together, trying not to look down at your hands too much. It doesn’t matter if you hit the notes exactly when you should the first time you play hands together. Expect bloated pauses as you figure out your next hand position, and expect to hear two sounds where you should hear just one. Also expect the unexpected… you never know where a ninja may be lurking…
- Break it out into tiny sections (as small as a measure). If playing the whole song is too daunting, just try one measure hands together (from bar to bar). Practice it as many times as necessary. Then move onto the next one. Once you have the next one, put the first two together… and so on.
- Keep calm and practice it again.
- Often beginner pianists will become more comfortable reading notes in the treble clef and playing with their right hand. If this is the case, make sure you put extra emphasis on practicing the bass clef and playing with your left hand. Seek out music that has a lot of action in the bass clef. The more you challenge yourself, the more improvement you will see.
- You may want to try learning a new piece hands-together the first time. Some people find that hands-separate practice is not THAT useful and can slow down the learning process.
Well I hope there was a few useful tips in there for you. Visualizing that piña colada made me thirsty…