Achieving Hand Independence – More Patterns (Part 4/4)

In the previous posts, I laid a foundation for practicing hand independence.  The exercises I gave were fairly basic, though they’re crucial to understanding the learning process.  Each new, consecutive pattern is derived in some way from a previous pattern, but made slightly more difficult. This way, I’m always maintaining an optimal level of difficulty.

The exercises thus far used only a basic Charleston figure in the left-hand.  Depending on your skill level, you may have thought the initial exercises were too easy.  However, if you were practicing a different, more difficult left-hand pattern, those initial exercises would be very helpful!

Here are a few examples of left-hand patterns that demonstrate different styles and concepts.  With all the exercises mentioned in previous posts, learning and mastering these patterns should be just a matter of time and practice!

Scott Joplin, Maple Leaf Rag:

Left Hand 1

Keith Jarrett, What is This Thing Called Love?

Left Hand 2


Keith Jarrett, Improvisation:

Left Hand 3


(Can’t see the video? Click here)

Thelonious Monk, Monk’s Point:

Left Hand 5

Egberto Gismonti, Palhaço:


Left Hand 6

Egberto Gismonti, Loro:

Left Hand 7

Bud Powell, Un Poco Loco:

Left Hand 8

Oscar Peterson, Boogie Blues Etude:

Left Hand 9Left Hand 10

Doug Riley, Peace Dance:

Left Hand 11

Doug Riley, Jump for Joy:

Left Hand 12

Dave McKenna, Yardbird Suite:

Left Hand 13

John Taylor, Clapperclowe:

Left Hand 15

Fred Hersch, Songs Without Words: Aria

Left Hand 14

You can put almost anything in your left-hand, as long as you practice!

Here’s one more idea: swap hands!  Play the Charleston figure, or some other pattern with your right hand, and work towards improvising with your left.  The same principles apply; have fun!


Leave a Reply