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:
Keith Jarrett, What is This Thing Called Love?
Keith Jarrett, Improvisation:
(Can’t see the video? Click here)
Thelonious Monk, Monk’s Point:
Egberto Gismonti, Palhaço:
Egberto Gismonti, Loro:
Bud Powell, Un Poco Loco:
Oscar Peterson, Boogie Blues Etude:
Doug Riley, Peace Dance:
Doug Riley, Jump for Joy:
Dave McKenna, Yardbird Suite:
John Taylor, Clapperclowe:
Fred Hersch, Songs Without Words: Aria
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!