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Playing the melody with your left hand ...

PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019 22:33
by Hugh-AR
When I 'drum' my fingers on a table top they go from 'thumb to little finger' without me thinking about it. I think that for most people they go the other way .. from pinkie to thumb. Or maybe you can do it both ways? I can't.

This affects hugely what I am able to play. In The Mood .. fine. The fingers are going in the right direction for me. But 12th Street Rag? I find that just impossible to play. The fingers run in the wrong direction for me .. at speed. And I just can't do it.

But one of our Members, Keith Dyer (Deadflat) has recorded this piece playing some of it with his left hand. Now that's something I should try. With my fingers running automatically from thumb to pinkie I would be playing the notes in the right direction for me to play this tune.

Here is a clip of Keith on Technics playing 12th Street Rag with a little left hand help. You'll have to wait a couple of verses before his left hand comes into play.

And here he is again, this time playing Peanut Polka left handed.


Re: Playing the melody with your left hand ...

PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019 23:04
by Hugh-AR
Keith again. I think it must be catching!

Lets Face The Music & 5ft 2 with a little left hand help

El and Tico

Yes Sir, That's My Baby

Tea for Two

Anybody else able to play like this?


Re: Playing the melody with your left hand ...

PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019 07:57
by Rev Tony Newnham

Playing melody with left hand is a standard classical organ technique. Obviously, if I'm playing from a score that calls for it, I just play it (one piece currently in my repertoire - Noel Rawsthorne's transcription of "The Swan" has the melody in the LH all the way through. I'll perhaps try & record it & post it here soon - but don't hold your breath!). One of the ways of playing hymn tunes when you want a different sound is to play the melody in the Tenor register with Left Hand, and alto & Tenor parts with RH on another manual, Bass on the pedals (I usually cheat and play RH melody & chords with LH but that's another matter!)

On the piano I sometimes play the melody with my LH down an octave with an accompaniment above that with my RH.

The bottom line is that you do what works for you.

Re: Playing the melody with your left hand ...

PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019 15:17
by Hugh-AR

Thanks for your reply. I would love to hear you playing "The Swan" with your left hand. It doesn't have to be a complete 'performance', as this isn't the 'Performance' Board. Just a clip as a DEMO would be great. And yes, put as a Reply in this topic.

I think we all get used to how a keyboard is played, with chords formed to the left of the split with the left hand, and the melody played to the right of the split with the right hand, that prevents us from 'thinking outside the box'. We would never ever 'play the tune' with the left hand if the keyboard was set up with a split point. I was quite taken with Keith's way of playing things using his left hand.