Syncopating the Left Hand

Lesson Six of the Snake Dance series,
Musicarta Beat and Rhythm workbook.

This last stage in the Snake Dance build-up is the most challenging. Watch the  performance video so you know what your goal is.

With the help of the performance video and the MS in your workbook, you may be able to play the syncopated version straight away. If not, watch the teaching video for a walk-through of the following practice suggestions.

Practice suggestions

All that happens is the left hand accompaniment changes from continuous to syncopated – one left hand little finger (LH5) in the bar doesn’t play.

This means that the tapping pattern for the first phrase in the performance changes to

R  R  T  L  R  L  T

Tap that out on your desktop. As always with a difficult new pattern, be prepared to abandon the rhythm altogether until the TLR sequence feels natural.

Then put the notes in.

(Notice that we've simplified matters by not playing the left hand between phrases. When you want to learn a new rhythm skill, let yourself learn just parts of it first.)

Now practice the second phrase with the new left hand. Tap the rhythm first.

R  R  T  T  R  T  T

Filling the gaps

To graduate to continuous left hand, you have to understand what happens in the between-phrases bars.

Get used to this movement.

Now put the other left hand thumb note back in and practice, repeating continuously. (You can practice the run-ups for Line 3 in the same way.)

Notice how the right hand phrase run-ups start in the gap in the left hand.

Line 3

There are right hand notes on every beat in Line 3, so your tapping pattern is simpler.

You can practice the Line 3 phrases separately, or with a little break between them, if you wish.

In closing

Being able to tap and play all these practice fragments separately is indispensable if you are to enjoy playing the variations which follow.

Playing individual elements of a complicated rhythm at will, or starting at a different point in the pattern, is a much sounder basis for progress than just getting through by luck and trial and error a few times.    


Thanks for studying with Musicarta
- Come back soon! -

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Syncopation and Anticipation

Tapping Exercises

Snake Dance
Build-up

Snake Dance Variations

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