Musicarta Beat and Rhythm Workbook

The Snake Dance

Breaking Up the Left Hand

In this stage of your performance build-up, you break up the left hand fifth and ‘waggle’ it, playing bottom-top-bottom-top notes. This is more difficult than it sounds, so we approach it in two stages.

In the first stage (this lesson), you rehearse putting the melody over this new left hand pattern in sections only. Then, you graduate to the continuous left hand pattern.

Watch the first performance video.

Now orient yourself for the module build-up.

The build-up

First phrase

Tackle the phrases one at a time.

To help you work out which left hand notes go with which right hand notes, think of the left hand as now playing ‘bottom’ (LH5) and ‘top’ (LH1) notes. You see this marked up in the music. It’s your little finger (LH5) that comes on the strong beat.

Note that there is no left hand pattern underneath the first two ‘run-up’ notes of the slurred phrases.

Tap the pattern

Read through the lesson notes below the video.

Notice when the hands play together (T), when just the left hand plays (L), and when just the right hand plays (R) – ‘TLR analysis’.

Here’s the first phrase marked up with the TLR analysis.

Here’s the 'beat map' for that rhythm.

Copy the tapping in the teaching video, then jump to playing the real music.

Second phrase

Work through the second phrase just as methodically.

Whole Line 1

Now put the whole Line 1 together. Repeat!

Line 3 phrases

The Line 3 phrases have the same TLR pattern as Phrase 2 plus one extra 'R' on the end.

While you're still learning:

  1. Let yourself pause at the end of a phrase.
  2. Then keep the left hand going and pause just the right hand.
  3. Then close the gap and repeat the line continuously.

The intermediate performance

Make sure you can play the "gappy left hand" performance right through.

Filling the gaps

Now we set about filling the LH gaps.

Here's the MS (written-out music) of "what actually happens".

Line 3

Practice the Line 3 right hand run-up the same, methodical way.

Tapping boot camp

Here's a condensed tapping drill video for the whole version. Use it to make sure you don't have any T-L-R coordination glitches

The final module performance

Here's the performance with the continuous left hand.

When you're ready, go on to the next module.


Thanks for studying with Musicarta
- Come back soon! -

Series Nav

Snake Dance
Build-up

Snake Dance Variations

Syncopation and Anticipation

Tapping Exercises


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