Breaking Up the Left Hand (1)

Lesson Three, Snake Dance syncopation build-up,
Musicarta Beat and Rhythm workbook.

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. In the next lesson, you graduate to the continuous left hand pattern.

Watch the video as you scan the music in your workbook.

Practice tips

Watch the teaching video on-page for a demonstration of these practice tips.

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.

Practise the phrases one at a time. You can let yourself take a little break between repetitions to start with. Here’s the first phrase.

TLR analysis

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.

Treat all the other phrases methodically the same way.

Then stitch the pairs of phrases together into the two line-types (Lines 1, 2 and 3 and Line 4) and practice until you can play them with no delays.

Put the four lines together and you have your performance.



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Syncopation and Anticipation

Tapping Exercises

Snake Dance
Build-up

Snake Dance Variations

Beat & Rhythm
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