Classical music can be complicated. This can be a big obstacle if you are new to it.

But today, I’m gonna help you get through that obstacle, with the first of the series of posts on the subject “Cool things pianists do”, to gain a greater insight on everything involved.

The first cool thing we’re gonna look at is when pianists play the melody in the left hand. One of the first challenges of learning to play is making your fingers play different things in different hands. Usually the melody is played with the right hand, so then you get used to that and then suddenly you have to learn to bring out the left hand. Even if you are left handed (like me) this is still a challenge when you first come across it.

This is especially difficult if you are learning on a keyboard on which all the notes play at the same volume. It’s kind of hard to make the left hand louder when it’s not gonna play louder than the right hand at all (it can hold you back, so I ended up getting a real piano, it is highly recommended). This is one of many reasons you cannot play classical music on a keyboard like that (I could write an entire series of posts on this with many real life examples but I’ll spare you).

So, fast forward to 13 years later, and that right hand melody appears in many things I’m practicing. In fact, it’s in almost everything. I’ll show you a few examples so you can hear what it sounds like and watch how it’s done. The melody notes are highlighted in red to give you an idea of all the notes that are being played. These notes will be lower than what you usually hear in a melody.

Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 2 No. 1

The part at 2:33

(2:28)-  You hear the melody first in the right hand
(2:33)- Then it’s played in the left hand (red notes)

Liszt’s Totentanz

The part at 2:51

(2:51)- As if this piece wasn’t hard enough already, Liszt has fastness in the right hand while the melody is brought out in the left hand, along with other notes which are not emphasized (not melody).

Debussy’s Ballade

The part at 2:50

(2:50)- It’s hard to explain briefly, but this rhythm is a little complicated, so that’s part of the challenge here. This part repeats before moving on.


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