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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by dogperson
WeightedKeys is a self-teaching beginner; started about a month ago

Thank you - that's important to know. We might not even be at a Bach level yet. Other advice coming in might be how to practice (any piece) in order to gain that hand independence in the first place. The whole question of "how to practise". wink

IMO: Sidokar provided a great response:

In the beginning, i would stay away from complex pieces. The simplest is to practice HI with various scale exercices, for example legato one hand and staccato in the other. Or 2 to 1 rythm, in staccato, or one hand playing arpeggio and the other a scale. And any classical piece can teach you some form of HI, but i find that classical period music is particularly helpful, Diabelli, Dussek, Kulhau, Cimarosa, Clementi, .....


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by dogperson
WeightedKeys is a self-teaching beginner; started about a month ago

Thank you - that's important to know. We might not even be at a Bach level yet. Other advice coming in might be how to practice (any piece) in order to gain that hand independence in the first place. The whole question of "how to practise". wink

IMO: Sidokar provided a great response:

In the beginning, i would stay away from complex pieces. The simplest is to practice HI with various scale exercices, for example legato one hand and staccato in the other. Or 2 to 1 rythm, in staccato, or one hand playing arpeggio and the other a scale. And any classical piece can teach you some form of HI, but i find that classical period music is particularly helpful, Diabelli, Dussek, Kulhau, Cimarosa, Clementi, .....

This actually sounds too complicated for someone a few weeks in. "legato one hand, staccato the other" for example - or even scales. Clementi, one month in? On the "how" I was thinking, for example, of working in stages, working in chunks, rather than a whole piece. Is there a method book for beginners involved, that could introduce things bit by bit? Otoh, we have not heard back from the OP.

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Originally Posted by keystring
This actually sounds too complicated for someone a few weeks in.
Agree. A few weeks in is too early to mess with hands independence. At this stage a student must be fully concerned with the touch and the tone.


weightedKey, please, ignore my first response, I was thinking of another person when answering to you.
I think you're hurrying too much. Please, watch this video first if you haven't done it already.

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WeightedKeys is a self-teaching beginner; started about a month ago

I repeat my suggestion. smile

[Linked Image]

On this site you can download a sample. Page 2, Trumpet tune by Türk. I still remember how intrigued I was by trying to play staccato and legato with one hand, and non-legato with the other hand. But maybe still a bit too difficult after only one month.


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If I may suggest something, come up with simple "puzzles" on your own and see how complex you can make them. For example, one I just thought of at this moment was to play CEGCEGCEG... with one hand, and CEGCCEGCCEGC... with the other hand, simultaneously. Come up with any number of small coordination challenges for yourself and try them out.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Agree. A few weeks in is too early to mess with hands independence.
Hand independence training - without connection to the instrument - begins immediately after birth, and children do specific exercises in kindergarten. The rhythm of spoken language during rhythmic walking is an example of two autonomous processes that are learned instinctively.
African musicians study polyrhythmic performance through visual perception.

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If this were asked in a general forum or at least a non piano forum I would say what would help you the most would be taking up piano. So I agree with Ido ...

Originally Posted by Ido
Frankly, any piano piece you'll play will require some form of hand independence and it will develop over time. No specific exercises are needed.
...

Every piece we play presents a new challenge of H I. Practice and development of this skill is built into learning the piano and doesn't really require any extra focus.

Rubbing your belly while patting your head is a good one to master though.

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Bach as many have said but also Bartok. Micro Cosmos have a lot to teach on hand independence and is a whole series starting from the very easy on to the most difficult. The first books are suitable for any level beginner.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
. . .

WeightedKeys is a self-teaching beginner; started about a month ago

Ahhh -- forget my Bach suggestions, then!

Better to just start with Alfred's method books. It's too early to worry about "hand independence" -- before you tackle that, you need hands that will do what the brain tells them to do, quickly and reliably.

Sorry for putting up a misleading idea.


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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Better to just start with Alfred's method books. It's too early to worry about "hand independence" -- before you tackle that, you need hands that will do what the brain tells them to do, quickly and reliably.
That sounds spot on. smile

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I'm also a newbie here and the whole hand-to-brain coordination is something I'm finding very difficult. I feel like my brain catches tune very quickly but my hands are kinda stiff. I'm hoping as time progresses, my fingers will eventually become more flexible.
Side note: Should I practice Bach to fix my HI? Is it working for you?

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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Better to just start with Alfred's method books. It's too early to worry about "hand independence" -- before you tackle that, you need hands that will do what the brain tells them to do, quickly and reliably.
That sounds spot on. smile
Exactly. Any good series of method books will gradually introduce hand independence(which BTW no one on this thread has yet defined).

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Definition from an internet piano site

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of hand independence, it can be described as: playing piano, using both hands in a manner seemingly independent of each other.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Definition from an internet piano site

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of hand independence, it can be described as: playing piano, using both hands in a manner seemingly independent of each other.
The problem with that definition is the phrase "n a manner seemingly independent of each other" which I think is so vague as to be meaningless.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by dogperson
Definition from an internet piano site

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of hand independence, it can be described as: playing piano, using both hands in a manner seemingly independent of each other.
The problem with that definition is the phrase "n a manner seemingly independent of each other" which I think is so vague as to be meaningless.


Perhaps you can look on the internet and find s definition that you find meaningful


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There seem to be two types of hand independence. The first is motional independence, when the hands do different kinds of motions, e.g. staccato/legato. The second may probably be called melodical independence, when each hand plays its own melody. The types may obviously be mixed.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
There seem to be two types of hand independence. The first is motional independence, when the hands do different kinds of motions, e.g. staccato/legato. The second may probably be called melodical independence, when each hand plays its own melody. The types may obviously be mixed.
Those are two kinds but I think there are many more kinds. The first one is quite rare. The second kind you mention depends on the definition of "melody".

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There are degrees of hand independence, ranging from playing the tune Twinkle Twinkle in RH in C major with a straight C major chords (C-E-G) in LH simultaneously with every note in RH (which teaches nobody nothin' and sounds wrong), to Clementi's Op.36/1 with RH mostly playing melody and LH playing simple accompaniment and Alberti bass, to Bach 2-Part Inventions, then 3-Part Inventions........all the way to complete dissociation between RH & LH, with each hand playing in a different rhythm as well as in a different key.

The way to develop proper, 'sustainable', progressive hand independence is the way it has been taught for centuries by all good teachers - little by little, small step by small step. Not one small step for a man, one giant leap for, er, tomorrow.

Therefore, follow these steps:
1) Play a single-line simple melody which passes back and forth from one hand to the other. No other notes. The brain gets used to using both hands equally, in a melodic rôle, and realizes that the two hands can co-operate symbiotically towards a common good, just like dogs & cats (- one sniffs out the danger, e.g. a rat, the other pounces & attacks it tooth & claw). For instance, play Happy Birthday by ear in C major, with both hands in 5-finger position, LH on E-F-G-A-B and adjacent RH on C-D-E-F-G. Use only the fingers that are actually on the correct keys to play the tune (i.e. LH starts the ball rolling with 3).
If the student can't do that (by ear or from a written-down score) without stuttering and stumbling, he'll need to keep practicing to master this first step before going on to anything more complicated, because this is a sine qua non towards eventual complete hand independence mastery (e.g. playing Happy Birthday in LH and The Star-Spangled Banner in RH simultaneously, each hand playing at a different tempo whistle ) in about twenty years' time.

There are lots of tunes with which to practice this, e.g. Silent Night (again in C major), with LH on C-D-E-F-G and RH on A-B-C-D-E. (Note that the RH pinky has to play one note (F) away from its position.) No amount of practice is too much to master this basic step.

2) Next step: again play a simple tune that passes back & forth from one hand to the other, but this time with a very accompaniment (single notes only) in the hand not playing the tune, all the way through. Again, no amount of practice is too much to master this basic step.

3) Now you are ready to play very simple classical pieces like this:


4) Onwards and upwards, little by little, small step by small step....... thumb


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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