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Left Handed Bass Parts

Did you know that Errol Garner, the jazz pianist, was left-handed? So, I got to thinking about the left hand parts on the piano and how much time I have invested in piano practice to improve and strengthen my bass lines in music.

I’ve always been comfortable playing a melodic line with my right hand, but when it comes to playing the Alberti bass or the Waltz bass, it seemed like I needed to practice more, playing the left hand notes separately until they were polished and then adding both hands together to Hear a more balanced sound.

To achieve this, let’s take a look at music and see how a composer writes harmony parts in many different ways.

1. It seems that block chords seem to stack all the notes, like a snowman, and you play them together at the same time. You will find many chords blocked for your left hand in rock and roll and also in hymns.

2. Broken chords are when the left hand plays the notes of a chord, but one at a time. You can tackle this by playing the oom-pah or, for example, boom-chick rhythm, as a repeating pattern of a single note followed by a chord. You’ll hear this on Ragtime on Scott Joplin’s Music.

3. Arpeggiated chords form notes in a chord that are played one at a time, like an arpeggio. They are found in classical piano music and pop music.

4. The Alberti bass is when the notes of each chord are played starting with the bottom note, going through the top note, the middle note, and then up to the top note again.

5. The waltz bass is where the first note of the chord is in downbeat, the first beat of the measure, and followed by the other notes in beats 2 and 3. It is played with a downbeat in a measure of 3 / Four. . This style of ballad gives your right hand the freedom to pull the line out of the melody and just let it flow.

This is the basic introduction to the movement of the left hand. More advanced rhythmic patterns would include off-beat rhythms, swing, and slow jazz waltz, to name a few. Also, there is Latin rhythm to learn, such as Bossa Nova, Mambo Tango, Cha Cha, Rhumba and Samba.

No matter what level you are at, with many of the left hand parts listed above, you can incorporate them into your music to practice rhythm.

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