When Your Left Hand Doesn’t Keep Up With The Right While Playing the Piano

When Your Left Hand Doesn’t Keep Up With The Right While Playing the Piano

It’s been close to two centuries that scientists have studied “handedness.” Yet even with all of these studies, they still aren’t quite sure why people give preferential treatment to one hand over the other. Anywhere from 70 to 95 percent of humans are right hand dominant. That leaves the vast majority of left hand dominance or ambidextrous to live in a predominantly right handed world. 

When your right hand is the leader, you automatically do things by reaching out and taking action with your right hand. If you’ve sat down at a piano and put both hands on the keyboard, it can feel like a foreign act. How do you make both hands work together, yet separately? 

It’s not your fingers or hands you have to retrain. It starts in your brain. 

When composers write music, by default, they are right handed too. They realize people can get more detailed with their right hand, so they put more of the intricate details into the right handed positions. You’ll find the right hand may play elaborate passages, while the left hand is more responsible for the harmonic undertones. 

That’s also why you’ll find higher pitches a part of more melodies and songs. Because compositions can be created and reached easier with the right, you’ll have accompaniments being written and played in higher ranges. 

When you first pick up a piece of music, you might find it easier to play the parts separately. Practice the left hand first. Learn the chord progressions. Figure out the structure. Put the notes into play, letting your fingers find the way.

Then practice your right hand. Find the way the notes move together. Pick up the rhythm and find your natural progressions. Hear the melody in action. 

Only when you’re comfortable with both can you put the two together. 

Eventually, this will become easier. You’ll be able to put the two together from the beginning, and hear the way the two play together to create beautiful music together.