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Using scales any which way you like
Okay, okay scales are important, scales help you improve your playing, scales make you happy, scales make you rich, blah, blah, blah. But how can you use scales now right now?
What are you waiting for? You don't need me to tell you to break all the rules, push the boundaries, and explore the mystical world of scale patterns. Make up your own scales with their own step patterns. Improvise melodies or left-hand bass patterns by using just a few notes of a scale (see Chapter 9 for more
information on bass patterns). Print out hundreds of scales and wallpaper your kitchen. Basically, just do what you want with scales.
The bottom line is this: Let scales help you in whatever way you need them. It doesn't matter how you use scales limbering the fingers with some fast E-flat majors, discovering a cool left-hand groove through the inspiration of a G harmonic minor, or just impressing your friends with a rhythmic F-sharp blues scale. Scales are fun get out there and play.
Hey, Don't Forget Lefty!
In This Chapter
? Using the left hand ^ Playing notes from the bass clef
Accompanying a right-hand melody with the left hand
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? My &nt to know an industry secret? Many a pianist who plays with a ? ? band never even uses the left hand. Oh sure, you think the left hand is playing, because its moving up and down the left side of the keyboard and youre hearing lots of bass lines and chords. But au contraire, mon fr?re. The bass player fills in the bass notes; the guitarist covers the chords. The not-so-good pianist just fakes it.
Playing with your left hand, or both hands together, is considerably more difficult than just right-hand playing. But you have no need to fake your way through a career. You can show those phoneys how a real player does it! In this chapter, I tell you how to get both hands jamming together. Save your band some money: Fire the bass player.
In this chapter, I refer to your fingers with the numbers 1 through 5. Your right and left hands are abbreviated as RH and LH. Im not quite sure how much space these abbreviations save, but I do know that my editors are really, really happy about it.
If you consider middle C the middle of the piano, you can think of the keys to the right of middle C as the East Side and the keys to the left of middle C as the West Side. (Turn to Chapter 4 if you need help locating middle C.) Its time to turn and head west.
To explore the lower keys, acquaint yourself with the bass clef. Chapter 4 has some easy ways to remember the lines and spaces on this often neglected staff. But the best way to figure out this staff is to dig in and start playing. You soon recognize each line and space by sight, without even thinking about it.
Exploring the West Side
Part III: One Hand at a Time
Moving into position
In Chapter 7,1 show you two positions for the right hand: the C and G positions. These positions are the same for the left hand, but this time, C position has LH 5 (pinky) occupying the C below middle C, the second space up on the bass clef staff. In G position, LH 5 moves down to G, the bottom line of the staff. Figure 9-1 shows you the proper placement for C position.
C D EF G Middle C
Change your life by switching hands
if you aren't left-handed by nature, start using Lefty to perform everyday tasks you normally perform with your right hand. For example, use your left hand to perform any of these day-to-day tasks:
Flip channels on the TV remote
Steer your automobile (just be careful)
* Hand people money (especially me, if we happen to meet)
Brush your teeth
.s Open tightly-sealed pickle jars (good luck)
By consciously switching hands for a couple of weeks, you subconsciously make your left hand stronger, more versatile, and more independent.
Chapter* Hey, Don't ForgetLafty! 109
Getting used to the neui neighborhood
For a quick (and stimulating) drill, Figure 9-2 helps limber up the left-hand fingers in C position. Sing or say out loud the name of each note as you play it. Seeing, playing, saying, and hearing all at once go a long way in helping you remember the notes on the staff.
523 2 132 4 543 2 121
CDEEF GEFFD CDEEF GAG 243 5 354 315 4 5
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5' U F D E E C 3 2 15 1 D B C 3 2 15 1? 1 D G B B D 12 3 5 c 4 1
EFGC EFGC AFDB C G 3215 3541 3432' 1
West was 9* m ^ won. ! =
EFGC DBCA FEFGG C
Figure 9-3 features a similar workout, but in G position. Again, remember to sing each note out loud. Never mind what those around you think of your rantings and ravings theyre just jealous that you can play the piano.
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Figure 9-3: 3 There's gold in them 9' 3 =M= D B 1 2 ? p C A B G 1 3 5 -Mrm0gj C E D C B 1 2 3 5 4 d 1
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