To be a proficient pianist, you also need to hone your left hand’s dexterity and strength in playing the piano. This means you need to learn the correct piano fingering for the left hand. Knowing and mastering the proper fingering for the left hand will surely improve your playing speed. It will also facilitate the formation of chords.
If you are a right-handed person, however, you will surely find it a challenge to master your left hand. This is because you are accustomed to using your right hand in almost everything. But you can habituate your left hand to obey your direction and learn a new skill, like playing the bass clef notes of a piano music piece. The bass clef notes, of course, consist of the lower notes to the left of middle C. These notes support the melody and rhythm.
What is the Role Played by the Left Hand in Piano Playing?
Your left-hand doesn’t play the main role in piano playing, but it does play a critical role in making you a full-pledge pianist. It basically plays a secondary role when you play the piano. But despite playing a supporting role, it does add a crucial element in your piano playing. It adds the essential bass notes as well as the important accompaniment. Your right hand plays the notes that are above middle C, while your left-hand plays notes below the middle C.
How to Read the Piano Notes of Bass Clef?
The bass clef notes are also known as the F clef. On a modern stave, the dots are positioned either side of the fourth line showing that F note. The bass staff’s notes follow a similar pattern as the other notes on the musical staff: E-G-B-D-F-A-C. Its bottom line is a G.
The bass staff’s notes may be in a space or on a line. The notes on the bass staff’s lines follow this pattern: G-B-D-F-A. The Middle C of the bass clef is positioned on a line just above the bass staff.
Techniques on Playing the Bass Notes with the Left Hand
The piano fingers for the right hand are similar to the left hand and follow the same basic rules. The fingers of the left hand are also numbered from 1 to 5, with the thumb being the number 1 and the little finger being the number 5. It would be best if you kept, however, the fingers 1 and 5 off the accidentals whenever it is possible.
Moreover, after you play the black keys, you should enable your finger to reach a white key with your little finger or your thumb. You should apply this technique for both descending and ascending scales that you play for each hand.
The Scales Played by the Left Hand
It is the usual case that the left hand plays the rhythm in any piano music. However, you will also find yourself playing left-handedly some arpeggios and melodies. Thus, for such instances, you should practice the techniques below to enhance your left-hand’s dexterity:
- When playing descending scales, your thumb should cross under your third or fourth finger. So, if you begin with C, your ring finger should be playing G. Your thumb should also cross under in playing the F Key.
- When playing ascending scales, your third or fourth fingers should cross over your thumb. Hence, if you are starting with a C scale, your thumb should play G, and your ring finger or your middle finger should cross over the thumb in playing A.
You will notice that playing scales is not that exciting. However, if you frequently practice with your left-hand scales, you would gradually develop many essential skills. First, you develop facility in reading the bass clef. You also develop the correct fingering of notes. Third, you enhance your skill in playing patterns and harmonies. Third, you begin to realize that you are better off with right hand playing.
Piano Bass Chords
There is not much difference in fingering for the bass chords as for the treble chords, except that the numbers are wrought in inverted forms. The triads, for example, are formed with the use of 5-3-1 fingers. One exception, for example, is the formation of 5-2-1, which is used when the chord requires a wide span of fingers. You will notice this in the second inversion of the A minor chord.
Those that involve accidentals are also exceptions to this rule. Fingers 2-3-4 in some scales, for example, are best kept for black keys. Thus, when a triad starts with an accidental, you should begin it too with the fourth finger. So, you play with the 4-2-1 fingering the first inversion of the D major triad whose notes are F#–A–D.
On the other hand, you form the 4-note chords (tetrads) using fingers 5-3-2-1. Tetrads, of course, follow similar rules as well as exceptions as those of the triads. Moreover, you should also adjust your tetrad fingering as those of the triads if you want to be more efficient. Hence, you can use the 5-4-2-1 fingering position if you need your third finger for a different note.
Your ultimate goal in practicing the left-hand playing of the piano is to ensure that both your hands are synchronized when you play a music piece. You want to improve the strength and dexterity of your left hand to achieve this goal. However, without practice, your skill will surely diminish. But with practice, you will improve your hand and finger’s coordination, agility, and speed.