Imagine having a left hand that’s just as powerful as your right – well, you don’t have to imagine anymore! My latest YouTube video, “5 Fun Exercises That Instantly Improve Your Left-Hand Piano Playing,” is here to make it happen.
In this video, I’ll walk you through five incredibly fun exercises that will not only strengthen your left hand but also supercharge your coordination. And guess what? We’ve spiced things up by applying these exercises to a popular chord progression (C-G-Am-F), making it a musical adventure you won’t want to miss.
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Today, we’re going to tackle a very common problem that many beginner pianists face, dealing with your left hand. First off, it is totally normal to feel like your left hand is weaker. In fact, 99% of my students all say that their left-hand is a struggle, even people who are left-handed. So just so you know, you’re not alone here. And today, I’m going to give you five very fun exercises that you can play along with a chord progression or even your favorite songs, and it will help you strengthen your left hand. And if you’d like more videos on how to go from zero to playing your favorite songs in months, not years, be sure to hit the bell and subscribe because I post new videos every week.
And if you’re lurking around YouTube trying to learn the piano, I highly recommend watching my free training. In this training, I’m going to show you the exact roadmap that I take my students on that helps them go from zero to playing their favorite songs fast. The link is in the description below. All right, let’s get started. To make these exercises really fun. I’m going to use a very popular chord progression, but really you could actually use any of these songs with any of your favorite songs and their chord progressions. So today’s chord progression is going to be C major, G major, A minor, to F major. This is what that chord progression sounds like.
All right, let’s get started with exercise number one. I call this, octaves with quarter notes. This exercise will strengthen your left hand while working very beautifully with a song of your choice or this chord progression provided today. All right, so on my chord progression, I’m going to do the regular chords in my right hand, C, G, A minor, F, and then in my left hand, I’m going to use a corresponding octave. So if I’m playing C major, then I’m going to play the C major octave in my left hand. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to hold the lowest note in my octave, and I’m going to play the top one like this. So, watch this. The first ones together: one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. I would practice just that at first and then add it to your chord progression. This is going to really help you get used to playing an octave, and again, it’s really nice to play it with any of your favorite songs.
Exercise number two is going to be an octave with eighth notes. So let’s pick up the pace here. This is a great one to follow. The first one, we’re going to be moving a little bit faster. So, this is what we’re going to do now. With just our left hand, I’m going to keep following along in my chord progression, but I’m just going to play the octave with both fingers together. So one and two, and three and four, and one and two, and three and four like this. But now we’re going to move along through the cords like this: one and two, and three and four, and one and two, and three and four, and one and two, and three and four, and one and two, and three and four.
With these octave exercises, do not let your wrist or your fingers get too tense. It’s very easy to do that when playing octaves. Be sure to stay relaxed. If your hand hurts, that’s not a good sign. With a piano, it’s not no pain, no gain. Don’t do that.
All right, exercise number three. I call this the rotating octave. Back to our chord progression. We’re going to go like this with our left hand, still playing eighth notes, but we’re going to rotate: one and two, and three and four, and one and two and three and four, and one and two and three and four, and one and two and three and four. And playing it with our chords, it’ll sound like this. Before we move on to the next exercises, let me know in the comments, what are some left-hand tricks that have worked for you and helped your playing? Let me know.
Exercise number four is going to be the interval of a fifth with quarter notes. So, this is what I mean. This might be easy if you haven’t experimented with octaves yet, it might help, or if you can’t reach an octave. So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to keep going through our cord progression, we’re going to put our pinky on our root note. So, if we’re playing C major, that means we’re going to be playing C with our pinky. And then, the fifth is five notes above C, so one, two, three, four, five, that’s going to be G in this case.
So just like the first one where I was holding the root note and playing the octave, we’re going to do that with the fifths here. So, it’ll go like this: one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. Now, let’s try it with our cords, and don’t forget to hold that pinky, hold it the whole time like this.
All right, our fifth exercise is my favorite, and I actually use it all the time in really slow, beautiful songs. I call this the fifth in the middle exercise. So with the fifth in the middle, again, we just talked about our fifth, so the fifth from C is G. So for this exercise, we’re going to put our fingers back into an octave, and we are going to put finger two on the fifth, and we’re going to be rocking back and forth. It’s like an arpeggio, C, G, C, G.
All right. I’m actually going to move my left hand a little bit lower so they don’t clash with my right hand, so it’ll go like this if I played it with the chords.
So, these are some really great exercises that you can use in a warmup, or you can add them to some popular songs that you’re already playing. You’re going to see these warmups in popular music all the time. So, whenever you’re listening to a popular song, see if you can find some of these left-hand patterns. And if all of this sounds really cool, but you have no idea how to play your favorite songs in the first place, I highly recommend watching my free training. I’m going to show you exact steps that I take all of my students on that helps them go from zero to playing their favorite songs in months, not years. The link is in the description below. And be sure to hit the subscribe button and the bell before you go because I post new videos every week about how to learn the piano fast. And I’ll see you next time.