How to Play With the Left Hand for Beginning Pianists

Our last lesson introduced playing with our right hand on the piano keyboard and you had a couple of examples of playing notes with your right hand as well as 2 videos at the end to help reinforce what you learned. If you need to review any of that lesson before starting with our left hand, do that here.

  • Much of what we're going to do with our left-hand today is very similar to what we learned in that lesson.

This lesson deals only with the left hand so you will get to give your right hand a bit of a rest while you learn where your Bass Clef notes are on the keyboard.

Let's discover the layout for your left hand in the Bass Clef in C position and where these first notes are on the keyboard that we're going to learn today.

Step 1: Exercise #1

We are following the same finger pattern and note pattern that we had with our Treble Clef notes - stepwise motion. This simply means that the notes go in consecutive order instead of skipping around.

  • *Notice the Bass Clef sign in the music this time instead of a Treble Clef sign.

To play these notes on the piano keyboard you simply put your hand in C Position, and for the left hand, that means that your 5th finger or pinky finger goes on the C below Middle C. Once you find the C below Middle C and place your 5th finger on it, you are ready to play the rest of this exercise. Simply follow the fingers and notes written in image 1. (The note names are on top and the fingerings are on the bottom).

  • 5th finger = C
  • 4th finger = D
  • 3rd finger = E
  • 2nd finger = F
  • 1st finger = G

To come back down, simply reverse the fingerings that you just did going up to the G.

Make sure to hold the last measure for 4 full counts!

Now let's go over the 2nd exercise for your left hand notes on the piano keyboard.

Step 2: Exercise #2

This exercise is a bit longer but uses the exact same notes that we used in the last step.

All of your notes and fingerings are the same; the difference this time is that we start "at the top" with our 1st finger/thumb on G instead of our 5th finger/pinky on C. Your hand will still be in C Position to play this - you just don't start on C.

Make sure that when you play this you say out loud the notes/keys that you are playing to help train your body and mind even better!

Also - play both of the exercises together once you've been through them a few times as the 1st one helps to get you "set" for the 2nd one.

Now let's practice these 2 exercises on our keyboards together, and I have an extra video with exercises not included in the written portion of this lesson to give you even more practice!

Step 3: Come Practice With Me!

The most important things to remember right now about playing with your left hand on the piano are:

  • Get your hand in C Position by placing your 5th finger/pinky finger on the C below Middle C.
  • Say your note names while you play them on the keyboard.
  • Remember that for now, your notes will be consecutive - "stepwise" instead of skipping around which makes it easy to remember what finger to play next and what the name of that note is.
  • Practice slowly and steadily to get the best results.

Video 1 goes over the exercises here and video 2 gives some extra exercises that I show you on the keyboard to help advance your knowledge and ability to play correctly with your left hand on the piano.

Don't forget to review your right hand exercises as well, and before you know it, you'll be playing with both hands together!

Ready to practice?

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