I'm used to using my left hand to play rhythmic parts and my right hand to play melodic lines (like, I assume, many other players).

What kind of approaches would you recommend to learn to swap these roles (i.e., play rhythmic parts with the right hand while playing melodic lines with the left one)? If that's unclear, here's a segment I can play if I cross hands, but that I'm unable to play the way it's shown (from 2:15 to 2:27):

(I'm right-handed, but I'm not sure it matters)

  • 1
    Start with simpler songs, played slowly, and work your way up.
    – user28
    Apr 12, 2015 at 21:57
  • There is no "magic formula", just lots of practice. Start with each hand separately, then put them together. There are lots of exercises for left hand independence, e.g. imslp.org/wiki/… - use google and/or youtube for more.
    – user19146
    Apr 13, 2015 at 0:52

1 Answer 1


A few tips:

  • Practice sight-reading left-hand parts with the right hand (resting the left)
  • Practice sight-reading right-hand parts with the left (resting the right)
  • It's generally more difficult for the left hand to do the right hand's job than the other way around, so practice accordingly.
  • Learn about stride piano and related genres. If you like what you hear and learn some of it, it'll do wonders for your left-right skills ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Tatum#cite_ref-43 :)

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