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What's the best way to practice dynamics in the music sheet below? I can play this part with both hands but as soon as I try to add dynamics it falls apart - I either stop playing one hand, or one hand does the same thing as the other hand instead of doing its part.

Any suggestion?

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Most pieces have the melody played by R.H. and accompaniment by L.H. So we piano players get used to this concept. This is the other way round, and the L.H. is playing the tune. Our left hand is not au fait with this, so it's tricky. You could try, for a bit of fun, swapping hands (and either octaves, or crossing) so it's more of a 'normal' situation. However, once you realise the change of use of hands, and practise slowly, with dynamics, it should come together. Try to make the R.H. do the boring chug, chug, chug, chug in, well, quite a boring way.

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Slow down until you can play it (even if it means playing extremely slowly). Then gradually increase your speed.

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Play the two hands separately slowly, noticing whether you're playing the melody or the accompaniment.

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Before you do ANY dynamics, you must be able to play the piece with both hands almost flawlessly. Dynamics are there to be added after the technique has gotten perfected. Play like a robot a few times, then once you've mastered that, you must accent the left hand melody more than the right. Again, no dynamics other than that. Once you've gotten that down, then you can start adding p/f and whatever crescendos/diminuendos you need.

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You have to understand why playing dynamics make you fail both hands. My guess is that it makes you anticipate the next notes and because you are probably too shaky in both hands, you fail in putting them together. Try combinations of the following:

  • continue practicing hands separately with dynamics
  • play slowly both hands without dynamics, and with
  • play one measure at a time, then 2, then 4. End on the last note of each measure, or on the first note of the next (this will develop your ability to not race ahead and control what you are playing at a given time)
  • play only the G of the right hand with the left hand (this will make it easier for your right hand and allow you to work out the other challenges (rhythm and dynamics)
  • take a break and do it again!!!
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Make sure you are practicing the dynamics when practicing separately too. Generally, just play slowly. Don't play the subsequent notes until your RH has relaxed and is ready for it.

  • Play slowly but also thinkingly. :-) – user4386709 Jul 21 '15 at 20:09

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