Hi Guys Im new to piano and I love jazz so muchhhhh.

I was learning the basic of basics of the song, The Girl From Ipanema. I bought the sheet from Antoine Hervé along with the tutorials and tips.

One thing im struggling with is syncopation of my hands. I practiced both hands separated and my rhythm was fine. Everything that should be on the off beat is off beat and vice versa.

However when i put both hands together it just falls apart :(. I tried many times till i just wanna cry. I duno why it is not working.

Am i doing it wrong? Should i practice both hands together as one? Or separately? Because i've been thinking if i prac both hands together, i will not be able to keep my rhythm on my LH and when it comes to improv :( it will fall apart again. :( Am i doing it wrong? Please give me some tips :(


2 Answers 2


Perseverance is key here. You shouldn't expect to get it quickly, even with proper instruction, without lots of lots of practice. Judging only by the wording; it sounds like this song is new to you.

As suggested in the comments, slowing down things in music usually gets them going. Because there are many factors at play here; song recognition (how well do you really know it?), finger independence, dexterity, etc. you'll find yourself needing more time to get them all down individually and as a group effort.

With piano, the tricky part is really the independence of both hands. As you said... practicing each hand individually is a great start, but you should attempt to group them together very slowly. Almost in a flex time.

My preferred method to learning something difficult is to take it a few bars at a time. This helps psychologically as well as physically as you focus only on a few notes. With most music; including jazz, you can easily digest 4 bars at a time and the phrase sounds complete (or nearly complete). This way everything else about the song can be ignored until those 4 bars are mastered, to tempo, and with good time.


Am I doing it wrong? No. Everyone has trouble when beginning to learn a piece, and a different pace of learning. The key is to keep trying.

Should I practice both hands together as one? Or separately? Yes. If you can play both hands separately just fine, you must play them together (how else will you master the piece?). Some things that will help:

  1. Use a metronome and play strictly in tempo. This will help you to match both hands. After you are comfortable playing like this, you can stop using the metronome and introduce more freedom in your playing.
  2. Play slowly.
  3. Play section by section, or even measure by measure. Just play in chunks, and when you mastered a few chunks, you can put them together.

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