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I like boogies playing on the piano. Now I am trying to learn this left hand pattern and get crazy:

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My goal is to play this pattern without concentrating on the left hand. What makes me grazy is the last two chords. They are somewhat asymetric and require (too) much attention even when playing slowly. Playing the left hand only works fine.

My idea was doing something totally different while only practicing the left hand (multithreading) as reading a book, playing a game on the ipad or the like. Maybe this helps getting better with independend hands while playing boogie songs.

What is a good and efficient way to learn such patterns?

Background: I am a self-tought person and have no piano teacher. The boogie pattern is heavily used from composer Peter Heger as in this song

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What is a good and efficient way to learn such patterns?

  • Actually, just practice.

That's basically all you need to do. You can't expect to be able to play those things overnight, but over time you will get better and better. Remember when you started to play the piano and couldn't even play triads in your left hand while playing with the right hand...? That's just because your brain wasn't used to either of these things and you can't try to learn or focus on two things at the same time.

Often you play these patterns exactly the same way, just on different notes. You have to practice them enough, so you don't have to think about it anymore. As soon as this pattern is in your muscle memory and you can play it without thinking about it, then you're also able to play it together with the right hand. It's nothing different from playing chords, inversions, alberti bass, stride bass or other patterns. You have to be able to play them without thinking about it to be able to concentrate on the right hand.

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Maybe, trying to learn the logic behind this pattern and understanding the theory and thought process behind its use in certain songs, you can truly familiarize yourself with the patterns and the chords. Then, after practicing, you can glaze past them.

  • What‘s the „theory“ behind this left hand pattern? Please be more precise what you mean or give some examples. – WeSee Jun 2 at 10:35
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    @WeSee Some parts of the theory here are: it's "eight-to-the-bar" with a backbeat on 2 and 4; it's busy at the end and simple at the start which helps to highlight the one of each bar; the overall chord has a minor third, major third, fifth, and major sixth, but the phrasing is broken up so the harsh dissonances don't sound at the same time. HTH – luser droog Jun 4 at 18:15
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    @WeSee Now, Boogie music is also referred to as Boogie Woogie. This style of music is, in a sense, polyphonic. Every above answer, which refers to practicing, is very applicable here, cos boogies are just as about left hand as the right hand. For this music, it is assumed that you know what 12 bar blues are. Also, you need to be able to play swing rhythms on the left hand. Typical of African-American music, the left hand in your example contains a switching from the A minor to A minor diminished, in the 1rst inversion. In the end, I advise you to learn blues and swing and then approach this. – Ami Buch Jun 6 at 15:01
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What I do in cases like these is to practice the pattern again and again. Start off slowly and then speed it up. When you have reached the speed you like, start playing stuff with your right hand. I suggest you improvise with your right hand in the scale you are so as to be able to keep the left hand pattern steady and focus on your right hand.

Basically you need to learn the pattern so well that you don't think about it; to reach a point that yoy play it mechanically so you can focus only on your right hand and then you'll be able to read your right hand notes.

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