In this final lesson of my beginner piano course we are going to look at how to play piano music that combines both the right hand and the left hand. This builds on the piano playing techniques we have learnt in the previous 5 lessons.
In this lesson we are going to look at:
- How to play piano with two hands playing separately
- How to play a piano piece with both hands playing at the same time
Learning how to play piano with both hands is a big step up, but is very much achievable if you follow some simple tips outlined below and put in a little bit of practice.
There are 2 pieces for you to learn in this lesson that will help you develop basic two handed techniques.
Playing a Piano Piece with Two Hands
Let’s have a look at the sheet music for this lesson’s first piece:
Using the understanding you have gained in the previous lessons you will be able to work out the following information about the music:
- the piece has 4 beats in a bar (by looking at the time signature)
- the tempo (speed) marking is Andante which means “Walking Pace”
- the dynamic marking (volume) is mp (mezzo piano) meaning “quite quiet”.
The biggest obvious difference with this piece from the previous pieces we have learnt is that there are 2 staves of music.
There is one stave for the right hand (written in the Treble Clef) and a stave below it for the left hand (written in the Bass Clef).
Let’s have a listen to the demo of the piece below:
I have kept the notes quite simple as this is our first attempt at a piece with two hands.
It is mostly made up of short scales with most of the notes moving by step rather than any big leaps.
The two hands alternate between the right hand playing and the left hand playing.
There is just a little bit of both hands playing together towards the end of the piece.
Playing Piano with Both Hands – The Secrets To Success
There are 2 key tips I give any student when learning a piece of music with both hands:
Practice slowly with one hand at a time
Start with the right hand.
Can you play all of the sections that are written for the right hand?
Then practice the left hand part.
Once you feel confident that you can play the 2 parts separately then you can move onto playing both hands and try speeding up your playing.
Position both hands in the correct place on the keyboard
I often see beginner students starting to play a piece of music for both hands, but with only one hand on the keyboard!
When they get to the section where the left hand joins in there is often a big pause as they try to move their left hand into the correct position.
Instead, you should have both hands in the correct position before you start to play the piece.
In this piece, both hands start with their thumbs on middle C and don’t need to move from these positions for the whole piece:
Have a go at practising the piece following the 2 key tips I have given you above.
Playing With The Backing Track
As in previous lessons, once you have learnt the piece try to have a go with the backing track. This really helps teach you to keep to a steady pulse (and is quite fun!).
I have entitled this lesson’s 1st piece “A Walk in The Fields” as it makes me think of walking in the fields near where I live.
Here is how it should sound:
Playing a Piano Piece with Both Hands
In this final piece of the beginner piano course we are going to have a look at how to learn to play piano with both hands at the same time.
Let’s have a look at the sheet music for the piece and listen to the demo:
You should follow the same tips I outlined for the two hands piece above – practice hands separately and slowly and make sure both of your hands are positioned correctly before you begin to play.
When you begin to try to put the 2 hands together try just playing one bar at a time really slowly until you feel confident to have a go at a few bars together. If you build up slowly this way then you will gradually be able to play the whole piece.
As always, I really encourage you to have a go playing along with the backing track.
Here is how the piece should sound with the backing track: