Playing Leaps

Beginner Piano Lesson 5

In Beginner Piano Lesson 4 we looked at improving your left hand playing by learning how to read and play eighth notes and working on playing smoothly.

In this Beginner Piano Lesson No. 5 we are going to learn how to:

  1. Play a piece with 3 beats in a bar
  2. Play more extended leaps

Playing a Piece with 3 beats in a bar

In each of the previous 4 lessons the time signature of the piece has been 4 beats in every bar.
In this lesson we are going to mix things up a bit by learning a piece that has 3 beats in a bar.
Let’s have a look at the sheet music:

Lesson 5 piece sheet music

Have a look at the time signature at the start of the piece.
Remember, the top number tells us how many beats are in every bar, whilst the bottom number tells us what types of beat they are.
So, the time signature in this piece tells us that there are 3 beats in every bar and that these beats are quarter notes (crotchets).

The secret to getting this right is simple – you just need to remember to count in 3’s instead of 4’s!
Have a listen to the demo below (notice how there are 3 beats counting you in this time as there are 3 beats in a bar):

      Listen to Piano Lesson 5 Piece Demo

Playing Extended Leaps

This piece is going to extend your piano playing by getting you to play some bigger leaps between notes rather than just playing the notes next to each other.
In order to achieve this make sure you do the following:

1. Keep you hand relaxed and in the correct position on the piano (as shown below). You should not have to move your hand or arm whilst playing this piece; just the fingers.

piano playing hand position image
2. Use the fingering I have given you.

Have a go at playing the piece (remember just to try a couple of bars at a time until you can play them together).

Playing With The Backing Track

As always, I have put together a backing track for you to have a go with. This piece has quite a “sad” feel to it and so I have titled it “Lament”.
Remember to count in 3’s for this piece!

Here is what it should sound like:

      Piano Lesson 5 Piece Demo with backing

Now it is your turn:

Lesson 5 piece sheet music

      Piano Lesson 5 Piece backing track

Extension Task

In this extension task I am going to ask you to play the piece with your left hand.
However, instead of changing the octave and putting the piece in Bass Clef, I would like you to play the piece at the same pitch as you played it in the right hand.
Try not to move the piano stool towards the right – instead, try to relax and flex your left hand into the correct position. This will really test your Left Hand playing and whether you can stay relaxed.
Here is the score with the Left Hand fingering:

Lesson 5 piece sheet music left hand

I really hope you enjoyed this lesson.
I will be posting lesson 6 very soon.

If you would like to know more about leaps then check out my music theory lesson on intervals.