Wednesday, March 29, 2006

How to Figure Out What Another Pianist is Doing

A student once asked me; "Can I determine what my favorite piano player is actually doing on the keyboard just by listening?" An excellent question and one that can be answered in the affirmative. Here's how to do it.

First, figure out what the left-hand is doing. This is the key to understanding what is being done by any piano player, no matter what the style. Let's take New Age pianist David Lanz as an example. Lanz's style usually revolves around a left hand that plays an ostinato pattern while the right hand improvises. Very few pianists base their compositions on the right-hand.

Click here to read the rest of this article.


  1. Jennifer11:29 AM

    Excellent article! I actually do this, but never thought to write about it. Great tip intermediate players.

  2. Thanks for the compliment. I've always wanted to be able to listen to a solo piano piece and figure out what the pianist was doing. Once I started playing myself, it became apparent that the left hand is the captain of the ship so to speak :)