young female hand on piano keys

Bossa Nova Rhythm – Hand Independence

Do you feel like you will never be able to learn how to play piano because your hands just can’t seem to work together at the same time?
You are not alone! Hand independence issues are one of the biggest obstacles to learning how to have fun playing tunes you love on piano.

No worries …  In this video, Scott teaches you how to work through hand independence issues that you might be experiencing as well as exposing you to a Bossa Nova rhythm.

  • Brian Petersen
    Posted at 11:41h, 08 December

    Great learning method! Much appreciated, as always.

  • Rob van Olm
    Posted at 11:50h, 08 December

    I’m interested in Blues and Yazz.

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 09:52h, 14 December

      I’ll assume you mean “Jazz” 🙂

  • Brenda Graves
    Posted at 19:44h, 08 December

    Thanks again! Scott for some more mind bending exercises and what fun this is going to be when I finally master it.

  • ed helein
    Posted at 07:42h, 09 December

    thanks Scott, this was fun, ty ed

  • Carole Wells
    Posted at 19:49h, 09 December

    Thank you for the wonderful lesson. To add one more step, a printable chart would be great. I did make my own using lines for when I play the left hand and and x for the right hand. It helped and there is something to be said for making one’s own chart, but just to make sure it is really accurate, I’d like to see a chart you would make. Also, for some reason, I did not get this newsletter this week like I usually do. Luckily, my friend mentioned it and forwarded me her newsletter.

  • Dottie Chesser
    Posted at 11:30h, 10 December

    Would like to try free course

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 09:53h, 14 December

      Then you should do it Dottie!

  • Dottie Chesser
    Posted at 11:31h, 10 December

    Love your teaching technique.

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 09:53h, 14 December

      You’ll like my Full Courses even more…

  • George E Wells
    Posted at 17:12h, 10 December

    Thanks Scott, I understand this concept. I am already
    working slowly on it.
    I really appreciate your these free lessons.

    Student 80 years young

  • Kate
    Posted at 19:53h, 10 December

    Scott thanks so much for the reassurance that this skill takes patience and repetition for everyone.
    I would like to ask for some guidance on fingering- how do I plan where to place my hands at the beginning of a song so I am not twisting my fingers and hopping all over the keyboard as I try to keep up?
    Probably not a simple question but there must be some principles or practices about this.
    I figure if anyone can explain this clearly it will be you!

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 10:40h, 14 December

      For fear of this sounding trite, I honestly don’t think about it much! I guess, now thinking about it due to this question, that the “base” I start with always finds my LH pinky over the root of the first chord of the tune. That will get your LH in the right spot whether you are playing some pattern like this Bossa Nova example we’re working on, or if you are playing full chords with your LH. I can’t imagine on the very first chord of the tune you’d want to play inversions yet, as you need to kind of aurally “announce” the key of the tune by playing that root right off the bat. So plant your LH with your pinky on the root of the first chord. OK – good so far…

      Now for the RH, I guess I kind of subconsciously either get my hand over the first chord I am going to play. Or, if i am starting right out with a melody I would probably just find a logical spot that would allow me to play the first phrase as smoothly as possible.

      Something else to add to this RH discussion is that when you start playing more advanced, and you start filling in chord tones below the melody with your RH (that’s a topic we hit extensively in the upper 3 Courses, 3-6, in the Method here at the fingering starts looking REALLY awkward from a traditionalists view. That’s because you many times play note after note of the melody line with nothing but your pinky. That is due to always wanting to hear the melody line on top as the highest note, and then filling in chord tones with your other free RH fingers.

      That somewhat disjointed fingering/playing of the melody line with your pinky, note after note, is the reason God invented the sustain pedal to smooth things out. Ha! 🙂

      Hope that maybe sheds some light …


      • Kate
        Posted at 11:57h, 14 December

        Thanks Scott! I am just about the start the part of the course you reference in your note here, so I bet it will all become much more natural and understandable very soon!

  • Timothy Donham
    Posted at 14:17h, 09 April

    This was very helpful. Thanks, TD

  • William Londree
    Posted at 20:39h, 17 October

    Hi Scott,
    I think I’ve got it! my “old man” hands can do it but it is going to take awhile before I can go on and on and on and change chords too. I graphed it out on paper so I can see the pattern and that made it a lot easier to accomplish. It is still hit and miss for now. More Practice!

    Bill Londree

  • Dimitare
    Posted at 14:39h, 28 December

    Fabulous! That got me going!
    Thank you!