Monday, February 25, 2013

Left hand sight reading practice


Here are some music sheets to get you more used to the challenges of left hand sight reading. This would be good for people playing Grade 5 music and above. Left hand sight reading is lots about knowing what types of chords to expect in a piece in any given key. So, work out the key signature first, work out what the names of chords 1, 4 and 5 are, and then check out what rhythms appear in the piece. Then it's time to have a go.

The first sheet has notation that looks a bit small, so maybe try a different one first.

I'll put up exercise no. 2 as soon as I can.

Left hand practice no. 1

Left hand practice no. 3

Image found on

Sunday, February 10, 2013

ANZCA Modern Grade 4 Blues - Bouncin' Blues

For a blues piece, this is pretty peppy. It uses a lot of grace notes, which is pretty common for a blues tune, but it's not in standard 12 bar blues form.

Bouncin' Blues - Shaun Jones


ANZCA Modern Grade 4 Jazz - Friday Groove

This piece actually contains some finger snaps in the music, but because I recorded this directly from digital piano to the computer, I left those out. They happen at the start and the end. If you're good at snapping with your right hand, then this piece could be for you. I'm terrible at it.

Friday Groove - Robert Keane

Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN /

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ANZCA Modern Grade 5 Jazz - 52nd Street Theme

This peppy tune is a well-known example of Thelonious Monk's music. It was written in 1944, when 52nd Street, Manhattan, was the place to be to catch the coolest Jazz.

The photo in the video is also of 52nd Street, taken in 1948 by William P. Gottlieb. It shows many of the popular clubs of the time.

52nd Street Theme - Thelonious Monk

If you would like to see some icons of Jazz play and improvise on this tune, go here. It's VERY cool. There's piano, brass, drums and vibraphone featured.

AMEB Grade 4 List B - tunes from the Grade books

The music room at Royal Pavilion, Brighton, England
Here's a selection of List B pieces you can do. There are many more not included in the group below. If you would like more of a range, ask and I will dig around for more choices.
AMEB Series 15

AMEB Series 16
I have to say my highlights out of these are the ones called Gewitter, and Une Larme A Tear. But hey, that's just my taste. I would love feedback on which ones stand out to you!

Monday, February 4, 2013

ANZCA Grade 6 Blues - Blues Without Words

This is not only one of my top choices for a Grade 6 exam in the Blues genre - this is one of my favourite exam pieces ever. It's a great expressive piece, with lots of subtle mood changes. There's also a couple of leaps that are fun to play. Enjoy... and please learn it!

Blues Without Words - Denes Agay