RHYTHMIC JAZZ EXERCISES – Coordinate Left & Right Hand

RHYTHMIC JAZZ EXERCISES – Coordinate Left & Right Hand

Hi. In this lesson we’ll do some rhythmic jazz exercises and we’ll learn how to coordinate the left and the right hand. The exercises are very essential if we wanna learn to improvise Jazz in a totally free manner being able to form our Music in both a tonal and a rhythmic sense. All of the stuff we are going to learn in this lesson I actually use in the B section of this Music Video I published some weeks ago. Let’s take a very brief listen to this piece… So let’s look into the rhythm and how we can connect the right and left hand as in the jazz piece and let’s do some exercises. This is a NewJazz lesson by the way and my name is Oliver Prehn. Ok, let’s start with the right hand. We name our fingers finger 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Now let’s create or compose a little pattern for our right hand so we simply write down some random finger numbers. It could be any combination but what about playing finger 5-4-2-1-3. And we are going to repeat this pattern right after each other. So we are gonna do this with our fingers: 5-4-2-1-3 and so on… Now let’s choose some keys for our fingers. In other NewJazz lessons we have discovered the great power of the minor pentatonic hand grip and it’s also this very same grip I use in the Music video. So let’s place our hand on for example the D minor pentatonic scale… and we got our hand grip with our fingers always placed like this: 1-2-3-4-5 Now let’s play our little composition on the pentatonic notes. So we play finger 5-4-2-1-3 and so on… Ok let’s start a metronome at a slow speed. What about 60 BPM. Now what we wanna do is to play 16th notes. We could also play triplets or swing 8th’s
– it all works great. So, in our case, on every main beat we hear on the metronome we have 4 sub beats like this: dik-ke-dak-ke dik-ke-dak-ke dik-ke-dak-ke dik-ke-dak-ke 1234 1234 1234 1234 So here comes the trick. We wanna play a note on every sub beat… and we have 4 sub beats for every main beat BUT our pattern is 5 notes long. So our MELODIC pattern will constantly be shifted compared to the RHYTHMIC pattern, right? It sounds like this… On the graphic above, you can also see how the melodic pattern and the chunks of 4 sub beats constantly are shifted. In this way we have created a nice counterpoint between melody and rhythm. And the fact that our melodic pattern and the rhythmic pattern does not fit actually makes our exercise very effect full. We’ll realize that when we add the left hand very soon. But before we do that, practice this exercise carefully. This may not be easy, but if you can manage to play this we are actually a huge step further in the process of understanding how phrases and rhythm can work together in a thrilling way. Ok, let’s stop the metronome for a while and talk about what to do with the left hand. So our right hand is placed on the D minor pentatonic scale. Let’s place the left hand on the D minor pentatonic scale as well just an octave lower… And then we thin out the grip like this… and we got a nice quartal chord. So for now we have placed our left and right hand in two almost unison grips just with a thinned out left hand. Now we have to decide WHEN to play the left hand chord. Instead of just playing the chord on a certain sub beat it could be much more fun and much more educational by the way to pick a specific right hand finger on which we wanna play our left hand chord. So let’s choose a right hand finger. It could be any of the fingers but what about choosing the 5th finger. So every time we use the right hand 5th finger we must play our left hand chord. Let’s start the metronome and try this out… So let’s start up the right hand engine… now every time we strike the 5th finger… we must play our left hand chord… So it sounds like this… Now, the really smart thing and the really educational thing about this exercise is that right now we automatically learn to put in the left hand chord on all the different sub beats. Above on the 16th notes you can see how we, on turn, manage to hit the different individual sub beats: first, second, third, fourth – first, second, third, fourth – and so on… so an exercise like this is fantastic actually. This exercise helps us to become more free with our left hand in a rhythmic sense. Do this Exercise a lot before moving on and you will learn to manage both the left and right hand together. Ok, but we are not done yet, not at all. Now I will show you an easy way to vary our exercise in a tonal sense. We’ll add Music to our exercise and learn how to move our hands around on the keyboard. That will for sure be fun. Now we’ll try to transpose our pentatonic grip to other tonalities. So we can for example go back and forth between the D pentatonic hand grip… and the Eb pentatonic hand grip like this… let’s try this out with the metronome on… So now we have added some variation to our exercise… When you feel ready you can play other tonalities as well. For example we can mix in the C pentatonic grip… and what about also mixing in the A pentatonic grip… Every tonality goes actually, just experiment and try out different tonalities… Ok, let’s shortly summarize before moving on. In our exercise we actually just follow some very simple and well defined directions: we use a pentatonic hand grip to manage our fingering… and we use a 5 note melodic pattern… on a rhythmic pattern based on only 4 beats. Now, let me show you another thing we can do. In other previous lessons we have learned how we can play for example the Dorian scale and other church modes, or Major modes as some call them by making a row of fifths with our pentatonic hand grip. Well, let me show you how simple this is. If our left hand is on for example the thinned out D pentatonic hand grip… then we can with the right hand play D pentatonic… AND we can go up a perfect 5th to the A pentatonic… AND we can go up another fifth to the E pentatonic… these three pentatonic tonalities go very well together… and if for example D is the bass note we actually play the D Dorian scale. With this row of pentatonic grips we can actually play all 7 Church modes it just depends on how we relate the bass note compared to our row of pentatonic grips. Well, now we are actually on a huge detour, talking tonalities and scales. I just wanna tell you that when combining the pentatonic tonalities that we find in the row of fifths we create a strong well-known sound structure that is always nice to use. If you wanna dig deeper into this I will of course paste some relevant links below. Now back to the topic of this lesson. Let’s keep the left hand on the D pentatonic thinned out hand grip. Then we can play our right hand melody pattern shifting around random between the 3 pentatonic tonalities like this… as you may have discovered we don’t have to play the positions of our right hand grip in a row like this. We can play them in different octaves and mix them around… Let’s try this with the metronome on… We start the right hand engine… and now comes the rhythmic tricky part; add the left hand on the right hand 5th finger… Ok, let’s stop the metronome for a short moment. As we did earlier in this lesson we can of course transpose everything up and down the register. So we can for example go up a half step to the Eb pentatonic hand grip… and we can make our row of fifths to locate where to place our right hand… and we can play the 3 pentatonic positions randomly… and we can for example also do the C-pentatonic hand grip… and we make the row… Let’s start the metronome and try this out… And we can play other tonalities as well… Now things get pretty advanced, I know. It’s very important that you do each step in this lesson carefully before jumping to the next level. When you reach this present level of our exercise you will discover that you already now have gained an enormous freedom when expressing yourself, improvising Music. Ok, now this lesson was based on a specific right hand pattern: the 5-4-2-1-3 progression. But just imagine we can start all over with our exercise and just create another melodic pattern. And if the melodic pattern makes a counterpoint to the rhythm it’s even better. So melodic patterns with for example 3, 5, 7 or 9 notes in a row are well suited to play against the 16th notes, right? So my real intention with this lesson is actually to inspire you to compose your OWN melodies and patterns design your own practice so to speak. So with this exercise we can just go on and on for a whole lifetime and just get better and better practicing our favorite patterns. When you’ve created and exercised a few different patterns and you have learned to put on the left hand on different right hand fingers as well you are totally ready to loosen up in a more free manner like this… and now we actually play as in the Music Video I presented to you in the start of this lesson… Ok, that’s it for now. You are of course so much welcome to donate a small amount. I’m so grateful to all of you who have donated you make all this real to me dedicating my life to make free, public and hopefully also somehow useful and “liberating” Music lessons. Thank you so much. And also a big thanks to all those who give me likes and post really nice comments below my videos. All this surely encourages me to keep on doing lessons. I surely love you all. See you in about 3 or 4 weeks. Warm regards from Oliver Prehn

Daniel Yohans

100 thoughts on “RHYTHMIC JAZZ EXERCISES – Coordinate Left & Right Hand

  1. Eber Beck says:

    Muito bom. Parabéns pelo método de ensino

  2. Rasesh Gandhi says:

    Thank you so much sir
    Fantastic exi

  3. Johnnie Fujita says:

    holly gosh i can't feel the accent on the down beat! 😓

  4. Vaughan Maybury says:

    Brilliant teaching technique and superb graphics – congratulations and thank you.

  5. Gautam Kandarajan says:

    Great Insight Sir. Probably the best Jazz YouTube video I have come across. Thanks.

  6. Rick Hood says:

    This is so great and love that you connected it to https://youtu.be/NshqUzXFRKM I am diving back into piano after 30 years and I think this will be the first exercise I do after getting scales nailed down. Your videos are by far the best on the internet for Jazz Piano.

  7. Ava He says:

    Thanks and love from Shanghai, China, Great lessons!

  8. Franklin Torres says:

    Do you think you can make a video of how to improvise on autumn leaves

  9. MUTONI Assouma says:

    I need to know the piano practice. Can you help me

  10. Mensah Amen says:

    wow indeed there are varieties of piano teachers, you're the best
    but please do that of key F and let me see

  11. Aldo Bianchi says:

    Sensacional!!! Estremamente didático e aplicável!

  12. frank snyder says:

    Awesome!!! Thank you so much!!!

  13. George Hernandez Paz says:

    Love it, genius!.

  14. Henry Arko says:

    Whaaaaaaat! What a lesson! This is enough to take my jazz to whatever level. God bless you very much!

  15. Jack Sprat says:

    Like the warmth and ease. Learned so much – and I don't even play piano!

  16. Aisha Hussein says:

    wow !!!

  17. Denis Job says:

    Thank you so much 🙏🏻

  18. Alessio Peluso says:

    Very nice from Italy

  19. Adam Cooke says:

    Sometimes I watch these at night and get so excited to practice. Unfortunately I have kids and a parlor grand and cant play till the morning. Need to invest in a digital piano with headphones. Your videos are amazing. Thank you.

  20. Elisabeth Lili la Tigresse says:

    C’est vraiment une excellente manière d’apprentissage et de compréhension des utilisations de la gamme pentatonique. Bravo

  21. 悲しいNibba says:

    Soo easy to understand yet so complex…. Great exercise I'll try this one

  22. The Piano Painter says:

    Super super great, you have the rare gift fo melt difficult things in easy one!! Thanks!

  23. Green Turtle says:

    This is probably one of the best simple, understandable and easy to follow lessons I have come across on jazz improvisation. Thank you so much for all you do! Do you have any lessons on building speed and playing freely in each key?

  24. Rodrigo Castillo says:

    thnks maestro

  25. Shiva G M says:

    It is amazing video thank you very much sir.

  26. Glenn J. says:

    Oliver, if you ever want to move to the United States and become a music teacher, I can PROMISE you, you will be able to quit your day job. You have an amazing teaching style, and from word of mouth alone, you will get more students than you can handle. Thank you so much for your free lessons. I did make a contribution as a small token of my appreciation, and I look forward to becoming an amazing keyboard player. Thank you!!!

  27. antonio mendes says:

    Hi Oliver, How can We talk about spreding your videos through my channel. I wonder to fill it with translation in Portuguese for my followers. How I can do that please. Is there a way to talk to You privitly please???

  28. christ Loen says:


  29. jose homero martinez says:

    verdaderamente esto es asombroso y estoy muy emocionado. tu trabajo es de gran calidad gracias por compartir tus grandes conocimientos .saludos y que siempre te encuentres bien

  30. Giancarlo Gusso says:

    Outstanding simple way to teach music

  31. Taji Khalifa Yassin says:

    I just have to say thank you soo much for sharing your wisdom. I’m in the process of buying a korg Kronos 71, the first thing I said to myself is that I want to get my chords mastered. I will be doing this practice I will be donating soon to you my friend or professor !!!

  32. DB Walker says:

    i so wish i could have grown up with your lessons i would be amazing on the piano.. really mind opening stuff.. Thank YOU so much!

  33. Marc Clément says:

    Very nice, TY!

  34. Radnai Balázs says:

    Now, I'm free and happy with my music! Thank you so much, Oliver!

  35. K production says:

    Thanx so much for this precious lesson 😉

  36. Pearse O'Byrne says:

    Wow, you are The Man…. what a fabulous lesson and direction for practice. I'm psyched… thank you sooo much Oliver. May the long time sun shine upon you..Pearse

  37. Craig Mitchell says:

    The longer I'm listening to this the more I'm convinced I've heard this melody in an education video from highschool. Something about the circulatory system or about transit infrastructure. Well thought lesson and pleasant to listen to whilst practicing 🙂

  38. Vivid Co. says:

    Thank you Sir.

  39. william gallina says:

    Hi Oliver you're a great theacher. I discovered you yesterday and i was amazed at how you simply understand things about jazz music that i had never been able to fully understand. I'd like to have you as a theacher…. Thank you so much Oliver

  40. Minh Le says:

    je t aime le jazz .je comprends la lecon merci Professeur .

  41. Vocal Jam Produzioni says:

    your lessons are simply fantastic! In my opinion you're one of the best teachers on the web world. thank you with all my heart

  42. Mike A says:

    Please make more videos starting from the beginning.

  43. Umberto Eco says:

    Very useful, thank you so much !!!!!

  44. Pat HUS says:

    Thank you, great way to have some fun on the piano without learning any specific tune step by step . Suddenly new waves of sound possibilities appear . The finger mechanics have to be mastered though….


    Amazingly good. So professional indeed. Can u please send a full video of you performing that piece with that exercise. Will definitely make a donation for the next lesson. Thanks.

  46. kruhua superstar says:

    Very useful

  47. Os Cosmas says:

    sangat berguna

  48. Edival Silva says:

    Essa foi a melhor didática de ensino que encontrei no Youtube.com até hoje, com excelente áudio e vídeo. Parabéns pela dedicação. Deus abençoe você.

    This was the best teaching didactic I found on Youtube.com to date with excellent audio and video. Congratulations for your dedication. God bless you.

  49. Michele Montalto says:


  50. Juan Pracilio says:

    thank you very much you are really the best teacher in the hole warld iam from argentina my english is not so weel iam sorry thanks for everything

  51. Johnny Tinoco says:

    Amazing teacher Oliver

  52. MrAdamNTProtester says:

    Awesome exercise… really

  53. Joe Mechwar says:

    WOW. Most instructors and teaching books just tell you to "play around" or "just noodle around" to improv. THIS GUY actually gives you a template to learn on. Please donate as if you just took a private lesson, because you aren't going to find a better teacher live or internet!!!

  54. GL Mc says:

    I am a bass player and find this very interesting and making Me want to practice the piano more, thank you!

  55. Adriel Lintang says:

    dear youtube, thanks for recommending this channel!!

  56. phly23 says:

    I've been avoiding and missing 5 finger hand grips my whole life….This is like a new discovery,,,,,Petantonics have always eluded me for blazing patterns~ Im hearing things ive never felt under my finger, Man! you are a great teacher

  57. MZCHANGE!!! ANONYMOUS!!!! says:


  58. Viva la buena Música!!! says:

    TREMENDO. Al fin veo algo interesante. Creo que voy a donarte algo de dinero. Te lo mereces. Sigue así y te aportaré algo de money cada tanto. Un abrazo, hermano y gracias por tu aporte

  59. ThomasSaPe says:

    This is some ninja level shit

  60. Prakran Wongkriangkrai says:

    so fantastic lesson thank you for you encouraged to let me practise

  61. Sam Moore Channel says:

    Beautiful thanks!

  62. Cesar Reis says:

    Thank you

  63. Bohem Elated says:

    Thank you for explaining visually also almost perfect

  64. Emilio Solodkow says:

    desde Argentina, gracias. Excelentes todos los videos. Toco tango y folklore pero me sirven las lecciones para mejorar mis dialogos musicales. Quiza toque jazz o algo parecido alguna vez. Congratulaciones

  65. Joel Simon says:

    THE lesson I took ! Opening musical windows… !

  66. Jesse Forchap says:

    You are a great teacher. Thanks

  67. Santhosh A V says:

    hello…sir..great sir…

  68. Игорь Красильников says:

    This is the best I've seen. Above all praise. Many thanks.

  69. Pierre Ansorena says:

    Amazing exersise ! greetings from Spain

  70. Duk Ahn says:

    Hello!! I am from korea.- South Korea.
    If you have a chace to visit Korea, I would like to treat you a dinner. I owe you many things. Thanks for the lesson. I truly appreciate for your warm hearts.

  71. Jesse pinkman says:

    probably the best stuff regarding Piano on the Internet. New Jazz are just magnificent.

  72. George de Beer says:

    What an awesome lesson!!! Thanks a million!!!

  73. murek101 says:

    Hi Oliver, great lesson ! I’ve just started to learn it and as you said, it can be tricky. Is it a good idea to memorize the 54213, as 5421, 3542, 1354, 2135, 4213 or is it better to memorize as it is ?

  74. Giorgi says:

    this was great, thank you!!

  75. Andrew Drewana says:


  76. Victor Hugo Espinosa Sanchez says:


  77. Des o says:

    Thank you Oliver 🙏

  78. Andre Carniel says:

    Awesome…. I have to practice a lot, but, as you said: one step at a time….. I´ll try….

  79. Stephen Jebakumar says:

    Awesome sir! Thanks for this golden lessons!
    By the way what is the piano vst you are using ?

  80. Bob Wrotenstien says:

    What a fantastic lesson!

  81. Marc FELLER says:

    Thank you very much from France. You're my best internet piano teatcher !

  82. Pat Bradley says:

    Just had to donate after this tutroial. Such amazing content you make. Keep on keeping on!

  83. jean2lahude says:

    Dear Oliver, i really love your lessons. They are really powerful lessons to me. None the less, allow me to make a little comment on this one.
    First, i found that this exercise (7:48) could be more challenging using a real track. With a tiny metronome it may be too easy to start the right hand engine, forgetting the main beat. With a real track we would more realise that our left hand must hit a different sub beat at each turn. I hope you agree. If i'm right, everyone is free to try that or not..

    Secondly, i may think that playing the left chord on a certain sub beat (6:46) could also be a good exercise, as it would meet a different finger of the right hand, at each turn. But this gets out of the lesson subject, i guess..
    However, thank you so much for your lessons!

  84. R Davis says:

    Joe Mechwar you took the words right out of my mouth, New Jazz is a hidden gem. I am totally grateful for these lessons, my skills have grown leaps and bounds. Thank you Oliver for what you do, and your generosity. BIG INSPIRATION too me!

  85. AGR-MÚSICA producción says:

    Really Great , Oliver !!!

  86. victor ramirez villanueva says:

    Genial..exelente video

  87. Reg Wayne says:

    The ASMR or hypnotic music lesson

  88. Manuel Martinez says:

    Holy shit you're made for this man. Amazing. My best regards.

  89. Richguitar 73 says:

    Great ! Thank you

  90. Parisa jedari says:

    U R such a generous person to share your knowledge with us. I really appreciate it and definitely will donate and pay for what U teach me! 🌸💕

  91. christine norbe says:

    What piano are you using?

  92. jesus mendoza says:

    What an amazing class and amazing teacher. I’m impressed about your videos please continue doing this.

  93. Franck Vidal says:

    Thank you!

  94. Johis G.F says:

    Excelente enseñanza muchas bendiciones

  95. John Knickrehm says:

    One of the best teachers I've ever heard and dealt with. And it doesn't cost a dime.
    You're important, Oliver. Thank you. I never thought I could progress so rapidly on an instrument.

  96. Phi Lê says:

    The best thing is… we don't need a piano to practice this lesson. Thank you Oliver!

  97. Hug Guitar says:

    I’m so lucky to have found your channel. This is my fifth lessons and I keep getting inspired by your instruction. I’m so thankful that you put this together and share your technique, knowledge and talent with the world! Thank you!

  98. Viva la buena Música!!! says:

    I love Oliver

  99. Philippe Beaucart says:

    I started the metronom at 30 bpm instead of 60, as a true beginner. This great lesson teaches many other points at the same time, as my fingering agility 😁 with even an apparently simple pattern like 54213 (not easy as it is not straight forward for me). Many Thx Oliver.

  100. Pourvivrencore says:

    I am french
    I don't speak english very well but, thank you, oh yes thank you, because you speak slowly and so, i can understand all you say.
    The translate who is writed on the screen of the vidéo is very good.
    This two both things are realy nice.
    All your vidéo are the most that I've seen on the net to begin to learn piano jazz. Now, il know that it's possible for me and i decide to begin with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *