Reconciling broken 10ths and shell voicings

I love 10ths — broken 10ths literally opened the Pandora’s box of intervallic patterns for me. They’re a bit of a stretch at first (especially major, especially with accidentals), but once you’ve mastered them, your left hand accompaniment will never be the same. One annoying thing with broken 10ths, though, is that because of their span, there’s often an overlap with the right hand. Whenever my hands overlap, I get all panicky and screw everything up. In order to avoid this, I used to play right hand voicings 2 octaves above — just to be safe I have enough space to work on my 10ths. But, really, you have to face your fears, right? So here’s an exercise I’ve invented for this:

  • Play broken 10ths with the left hand
  • Play shell voicings (3-7-9) with the right
  • First note of the right hand voicing will be the 10th for the left hand
  • By the time you get to it with the left hand, move your right hand to 7-3-5 voicing of the same chord, octave above
  • No more fear of clashing-o-phobia! (Is that a word?)

Screenshot 2019-03-16 at 18.08.23.png

The X-Files left hand workout

One more 10th-based routine for the left hand fluency that is not going to bore you to death as you take it around the cycle of fourths. Works the best in minor keys, it’s a combination of broken 1-5-10’s with minor 6ths and minor 7ths. No wonder it sounds a little bit disturbing. But in a pleasant way. I mean, controllably disturbing. Wait, what? Just share the sheet music, dude—

Screenshot 2019-03-07 at 08.57.17.png