Lesson

LH Melodies

Materials to download for this lesson:

Frequently in Joropo, harpists play the melody with the left hand. Often the right hand will take over the chords or both hands will work together to create the melody. For these left hand melodic patterns, harpists utilize the flat thumb technique which is notated with a + underneath the note.

Listen again to Periquera and notice when the left hand takes the melody.

Periquera performed by Angel Tolosa
In the above excerpt, notice the repeated pattern of two left hand flat thumb notes followed by one right hand chord.

Let’s review the descending bass pattern from the first lesson of this unit. The chords are G minor (G Bb D), F Major (F A C), E diminished (E G Bb), and D minor (D F A).

Here are these chords written for the right hand in all inversions:

Assignment: Compose an 8 measure left hand melody using the pattern from “Periquera” of two left hand flat thumbs followed by one right hand chord. In composing your melody, follow the descending chord progression above of G minor, F Major, E dim., D minor. Each chord gets two measures (or 4 patterns of thumb thumb chord). A suggestion would be to first compose your left hand melody and then add in the right hand chords. You can utilize the right hand first inversion chords notated on the “Left Hand Melodic Patterns” PDF for this lesson (measures 9-16) or compose your own set of chords for the right hand.

Below is an example of two measures for the G minor chord to demonstrate the timing between the left hand melody and right hand chords: