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Thus, when we play F chord in 1-5-8 style- the notes are F (1), C (5), F (8) respectively


(Express 20 mins FREE On-line Lesson)


Learn - 1-5-8 left hand


We are assuming you are able to play a little, and probably have some understanding of basic chords. You can use any song for this lesson.


Let's try playing the song using both hands. The left hand will play Broken chords, while the right hand plays the melody.


What are broken chords? Before that, let's talk about block chords. A typical block chord is formed when you play all 3 notes together at the same time. Now, a broken chord is basically the opposite. It is played separately instead of together, hence the term 'broken'. Let's try playing a very easy left-hand broken chord: '1-5-8'. We know that in a typical chord, there are 3 notes. For instance, C chord = C, E, G. The ‘1-5-8’ refers to the respective numbers (notes) in the scale of the chord.


C chord in 1-5-8 style- the notes are

C (1), G (5), C (8) respectively










Great. Now, try playing your song using the 1-5-8 pattern. Once you are done with that, try another pattern using the same rhythm, such as: 1 - 5 - 10


While playing on your left hand, you may find that your left hand 'clashes' with your right hand. In such a case, you can consider playing your melody an octave higher to make 'space' for your left hand. You should be recognising the chord notes, not the 'spacings'. Because, in future when you are able to improvise better on your left hand, you can't be possibly memorising all the different variations using numbers.