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Piano Lessons: Fakebook

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the player's lessons, we learned to play
out of what is called a Fake Book.
So the first one that we do in level one
is the Fake Book for Kids.
I just think it's great.
There's also a Big Note series from Hal
Leonard that has a lot of, Broadway and
popular tunes that you can do.
This is the, the is the one that, that I
But really I, I like this one because of
of the way it progresses, and it gives
really familiar tunes, but
really, it can be any fake book, I'm not
particular about this.
A couple of things with fake book, just,
just to guide yourself through it.
So we're going to start with Mary Had a
Little Lamb.
So, you know, what a fake book is.
Let's see, you're gonna turn to Mary and
that's 47.
A fake Book is there is only the melody is
written and then it has chord symbols.
Okay, so we only have the melody and chord
samples and,
how I like to use the fake book, and
again, you can do it however you want,
but if you're going to send videos to me
this is how I want it.
Is, the left hand is going to play a
single not base, so if the chord is in F,
you're going to play an F, if the chord is
in C, you're going to play a C,
it doesn't matter.
You are playing the note of the, the root
of the chord in the left hand,
it's called the single note base.
Your right hand is going to play the
So, for example-
[SOUND] In Mary Had a Little Lamb, I have
[SOUND] F chord, and C chord.
So when I see an F [SOUND] I'm gong to
play and F.
[SOUND] And when I have a C I'm going to
play a C.
In my right hand, and this is how you're
going to start off.
And if you stay this way in players one
the whole time, that's fine.
I'm just gonna play my right hand in root
For seven chords, like if you're a smaller
you can't reach that, just play the three.
You don't have to play all four notes.
Just play the three for level one.
So, and I will sing the melody.
Even if you don't have a great voice, I
want you singing the melody.
Even if you're out of pitch.
You can practice and you'll actually get
on pitch as you practice,
your voice is no different than any other
It improves over time, it really does,
I've seen completely tone deaf people be
able to sing on pitch after they practice
for awhile.
Some takes longer than others but they all
get there.
So for example, Mary Had A Little Lamb.
And if I wanna give myself the starting
note to give my, to give myself some help,
that's great.
Over time you'll be able to hear this
chord, and hear,
So I'd say,
[MUSIC] Mary had a little lamb, little
I'm just changing when the chord says.
Mary had a little lamb,
its fleece was white as snow.
[SOUND] So after awhile you should be able
to play that about three times and then
if your familiar with the tune,
which is why I like this book.
[SOUND] Because it has those familiar
I'm hoping you're not memorizing these,
that you're not trying to memorize these.
But that your hearing when the chord
So first you know what the chords are, and
then you'll hear the chord changes.
As we progress through fake books, you
will get to the point where you can hear
this, and you can figure out the chords
without every looking at a lead sheet,
which is what those fake books style of
things are called with the lyrics, and
the chords, and that's it.
And you're supposed to know what the
melody is.
[COUGH] in level one, like I said, it's
[SOUND] All I'm looking for is chords and
their positions.
Now if you can figure out the chord in an
[SOUND] So here, I play my F chord in root
[SOUND] But I notice that if I just keep
my C on the top,
I can easily just switch to a G and an E
it's actually the C Major chord in first
inversion, you can do that.
I, I would love you to do that by level
So you're finding different positions for
your your chords.
If you can start that in level one, then
that's great.
Now, here's the trick that sometimes
freaks classical learners out,
it just freaks them out.
There's not a lot of structure to this,
I'm not going to go in detail of how to do
your fake book.
You could do Mary had a little lamb.
This is great.
Awesome, that's awesome Fake book.
Right, or you could do Mary had a little
lamb, little lamb, little lamb.
Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was
white as snow.
Okay, so, different than classical style,
this is open up to anything, any style you
want to do, you can add pedal.
I still am just playing in root position.
You know, and if I get used to it, little
lamb, little lamb, Mary.
so that's getting fancier, but you just
start here and
as you get more comfortable, you will
hopefully broaden out.
And as I hear your videos at the end of
each level, I can make suggestions, but
I don't there is no set curriculum for
In terms of this is what I expect.
Start in root position, second step.
Try and find different positions for your
Then maybe you can add some pedal.
And I'm just playing the octave in the
left hand.
But it's really up to you what you wanna
If you wanna stay here cuz this is where
you're comfortable, then you'll stay here.
That's fine with me.
If you want to branch out.
I mean, it takes a little bit of guts to
just kind of start making stuff up, but
that's the point of Fake Book.
I don't want to give really specific
We do that so
much in the musical part, where classical
has to be done so specifically.
I would like this to be more open and
more free, to explore all these
possibilities of sounds that you can make.
So you just need to learn the basic tool
of how to read a lead sheet,
how to make those chords.
You need to become familiar with all your
different major and minor and
dominant seventh chords.
It gets there, through the curriculum.
I re, I recommend different books that
will get more advanced so
just go through the books I recommend, the
harmonies get more advanced, and
the pieces are different but the leaches
will always look the same, and
then its up to you what you're going to do
with this fake book to make it your own,
and really learn to improvise them play by