This is a public version of the members-only Popular Piano with Hugh Sung, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Popular Piano with Hugh Sung.
Join Now

Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Popular Piano Lessons: Nadia's Theme - A Section

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Popular Piano

This video lesson is available only to members of
Popular Piano with Hugh Sung.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Popular Piano with Hugh Sung. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Popular Piano Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
In Nadia's Theme, we're gonna take
an advanced look at pedaling,
a little more frequently than
we did with our last piece.
We're also gonna be looking at some
advanced fingering techniques for
extending your position
without any breaks.
So we're going to pedal more frequently.
We're also going to look at
ways that you can pedal to
extend your sound at the end of
the piece and to control its release.
So we've got a lot of things going on.
Fortunately this piece is nice and slow.
The chords are a little challenging,
but once you get the hang of it you'll
see a pattern emerge that
should make it pretty easy for
you to get comfortable with right away so
you can focus on enjoying how pretty the
sound is, how pretty the song itself is,
and really getting your pedal technique
down a little bit more fluidly.
A great exercise and good pedaling and
some fancy finger work.
In Nadia's Theme we're gonna be
taking a look at a new fingering technique
which is called a pivot, a holding pivot.
We're also gonna be looking at
using your pedaling twice as often.
Instead of just once a measure, now we're
going to be changing twice a measure.
Fortunately the song is pretty slow,
so I don't think you're going to
have too much difficulty in adapting
some of these new techniques.
Okay, let's start with the right hand.
The melody is back in
the right hand in this song.
Let's find our first note.
You great big dog fur, we're well above
the top of the G clef staff line.
So let's take a look.
Where one ledger line above would be A,
two ledger lines above would be C, and
it happens to be one note above that so
our very first note is a high D over here.
We hold that for a long time, okay?
It's tied over, it's a whole note,
tied to a half note.
So we count four beats, two more beats,
and then tied still more
to an eighth note, and
then we continue on with this D over here.
Back to the D.
And then we play the note below
with a fourth finger, the C, but
because we're gonna be
climbing down a lot more,
while I'm holding this C with the fourth
finger, I want to quickly change it.
Did you see what I just did?
This is a holding pivot.
Watch this again.
[SOUND] While I'm holding this down,
I'm not going to let go of the note,
push that finger down, then I let go.
All right?
Here it is again, in context.
Here's the eighth notes.
Connect to the fourth finger, while I'm
holding it switch to the fifth again.
Now, without changing the note,
you can see that I'm ready
to go a little bit lower.
Ready, here we go.
The next set of notes goes to a C,
back to this high C.
Now this B flat,
we just learned about flats.
And again here, now this time I'm
gonna pivot from the fourth finger
to a third finger so
I can play some higher notes.
Did you see that?
Let's do that again.
Fourth finger, hold it.
Pivot without letting the note up,
so don't play it again.
You're just going to hold that finger.
Switch it with the other finger.
We'll go back to a high C,
then a high D, okay.
And then we go down to B flat,
and then an A held, okay?
Let's do that one more time all
the way through in context, all right?
Here we go.
And [SOUND] two, three, four,
one, two, and three.
[SOUND] And four.
Pivot as quickly as you can,
three, four, one, two, three.
Now pivoting in the other
direction four to three, three,
four, two, three, four, okay?
Now this melody comes in twice.
The second time it comes
in it's almost identical.
Just one note change and
we add a pivot to the last note.
Only the second time that
the melody comes through.
So let me just quickly go through
the second time this melody comes in.
[SOUND] Two, three, four.
One, two, three, and four and.
Pivot to the five.
Three, four, one, two, three.
Two, three.
Here it's different.
Now you play a full quarter note,
going back up to the D.
Three four.
Now here the last time you're
gonna pivot to a three.
Okay, so just be aware there's
one extra pivot the second time
this melody comes through.
Now let's go ahead and
take a look at your left hand.
We were introduced to block chords,
where you play more than just two notes,
we're actually playing three
notes at the same time.
Now we're going to be doing
that with our left hand.
Fortunately the patterns are very
similar throughout this song.
So, once you get the hang of it you
should be able to get the hang of it
pretty quickly.
Let's start by identifying all three
notes of the very first chord.
You'll notice that because
two of the notes are so
close together, one of the notes has
to kind of stick out on the other side.
They're still meant to be played
together even though they're not
perfectly vertical.
It's just the type setters way
of helping you to see that there
are multiple notes in one cluster.
Okay, so let's take a look.
The very top note that we can read from
the staff and the F clef is that A.
The next note above it is a B, but if
you look at that accidental the trick to
reading accidentals, whether they
are flats, sharps, or naturals.
So look at the enclosed
space on the inside.
On the flat you can see
that little belly there.
Where that space of the belly
is should align to the note.
So you can see that the space
of the belly is in a space area.
So that means that the space note above
it, that B, is going to be B flat.
[SOUND] The same principle would apply for
a sharp.
You look at that closed
space in the middle.
See how it aligns to your note.
That's the note that gets affected.
It can be a very useful technique when
you have a big cluster of notes all
together and you're trying to figure out
which of these notes has the sharp or
the flat or the natural symbol.
We're building this chord
up from the bottom.
B flat.
[SOUND] Okay.
Space to space, B to D.
[SOUND] That would be
a D ledger line above so
we play all three of these notes
together with one, two and three.
Okay ooh, spicy.
Play that twice.
Now the top two notes stay the same.
Remember the rule, if you have a note
that's identical that's been changed by
an accidental, all the remaining
notes will still keep that
accidental onto the end of the measure,
okay so.
[SOUND] These first two
chords are identical,
now the top two notes are the same we
just change the bottom note [SOUND] to G.
Go back to that first chord.
[SOUND] Pretty simple, not too bad.
Now, let's add the pedaling.
In our previous song we only changed the
pedal at the first note of every group,
of every measure.
Now we're gonna change it twice as often.
We're gonna change it on the first
chord of your left hand as well as
the third chord.
Reason being is that here
this harmony [SOUND] and
this harmony [SOUND]
are slightly different.
If you have them all together,
it gets a little muddy.
Now, if you're having
difficulty doing this,
it's perfectly all right to
just change once a measure.
But to have a cleaner sound,
you'll want to try the technique
of changing it twice a measure.
So let's start from the beginning and
let's practice the pedal
changes twice as often, okay?
I'm gonna put my pedal down first for
practice, okay,
it'll open up my piano sound.
Here we go.
Up down.
Up down.
Up down.
Okay so practice that until you can feel
comfortable with the pedal
changes twice as often, okay?
Let's put it all together.
After that first sequence,
going from here to here,
we have a similar pattern,
so we revert back to one, two and a three.
Let's create this next chord, okay?
That bottom note is a G next to an A and
then we go to that ledger line note above,
which is a C.
It feels pretty similar doesn't it?
We play that twice.
The top two notes are the same and
we just add a bottom note to
the next ledger line below.
The F clef F.
And the whole thing repeats itself.
Now let's practice that with
the pedal, okay?
Push your pedal down.
Up down.
Up down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Okay, let's continue building these cords.
As you can see the patterns
are pretty much the same.
We're gonna use the same
pattern of fingering.
We're just moving down
a little bit at a time.
So for
this next cord look at the bottom note
F, clef F.
The very next note above that is a G.
And then you skip up to that B.
But as you can see from that
accidental is a B flat.
So you modify that there.
So here are these three notes.
The top two notes stay the same, and
now we go to an E.
Do you notice there's now an E flat.
So it changes to that.
So, let's do that sequence again.
And then it repeats.
Now, let's do that
with the pedal, okay?
Push your pedal down and as soon as I play
the first chord I'm gonna do an up, down.
Ready and up, down
Up, down
Up, down
Up, down
now let's finish the sequence
in your left hand.
This is great practice for
reading notes in a cluster, isn't it?
Remember your mnemonic
A fall down ball game.
For your F clef notes.
So here we go.
Top note is A, go to F the fall.
[SOUND] And then the E right beneath that,
[SOUND] put that together and
that's your next cluster.
[SOUND] Top two notes stay the same and
now you're using the top three notes
counting down in your F clef staff lines.
And then the whole thing repeats again.
Once again let's practice
this now with the pedal.
Push your pedal down.
As soon as I play the first chord
I'm going to do my up down change.
Ready and up down.
[SOUND] Up down.
[SOUND] Up down.
Up down.
Good, now let's put that whole left
hand sequence together.
Since this is a pretty long sequence let's
just go ahead and
practice it with the pedal.
Because your pedal's going to be your
next best friend from here on out okay?
So let's do the whole
sequence the left hand alone
from the beginning up until this point.
Put your pedal down and
then we're gonna get started,
remember we're gonna change
twice a measure now.
Pedal down.
Ready and
up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Moving down.
Up down.
Up down.
Up down.
Up down.
Now moving down to a black key here.
Up down.
Another flat here.
Up down.
Up down.
Up down.
Moving down again.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Let's try that one more time and
this time I'm not going to say anything.
I'll let you find
the notes on your own okay?
Pedal down,
ready, and.
Now let's put everything together.
Right hand, left hand,
and your third hand.
I mean, your pedal.
All right,
let's put this all together.
Right hand, left hand, and
we might as well go ahead and
get used to practicing with your pedals.
Let's go ahead and
practice with the pedal,
right from the get go,
even as we're putting everything together.
All right.
Remember, you're right hand's starting on
a high D, left has that chord over here.
We're gonna start with the pedal pushed
down first, to open up the sound of
the piano from the very first note, and
then we'll change on the third note.
Pedal down.
And, up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down now.
The right hand continues here.
Up, down now try to pivot here.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Pivot as quickly as you can
to get it out of the way.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Now the whole thing repeats.
So you're gonna go back to the D which is
pretty easy for the right hand excuse me.
Left hand is gonna have to jump
up back to this D as well.
So let's just do the last
portion of the first phrase.
A for D with your left hand as
well as the D with the pinkie here.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Don't forget the pivot here.
Up down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Pivot here.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Up, down.
Now, the last time you're gonna do this,
you're gonna pivot to a third finger.
And the right hand.
Up, down.
Let's do one more time,
I'm gonna play very slowly, in time,
both variations of the theme,
so you see the difference.
And watch carefully how
I pivot my fingers as I
go through the sequence in my right hand.
So here we go.
So again,
the first two statements of the melody.
From the beginning.
pedal down
now let's
the rest
of this