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Popular Piano Lessons: River Flows In You - A & B Section

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So the other day John and I,
John is the sound engineer
here at ArtistWorks.
We finished one of our filming sessions
for the lessons and went out to dinner.
And we met this server who got really
interested in what we were doing,
and basically said that,
I'm teaching piano online.
And she got kinda curious, like,
that's kind of interesting.
And I said, well, if there was any piece,
any piece at all that you would
like to learn, what would it be?
She had to think about it for a minute.
Ran into the back and got her phone and
looked it up, and said Yiruma,
River Flows in You.
This is probably one of the most
requested songs for students to learn.
It's incredibly beautiful.
Yiruma is a South Korean pianist and
composer and
his piano works are incredibly popular and
I'm delighted to share this
version of his popular song.
It is a reduction, so
it's not as long as the full version, but
it has all the elements that you need to
understand the basic techniques of how to
play this gorgeous song.
In the beginning, make sure
you take a look at the key signature.
We see three sharps, an F sharp,
a C sharp and a G sharp.
This tells me that this piece
is in the key of A major.
So every time you have a C,
or an F, or a G,
make sure you automatically change them,
and apply a sharp to them.
C's, F's, G's, okay, all become C sharp,
F sharp and G sharp, okay?
So be careful about that.
All right,
let's take a look at the first phrase.
Right hand, ew, great, big, dog, fur,
ledger line above that will take us to A,
up here, okay?
Use a fifth finger, and the next note is
a G sharp, don't forget the key signature.
We play that twice, and
then look at this note over here.
It comes down to ew great big dog,
right above this, to E,
and we get to the D, and then it's tied.
So do that again.
You're gonna hold that.
Let's take a look at
the left hand very quickly.
Now the left had is gonna be
doing a recurring pattern,
which we'll take a look at
more in detail in just a bit.
But for now, let's look at
these individual notes, okay?
F sharp, F, F sharp, okay, in the F clef.
So here we go to the note above.
Which is A, and then we have a ledger
line note above that, C, C sharp.
Now we're climbing ledger lines again,
so we have another skip.
This goes above that, so
that's gonna be F sharp.
So we're playing an F sharp octave here,
And then this jumps down to A fall down,
and then A.
And then here we go to the ledger
line that climbs above that, so C and
then E, okay?
So work that out.
Then D.
Okay, right hand.
Let's put this altogether, all right?
And go down to a D over here,
stretch your hand open.
Then it's tied and held for a bit, okay?
When you add your pedal, put your pedal
down first, then change your pedal here.
Remember to hold your note
in the bottom as long
as you can, so
you can catch it with your foot,
okay, one more time
You hold this.
You can hold it for
kind of an indefinite period of time.
Now the next phrase is almost the same,
except it has a little bit of a lead in.
Right hand.
Okay, lets take a look at ew great, and
then this will be the note above that, A,
big C, C sharp,
because of the piece finisher.
So you have these two notes,
before you play this phrase again.
And it's the same thing.
Great, and
then we get into the moving part.
And again, the same two notes up here.
All right, so
now let's take a look at
the right hand notes.
And then we'll put them together, because
the rhythm gets a little tricky here.
Starting with the lead in from
the end of measure four,
[SOUND] takes us to A again.
Now, the rhythm's gonna get faster, we're
at [SOUND] eighth note for the first open.
Now, we're playing with 16th
notes after this,okay, so
it becomes twice as fast
with some of these notes.
[SOUND] Now, this tied to the next 16th
note, and if you recognize where this is,
it goes back down into A,
[SOUND] back to this G sharp.
[SOUND] A lot of these G sharps and As.
[SOUND] Now, this note changes to an E.
[SOUND] Tie.
[SOUND] And then to the D here.
[SOUND] Let's just do that much again.
[SOUND] Tie, [SOUND] tie, [SOUND] tie.
[SOUND] Now, I recommend that you move
down to a fourth finger for the D here.
You'll see why in just a bit.
Now, the left hand starts
this pattern which
almost exactly repeats over and
over again.
Let's do the left hand,
in fact what we're gonna do is we're
gonna skip ahead of the right hand for
just a little bit, so you can see this
two measure pattern which repeats.
Left hand we start the same as we did
in the beginning [SOUND] F sharp,
[SOUND] C sharp, [SOUND] F sharp.
We play that pattern here.
Jump down to the D, [SOUND] A, [SOUND] E.
[SOUND] Now, the sequence continues,
and we're gonna jump down to A,
fall down ball A.
[SOUND] And then A fall,
[SOUND] Now, here you're gonna have
to pivot your hand a little bit,
together the C sharp.
[SOUND] So, a little bit wider
than the intervals we just played.
Recognize this as an E.
[SOUND] And above the A is gonna be a B,
[SOUND] ledger line.
Two ledger lines that's an E.
[SOUND] So, that's an E octave here.
Let's play the beginning of that measure,
measure six.
[SOUND] Down to an E.
[SOUND] And the sequence is almost exactly
going to repeat, but we'll take
a look at a few small differences.
Let's do that,
those two measures again left hand, five,
[SOUND] measure five,
D, [SOUND] and then A.
[SOUND] This we have to remember to
move down, and back to E, [SOUND] and
then the whole sequence will start
again with some slight differences.
Now, let's work on putting the right
hand and the left hand together.
The trickiest thing is moving
past the ties and feeling how
the right hand comes in between notes.
Nice and slow.
I'm gonna take it really,
really slow here.
And together.
Now here you're tied to the right hand,
left hand plays, and
then the right hand
comes right after that.
Up to the D.
Keep going.
You want to use the fourth
finger to move through them.
So the 16th notes need to keep moving, but
you're going to be splitting
the motion between your hands.
Listen to this again.
Okay, so
don't let the ties
throw you.
Good, let's move on.
We've already looked at
the left hand notes, so
let's take a look at the right hand
in the next measure coming up.
Let's start a few notes before that.
I told you to use with D,
a fourth finger on this D here, and
now we have a new kind of note.
It's this little note with
a funny line going through it,
it's called a grace note.
What that is,
is a very short fast note before
the main note
The way I try to illustrate how
a grace note works mechanically,
it's almost like skipping.
You remember skipping as a kid?
Well if you are a kid then you skip.
[LAUGH] But anyway, skipping involves
a form of kind of run jumping, right.
So when you jump with one foot,
okay, you take off with
one foot then as you come down that
same foot you land on that same foot but
very lightly so that you land
on the other foot with strength.
You understand?
Then you jump again and then land
lightly and then land on the other foot.
So that's the skip, right?
Light step, but we'll step jump.
Step jump.
So the step is very, very light.
It's a similar motion in your hands.
It's kinda like you're going
to land on the third finger,
on the C sharp there, and
a note in between [SOUND],
it's just [SOUND] kind of just a little
bit lower and not put any weight on.
So [SOUND], if you put weight it's
gonna be on the next main note.
So once again, from the 16th notes before.
Watch how my finger kind of drops right
You almost wanna think of
these almost together,
except this is a little
lower before dropping onto.
Almost no weight, make sure this just
kinda lowers before the third finger here.
You put all the weight
on the third finger.
And you wanna get that nice little quick
motion right before the C sharp, okay.
And then you going on, D.
And then we have this interval you play
together E and A together, and C sharp.
And then you're gonna move to a B and
a G sharp,
don't forget the sharp, you can use your
one two there if you're comfortable.
Let's put the whole thing together
from measure five, nice and slow,
with your left hand.
Jump to D.
Now jump to four here.
Now the grace note.
One, two here.
Let's go on.
the right hand after you finish that
little phrase here, we're gonna continue,
and I wanna reset my hand, because we
have some more notes to reach for,
and since we're pausing, this is
a good place to change your fingering.
I would change it probably
to a three over here, okay?
So at the end of measure six,
A, G sharp, A.
That's tied to the next set of 16th notes.
Let's find this note.
This should be E, EU, E.
Switch to a two.
Back to the A, B, C sharp, okay?
And if you want, since we're running out
of fingers, we can switch fingers again.
Do a three.
And move through to the D and
then E in the next measure.
And then you can just finish off with
the fingers that are lying down here.
Going one note down,
C sharp and then down to a B.
All right?
Let's do it one more time from the pick up
after we finished playing this over here.
Move to a three tied.
And move to a one, two.
And then we're gonna switch again.
And then going down, four, three, two.
Now fortunately the left hand,
we're almost finished teaching the left
hand because it's the same thing over and
over again.
Remember this pattern?
Back to D.
Try to memorize this,
it'll be really useful
as you learn this piece.
Now the only difference is we sometimes
have variations in what we end.
We can either end on an E or,
in this case, it's gonna end on a G sharp.
Okay, do you hear the difference?
And you also feel the difference,
you have to jump to a,
you have to stretch your hand up there.
So if you take a look at those double
ledger lines that's where we're going to.
All right?
So this second time here in measure seven.
Starts the same but
this one ends on a G sharp.
So we gotta watch out, there's a few
time really when the change is to that.
Most of the others will end on E,
so if you forget and
just end on E, that's no problem.
It'll sound just as good, okay?
Good, let's take it together with
a pickup into measure seven.
All right.
Pick up into
measure seven.
We're starting with the right-hand.
Stretch down.
Remember here,
we're gonna switch to a three.
I forgot that when we were moving to this
new position,
you could do a two if you want, but
I think it's more comfortable
to put a three here to
get into position for the next part.
So let's do this again, let me do it
with the right fingering this time.
Third finger on A.
Now here, don't stop.
Hear how the 16th notes go right out
of the quarter note on the left-hand.
Let's move on.