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Popular Piano Lessons: Linus and Lucy - A & B Section

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Of all the pieces that I think I would
wanna show off with at a party or
at the gathering,
this is probably
the number one on my list.
The theme, the Charlie Brown theme
called Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi,
we're gonna have a lot of fun with this.
We're also gonna be really can have
an opportunity to study great jazz rhythm,
a great way of understanding syncopation.
The secrets of getting a beat going and
just getting that great jazz groove.
We're gonna take it apart very slowly,
very carefully.
And by the end of this series of lessons,
I think you're gonna really just have
an incredible amount of confidence that
wow, you figured it out, you can do this.
And while [LAUGH] your friends
are gonna love hearing you play this.
It's so much fun to do.
We're gonna do all the tips and
tricks that get you to play
the boogie-woogie, the jazz rhythm.
And also these really difficult grace
things that almost nobody can play.
And I'll tell you the secrets to doing it.
Good grief!
Who hasn't wanted to play this wonderful
theme from Charlie Brown, Linus and
Lucy, by Vince Guaraldi?
What a great theme.
So let's take it apart.
The hardest thing about
this is the counting and
getting your hands coordinated,
doing two different things.
And a little blues grace note that
we're going to take a look at.
So, let's start off by taking
a look at the key signature,
which is becoming more and more important
with these pieces that we're looking at.
You'll notice there are a lot of flats,
there's a forest of flats here.
A B flat, an E flat,
an A flat, and a D flat.
And anytime you want to take a look and
get a better understanding of
key signatures, time signatures or
anything theoretical, I really highly
recommend that you go through Jonathan
Coopersmith's excellent theory series.
He's got a whole series
of videos explaining
everything you need to
know about music theory.
And I think as we're getting along to
some of the more advanced pieces here,
you're starting to appreciate how
much you really should understand
how everything works musically.
So, if you want a deeper understanding,
please take a look at Jonathan's
excellent video series.
So we're dealing with four flats.
And the way I like to think about flats
sometimes, the more flats we have,
I want to focus now on the notes
that don't have those flats.
So, we've got a majority of
notes that will be flatted.
The only ones that will not be
flatted will be C, F, G, those
are the three notes that we don't
have to worry about flats, okay?
A flat, B flat, D flat, E flat,
will be the ones we will focus on, okay?
So just be aware of that, all right?
So we start right off with this
really cool boogie woogie rhythm.
Let's take a look at
the notes really slowly.
Again, we're down at the bottom, well
below the bottom of the F cleft stuff,
so ledger line, ledger line,
ledger line A, A flat.
Ledger line here, E flat,
got an octave pattern here, okay?
So it starts out with
these eighth notes here.
Then we stop at this quarter note, and
then we go to an eighth note that's tied.
And then we go to another set of
eighth notes, and then this step,
instead of going to the octave,
now goes to the F.
Stops, tie.
Now let's just take that apart,
it can be very easy to get lazy.
Stop, and just not really have a sense of
the energetic rhythm
that needs to be present.
The cool thing about this rhythm is you
don't hear it, but you have to feel it,
otherwise this piece simply won't work and
it'll start falling apart in your hands.
Okay, so, the best way that I can get
you to understand this is to constantly
think about the eighth notes even
when you're not playing them.
One, and two, and three, and four and.
There's four quarter beats.
And we're going to say and in the middle
to represent the eighth beats in between.
One, and two, and three, and four.
And one, and two, and three, and four.
And one, and two, and three, and four.
And one, and two, and three, and four and.
That's where you come in
with your right hand.
This is one of those instances
where it can be very helpful
to use something like a metronome, okay?
And a metronome is a machine or
an app, okay?
I actually have my iPad, my PDF reader,
here allows me to turn a metronome on if
I wanted to, and I could set it as slow or
as fast as I like.
This is one of those things where it
would be actually really helpful to
have a metronome going on.
We're not gonna turn one on now
just trust my counting with you.
But I encourage you when you practice
on your own try to get a metronome,
and practice with it all the time
when you are looking at the music.
Keep that beat going, and
then you'll be great, okay?
[LAUGH] That's extemporaneous teaching for
you, I just made up those
lyrics right on the spot.
Okay, so,
once you map out every single note,
to an eighth pulse,
you have to be really strict about it.
Now, let's take a look the right hand,
alone, in the next section.
And then we'll map it on top of this left
hand riff that just repeats over and
over again, okay?
>> All right, right hand you're
gonna come in on the and before the beat.
Let's just worry about the notes first.
I want you to start it with the one and
a three.
That'll enable you to play both of these
notes comfortably at the same time.
We're gonna tie that and then the next two
notes will be E flat [SOUND] and a B flat.
And the next two notes after that
will be an A flat and the C.
Okay, so
I'm gonna tell you right off the bat.
It's gonna be very tempting for you to
kind of collapse your knuckles when you're
playing this [SOUND], cuz theres
a lot of notes, a lot of stretching.
As much as you can,
try to maintain the arch of your hand.
As we talked about in the introduction,we
talked about posture.
This keystone idea is gonna be critical
for maintaining strength, particularly
when you're doing different things
across multiple regions of your hand.
As much as you can, it's not gonna
always be 100% as possible but
try to think of the arch [SOUND]
even here [SOUND] as much as you can
as you go through those intervals, okay?
So, again here, [SOUND] the second one
is gonna be here [SOUND], all right?
That way, you're not sloshing through and
you'll have a better control
over the rhythm, okay?
With so finger strength is also going
to equate to rhythmic strength, okay?
[SOUND] Curve it,
now we're gonna play this again [SOUND].
Come back down the same sequence [SOUND]
and you go to the middle here [SOUND].
Dotted quarter [SOUND] eight note tied
to another dotted quarter note and
you play this again [SOUND] and
you go up the sequence again [SOUND].
It's pretty cool, so same three intervals,
up and down's [SOUND].
So you wanna get really
comfortable with these [SOUND].
And again try to keep
the arch of your hand intact.
Don't let it collapse, or
else you gonna loose control.
All right, this is the part
everybody's really scared of.
How in the world do we put
our hands together for this?
All right, so
let's start off one at a time.
We're just gonna do a very slow map.
You come in together on the and of measure
four, the very end of measure four and
that's tied over.
Let's not worry about that.
The next thing you're gonna
play together is gonna be this.
You're gonna hold onto this then
the left hand goes on by itself here.
Then you're gonna play this together here.
And then you're gonna play this together,
hold the left hand.
Hold this, left hand plays by itself.
Then the right hand, then the left hand,
[SOUND] and then together here.
And the left hand keeps going.
And holding this, hold and
then you play this together here.
Tie and then together.
Keep going left hand.
And you'll play this together.
Hold, then you continue
the pattern of the left hand.
Pretty easy.
Let's do that again.
Nice and slow.
All right?
Again, from the tail end of measure four.
[SOUND] Tie, keep going.
Hold, tie.
I want you to practice it that slow.
If we want to break it down even more,
you can.
Watch what we can do.
You can even break it down to here.
Just do it up to there.
That's one way to break it.
And then we'll start from the second beat.
See what I just did.
Review the first section.
Stop to here.
Then rewind a little bit.
Start on the second beat.
Then what you can do is start from here.
I'm basically just rewinding,
going forward and adding another set
of eighth notes, just a few at a time.
Do it again.
Now, let's add a little bit more.
You always wanna be
careful where you line up.
And sometimes with the music it'd be
helpful to draw lines to line up the right
hand and the left hand notes to see
where they're actually played together.
Let's go back to here.
Beginning of measure six.
This plays by itself.
You can just practice that alone.
Once you get that down,
move through.
And move through that.
One really important thing is to watch out
for the empty beats and I'm gonna
show you specifically where they are.
The empty beats, so a lot of the time with
the syncopation you're either playing
together or one hand is playing the other
hand is filling in the empty space.
And then there are a few spots
like this one right over here.
Where nobody's playing for
one-eighth beat.
There's a gap, nobody's doing anything.
You have to make sure you
wait on that little spot.
And again, every time you have a tie.
Again, that's also kind of a gap.
All right?
Every time you tie, that's a bit of a gap.
You're gonna have to wait for
that and be patient.
Same thing after this note over here,
another empty spot.
So let me again, just sort of demonstrate
from the tail end of measure four.
Wait, wait.
It's very critical that even though
nothing happens in those long beats you
give it enough time to fill in
the empty eighth beat in between.
You can stop here, practice this.
This is the most critical part
[LAUGH] really of getting the feel and
the beat of the song.
All right?
And once you're comfortable with it and
really have it,
even no matter how slow
it is then let's move on.
All right, I'm gonna play it through
again, and this time I'm gonna count out
loud the entire intro and the theme.
Now, I'm gonna count the eighth beats.
Due it at about a medium tempo,
because it's kinda hard to
feel it when it's too slow.
Now after you get the notes in,
get the hand timing in,
now try to speed it up
a little bit at a time.
So let's go one and two and
three and four and.
One and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one, two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four and.
[LAUGH] Okay,
let's do it again a little bit faster.
One and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four.
And one and two and three and four, and.
Whoo, [LAUGH] that's
a lot of counting there.