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Popular Piano Lessons: My Favorite Things - A Section

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With My Favorite Things,
the song from The Sound of Music,
we're gonna be introduced
to some new concepts
in understanding how
chords are put together.
This is gonna be very, very helpful as
we're gonna be having chords that's jump
around in lots of different positions.
But if you understand how
they're put together,
you'll be able to navigate
this a lot more easily.
So, it's a little bit of music
theory that will go a long way
to making your performance of this, your
study of this piece much more enjoyable.
It'll make a lot of sense, and it'll
help you learn it actually much faster.
So, we're gonna take a look not
only at the chord theory, but
we're also gonna mix in
different ways of pedaling.
You've learned how to connect notes.
Now, we're also gonna learn how to go dry,
how to have portions of
the music with no pedal.
And then how to come back in with live,
with pedaling after a dry section.
So, you're gonna have a mix of pedaled,
non-pedaled, and
a return to pedaled sections.
And that's a whole different technique and
a different set of timings that we're
gonna also explore to give you more
of variety of sound and texture.
It's a lot in this little piece
that we're going to learn, and
you're gonna have a lot of fun going
through it with these series of lessons.
All right, let's take apart the right
hand melody, first eight measures or so.
Right hand, we're going to
start with the second finger,
because we've got notes above and below,
so you want to keep kind of a mid finger
position to be able to reach
both higher and lower notes.
So start with the second finger in E, and
we're going to go skip to B,
and we have an F sharp.
[SOUND] Now, down to a ledger line below.
Right below that is a B, and now we're
going to stay on that second finger there,
pretty cool it rotates around
that second finger as a pivot.
Next few measures
are basically the same thing.
So now let's take a look
at the left hand notes.
The left hand is actually
gonna be much more involved.
So I wanna take a few moments just
to explain a little bit about chord,
the way chords are put together.
I think if you understand this then the
jumping around will make a lot more sense.
So as you understand chords,
they're actually made up of three notes.
The note on the bottom,
another note kind of a skip away and
still one more note a skip away from that.
This is your most basic chord right here,
and in this particular example,
I'm playing what's known
as an E minor chord.
You can play the notes one at a time.
You can play them all together.
We can break them apart.
And what we're gonna be doing
in this piece is a lot of
breaking apart the bottom note.
And then the top two notes.
But we're gonna be shifting
positions of these chords.
So, what do I mean by that?
Let me explain.
So, for example, this is your
basic position for a normal chord.
We call this a chord in root position
because the main note is on the bottom.
Well, let's do a little bit of
adjust the positioning here.
What if we moved this
note to the top here?
It'd be the same chord, but
just sounds a little different.
Same elements, but we have the notes
in different positions as you can see,
we have a skipped to here but then
there's more distance from here to here.
This is a chord in first position.
Don't worry about remembering
the names of these.
But here's the next position
I want to introduce you to.
This is pretty important here.
We're gonna do this one more time,
the same exercise but move this G
above here, you see what I just did.
Same notes, but
now take a look at these three notes.
This is the second position of the three
possible positions using three notes.
Same E minor chord but look at
the distance between the first and second
notes, now the big gap is between these
two notes then here we have a smaller gap.
So we're gonna be using this
second position an awful lot.
So, for example, the very opening takes
these two notes of the E minor chord,
the basic position as a rest.
And then, we're gonna jump down.
This note is actually going
to move down to here.
And now we're gonna be
playing the same chord,
but in second position.
So when we do this,
it's not some random jumping around.
We're actually playing the same chord,
just moving the notes around shuffling
them in different positions.
So let's take a look at
the opening first four measures,
take a look at how this works.
E minor, rest.
Same E minor chord, but we're gonna
move that top note down to the bottom,
play with the fifth finger.
Same two notes here.
Shift positions back to the root position.
And then
That's our E minor chord
in two different positions.
Now the next four measures are gonna do
the same thing but in a different key.
Now we're gonna move down to C.
This happens to be a C major chord.
We're gonna do the same kind of thing
where we're gonna shift the top note.
This G we'll play down here instead.
That's second position C major chord.
Same pattern that we just
did with our E minor chord.
Let's look at that again without me
talking so much.
Take a look at this,
C major, move the G down.
See those two notes?
And then back to this.
And then
So hopefully as you see how these chords
are put together this will
make a lot more sense as
you're jumping to different
positions of that chord.
Let's do
the whole eight measure sequence again.
The first four measures again are E minor.
The second four measures are C major.
Don't worry about
understanding the difference.
Just know that minor generally sound sad,
major generally sounds happy.
And as we progress in our later lessons,
we'll get into more details as
to how these chords more technically
are put together, if you're interested.
Here we go from the beginning.
Now C
Let's put the right
hand melody and these two
kinds of chords together.
All right, right hand
starting with your sec finger on E.
Left hand also starting on an E,
with an E minor chord, remember?
Okay, here we go.
Hands together.
Now here, the right hand is going to play
the B, but
the left hand also needs to grab that B so
you need to get the right
hand out of the way for
the left hand to be able
to grab that B as well.
Let me show that to you one more time.
See, again, if you don't get out of
the way, you're gonna have a little bit of
a thumb wrestling match here [LAUGH]
in the middle of your piano.
So make sure you hop off of the way,
out of the way as quickly
as possible with that.
Let's try it again from the beginning.
Watch it carefully and.
Get out of the way.
Now C major, the right hand stays in
the same place,
the left hand's moving to C major.
Let's try this one more
time without stopping.
One, ready,
let's move
on to the next
All right, here we go.
Right hand, starting on E again.
Skip a line to the B up here, space down,
now down to the E again,
F sharp, repeat the D.
Two spaces up to an A.
G clef G.
Now to the ledger line C below.
Okay, now because we're going to be going
back up again and we're at the end of
little break mark in the phrase,
you can just move your thumb over.
No big deal.
So, we're going to repeat our
thumb one note lower to the B.
Now put your thumb under here,
because we're gonna connect to an E for
the next note here, F sharp.
And then down to a D sharp.
Let's do that whole
sequence one more time.
Right hand starting on E.
One, ready and.
three move down.
Thumb under.
Just a quick word on
the thumb under technique,
this is going to be one of the most
useful techniques that you will learn.
This is a precursor to playing a scale.
A scale is simply a sequence of notes
next to each other going up or down.
So in this instance we're
playing starting from the B.
The whole idea is to go from three and
to have more fingers to go up.
In this continuous sequence of
a scale note.
You really want to get comfortable with
the idea of shifting the thumb
underneath your third finger.
So one exercise you might want to
do is play from three to one, and
then go back and forth.
Three, one, two.
So you feel that little squeeze in here.
And then you're open back up
again from here, to here.
Once again from the B.
Open up.
And then D sharp over here.
So play through this phrase several more
times until you feel really comfortable.
And then we shall add
your left hand notes.
Okay, let's take a look at
the left hand, lots more chords.
Let's take a look at this, all right?
Left hand, A fall down ball, and
then this is gonna be A down over here.
Okay, and
then the next two notes above it.
This makes an A minor chord, and
I'm going to use this fourth finger
because we're going to
be jumping around a lot.
And there's one specific kind of
chord that I want to be prepared for,
which is a little bit larger than this.
Okay, so I'm going to be locking
in this four two one position for
this particular chord.
Okay, so A minor,
the next note is A fall down, D,
excuse me, D, and then an F sharp middle.
This happens to be a D major chord.
Again, don't worry about being able
to identify these right on sight.
We're gonna jump all
the way down to this G.
[SOUND] It's a G major chord,
that's right.
Okay, now we're gonna go to the C.
[SOUND] Did you guess it?
C major chord, okay, interesting.
Let's do that sequence again,
the first four measures of this sequence,
A minor, A, D, G, C, okay?
Now we're gonna jump back down to the G,
back up to the C.
[SOUND] Now this is the big
chord I wanted to get ready for.
This is a little different than any other
chord that you played up to this point.
F sharp, stretch up.
[SOUND] What is that?
This is a seventh chord.
Again don't worry about it right now,
but this is a seventh
chord that I want to prepare for
with all those fours before that.
Now we're going to go to A B, D sharp and
then an F sharp, B major chord.
So the reason I'm trying to point
out the names of these chords
is it's going to make it a lot easier for
you to jump around and
find them because they're not adjacent.
They're really kind of jumping apart.
So instead of saying, A, C, E, D, A,
F sharp, G, it's just too many
things to put in [LAUGH].
But if you understand the basic shapes of
these chords, you can jump to them a lot
faster, cuz you know you almost
predisposition your hand to that shape,
with the exception of
this big seventh middle.
[SOUND] Okay, so there's a little
method to my madness of my fingering.
I keep these fingers the same shape, and
I have one different fingering
that uses the pinky.
That's actually also a memory tool for
So fingering can be used not only for
positions and maneuvering, but
also as a memory tool for
learning your notes.
Okay, 'cuz your notes don't only have
a sound, but they also have a feel.
Okay, so I hope that helps.
It'll make more sense the more we
go through some of these songs.
So once again what I'm gonna do is
we're gonna go through the sequence,
and I'm just gonna call out
the names of these chords for you.
So, hopefully you'll be
able to find them faster.
One, ready, A [SOUND]
And we have an extra little ending here.
Back to G, [SOUND] C.
Now this weird F sharp
seventh thingy here,
just know that this is a big stretch.
Now B major, the two black keys here.
One more time without stopping one,
ready and A [SOUND] D [SOUND] G
[SOUND] F sharp something or
other, seventh, B.
[SOUND] Okay,
good,we're gonna get more into chord
theory in detail later on, okay?
Another exercise you might want to try
if you're still having trouble jumping
around is to do it this way.
Combine everything,
watch, A, D, G, C, G, C.
Now this is the biggest section here.
[SOUND] And then B.
[SOUND] Okay?
So that's an exercise for
you to try as well.
So hopefully between all the different
ways of thinking about it, combining it,
practicing it, this sequence will
hopefully become very comfortable and
make sense to you.
Okay, now let's work on getting your
melody on top of that jumping chord
All right let's
put it together.
Right hand starting on an E, left hand
starting on an A minor chord okay?
Nice and slow.
One, ready and
D major chord.
G major chord.
C major chord.
Move your right hand down to the B.
G major chord left hand.
Tuck your thumb under.
C major.
Now F sharp seven.
D sharp here A major one at a time.
All right, now here's another idea for
If it's still throwing you off
a little bit, try it this way.
Right hand,
we're going to play the melody, left hand
just play the first note of every measure.
Okay, watch this as an exercise.
Two, three
Two, back to the G.
Hopefully when you feel
the way that moves,
you'll be able to just add the other
notes in that group pattern,
since you've played so
many of these chords now up to this point.
Okay, try that as an introduction.
Now let's put everything together again.
Again, without
stopping one,
ready, and
Now the last step is going to be for
us to add the pedaling to this.
Because there's so much jumping, I want
to try to connect these chords all right?
And we're going to do that with the pedal.
Remember to pedalise your chords by
holding the first notes a little
bit longer.
One with pedal, I'm gonna push the pedal
down and change in the first notes here.
and change
Let's move on to the next section.