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Popular Piano Lessons: Moonlight Sonata - B & C Section

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Now we're gonna work on a section of
the piece where the right hand is gonna
be doing two things at the same time.
We've seen this before in other songs.
This will gonna be a little different in
that we're changing where the melody is.
Now it's gonna be where it normally is,
on the top.
So here's what's gonna happen,
let me explain, let me play the melody for
you really quickly.
The melody is just one
played in rhythm.
While it's playing that melody note,
it's gonna be playing
an accompanying figure underneath that at
the same time, all right.
So just take your time,
let's pull this apart.
Ready, we're gonna play this together
so now your pinky is the melody note.
So you wanna hold onto that pinky while
you play these three notes underneath
Now the pinky has an interesting rhythm.
It has a dotted eighth
to a sixteenth note.
I don't want to get too technical,
too complicated, with how this will work.
Let's just simply put it this way,
two, three.
We're just going to put it in
between the notes from the last
triplet note to the next triplet note,
all right.
So fast note that fits right in between.
Let me show you how
the rhythm works again,
All right.
Now, the pinky is a tricky
finger to get accustomed to.
Unfortunately, [LAUGH] it's also
the finger that's gonna be playing your
melodies the most, as we get to more and
more difficult pieces.
So it's a good idea to get used to
the idea that we're gonna be working with
a relatively weak finger.
Now, here's some suggestions for
getting the pinky coordinated
with everything else, okay?
Okay, we're holding the pinky.
When you play this note,
I would lift up your pinky if you can.
If you need to lift up your
hand a little bit, that's okay.
Because you have to repeat
the note anyway very quickly.
So, we're going to have to come
off the pinky note, lift up,
push up a little bit,
and you come back down.
Did you see that?
So, it's gonna happen, I'm holding,
I'm gonna to lift up my finger
before playing the fast note.
Use the fast note to kind of push
up the hand a little bit, and
then drop down on it.
So here, this is again slow motion.
Lift slow, pick up, drop.
All right?
So, you're' gonna be doing that while
still holding onto the notes beneath it.
Lift up.
And then, if you need to,
you can lift off your hand a little bit.
The pedal's gonna help
you connect everything.
If you want to be super technical,
you could do this.
It's a little trickier,
lift while holding the fourth finger down.
That's a lot more difficult, okay?
So if it's too tricky to do that,
just lift up your whole
hand off when you play the fast note
To play everything else again.
That's perfectly alright.
Your wonderful magic
pedal will cover that.
Let's put this together
with all the notes.
Okay, now we start together.
Now, the left hand moves to this new
progression with the E and the G.
You'll notice how I'm holding
the pinky through that.
Because the pinky has a different time
value than the triplets beneath it.
Now here comes the melody again.
Holding the pinky through two.
All right?
For the exercise, we're just going
to the end of the measure like this.
Really focus on letting go with the fourth
finger when it's not playing and
keeping that pinky held down, okay?
So really make sure you have your pinky
well-coordinated with this little passage
before moving on.
This is a technique that we're gonna
be using throughout the entire piece.
Now let's put this
in musical context.
[SOUND] This is the end
of that opening section.
Your left hand is playing an octave D.
You're right hand is just scooped down
into the F-clef area to play these notes.
And you're climbing up,
remember this part?
Okay, now here's where
the melody comes in.
Play this as an octave together.
[SOUND] Two, three, in between.
[SOUND] You're gonna
have to move from here.
To there.
And I would have practiced
it just like that.
Have your octave D set up.
And then play the melody here.
And practice making that transition so
that you move from the D
off to do the C sharp.
All right, do it again.
The melody comes in here.
In between.
Okay, a new sequence of notes here.
The melody comes in again here,
play together.
And your left hand returns to the D here.
All right, now that's without the pedal.
Now let's play it with the pedal.
And you'll understand that you don't need
to hold these notes quite as long with
your fingers cuz your pedal will
do all the connecting for you.
Ready, okay here we go, with the pedal.
Now hold your pinky through if you can.
Lift it up here right before the note.
Up down.
Okay, good.
Practice that.
One other little tip is to really
aim whenever you play your pinky,
try to get it as straight as you can.
Try not to let it collapse like this.
Okay, you'll never be able to play
the other notes inside of it if your pinky
Try to think of it almost like kind of
reaching out with a really long finger.
The longer the pinky,
the stronger it will be able to play,
So you really want to try to.
Think of it as stiff as you can.
You don't want to make it ramrod stiff,
But you also don't want to collapse it.
You don't want to bend it, okay?
By feeling it kind of sticking
out a little straighter,
you'll be able to control its
strength a little bit more.
You'll have more leverage to play
the notes a little bit louder with that
In the next part,
we have an interesting sequence where we
have the melody being held in the top.
The left hand is going
to be playing octaves,
kind of moving in different
directions from your right hand.
Almost all of the notes except for
the last note on the top
are gonna be played with pinkies.
While this is happening,
you still have that accompaniment
finger in the right hand.
your pedal's gonna help
you connect everything.
So I would practice with the pedal
as you learn this next section.
So let's just take a look
at what's happening.
Ready and.
Now, the right hand's gonna be moving to
a B flat octave, and the left hand's
moving to a G octave, see that?
Now again, these octaves are everywhere.
A octave here.
the right hand's gonna compress itself.
You're gonna bring
the thumb up to the B flat.
The pinkie's gonna play the G while
the left hand plays this octave here.
And you're also gonna change
the pedal here because of the sound.
Hold the pedal, octave here.
Move into position and
then you're gonna be playing this F
with the fourth finger F octave here.
Kind of tricky isn't it?
So here's a little exercise that I came
up with to help you feel the transitions.
I've written out the same passes but
now as block chords.
So you can really feel all the notes
all at once instead of one at a time.
You can feel this octave.
take your time to look at all these notes.
Same thing.
Now, here is an interesting chord.
You're thumb's gonna go on a black key,
okay, and
then you're gonna open up
your hand to this octave.
And then forth finger
on the F on top here.
I recommend you try this exercise
that's written out for you.
Try playing it until you can go through
the chord exercises really smoothly.
And then we're gonna go back and
put it in musically.
Here we go.
Try the chords again.
The B flat.
Now, to the A.
[SOUND] Now, it's G compressed here.
[SOUND] And then F.
Again, going back to what this looks
like melodically after you get those
chords comfortably moving together then
you go back and play it like it's written.
You can feel the chord ahead of time.
That's gonna help you move all your
fingers in position much more easily.
This chord here, remember.
One more time without me talking,
so you that you can see and
hear how this progression goes, ready?
Again, I'm not making
too much effort to try to
connect the last notes of
the triplets into the first
notes of the next triplets.
The pedal will take care of that,
so you can let go of your hand and
move them into position as you see fit.
And try to move them as chord fingerings
rather than just one note at a time.
When we last left our heroic right hand,
we were playing F with the fourth finger,
A with the thumb and
making out this chord pattern here, okay?
Let's take a look at the right hand
alone for the next few measures.
Here we go.
So you're playing the melody with that
top note, but obviously you're going
to have to play it again, so
you'll lift it and play it as needed.
The pedal will carry the sound through,
so don't worry about it too much.
Now you're going to be moving up in
progression within those same notes.
The first two notes are the same,
and then you add this A over here.
And again, don't worry about
the F not holding through.
The pedal will carry that sound.
Now we're gonna have another
octave here and then this rhythm.
Okay, so you see how that worked?
Drop your hand if you want
now this moves up to a G, B flat.
Play that three times
holding the pinky here.
Here comes the octave again.
Fast note.
And we're back to an F over here.
Let's just do that much one
more time with the right hand.
and then up.
octave here.
Good, let's take a look at our
left-hand octaves really quickly here.
We've ended up with an F octave.
Practice this with the pedal.
Okay, so we're pedaling that.
Next octave will be,
as you can see from the top note, an E.
Change your pedal there.
Then it's going to move back up to an F,
but just a half note.
Now for the next few notes we're going to
go ahead of the right hand here just so
I can show you the sequence.
E, change the pedal.
D, change the pedal.
So we're gonna change the pedal
more frequently here.
C sharp.
D, basically every octave now
is going to have a pedal change.
Down to a G.
Up to an A.
Up back to a D here.
All right.
So now your foot is going to be a lot
busier to change with every single
octave in this particular sequence.
Now let's do one more thing.
Let's play just the first part of
this little section, hands together,
and then we'll take a look
at your right-hand notes.
Pedal down and here we go.
So let's take a look at this now.
The right-hand notes going
to the next portion.
Measure 11, now your right hand
has just finished on
this portion over here.
Another octave,
now we're moving to a C sharp.
Now we are compressing these notes in the
middle to a G and A, another octave and
we're gonna change our fingering
position to a two and a three.
Another octave,kay?
G, A.
Another octave,
you can get your hand out of the way.
Keep going.
We're gonna go to this E,
which has a flat next to it.
Don't forget the flats continue to the end
of the measure.
Now C sharp, move your third
finger over to get into position.
Feels a little bit weird, but
that's gonna help us get ready for this.
D octave.
Now in the middle of it,
that F is gonna change to an F sharp.
All right?
So the last two sets of Fs
have sharps next to them.
Let's just practice that new part,
right-hand alone.
Again, and.
I'm not worried
about connecting with my hands.
The pedal will take care of that.
Move your
whole hand.
Move your hand.
Move your whole hand.
Change to the F sharp here.
Let's quickly take a look at the left-hand
notes in this newer section.
Again, using your thumb as
the guide to read through the notes.
We see we start on F clef F over here.
Practice with the pedal.
This is measure 11 over here, okay?
Next note down, change your pedal.
[SOUND] Next note down, change your pedal,
[SOUND] for every octave, okay?
Now for C sharp.
[SOUND] Then we go back up to D.
[SOUND] And notice how the D skips
a ledger line and goes down to the bottom.
[SOUND] Goes up one to the next space,
[SOUND] the A.
And climbs back up to a D.
[SOUND] Right?
So you wanna get that
sequence comfortable.
Take a look at the left hand again.
[SOUND] Recognize this goes down.
Change the pedal.
Change the pedal, C sharp.
[SOUND] Okay, goes back up.
[SOUND] I'm looking at my thumb notes,
the top notes of the octaves.
G, and then A.
[SOUND] Climbing up back to D.
[SOUND] All right, let's put your hands
together starting from measure 11.
All right,
right hand is playing the octave here.
Left hand is playing the octave down here,
Put your pedal down and practice with
the pedal, it's a really good idea.
Here we go, and.
Right hand moves to a C sharp,
left hand moves in the opposite
direction to an E.
Now D, opposite directions.
Keep going opposite direction,
E C sharp left hand.
Moving to an F and a D on the left hand.
Moving to a G and an E flat.
C sharp and A.
To a D.
Hold the pedal, and
now we're going to change the pedal here.
We're going to change this to
an F sharp that third beat, okay?
[SOUND] Good, excellent.
Now here's what's going to happen
when you're practicing, most likely.
You're probably going to do this.
Where is the next note?
Where is the next note?
Where is the next note?
Where is the next note?
You're gonna hear these big gaps as
you search
for your next sequence.
So what I want you to
really specifically to do.
It's okay in the beginning as
you're figuring your notes out for
the first couple of times.
Once you get a little more familiar,
I really want you to purposely practice,
again, pothole practicing.
We want to move through all
those spots that make you stop,
so specifically try to.
How quickly can you move from
the end of that sequence
from here to here?
All right, just do two at a time.
Now from here,
see what I'm trying to do?
I'm trying to move through that.
Now particularly if you get to the end
of a line of music on the page and
your eye has to travel to
the beginning of the next line.
There's already a bit of a mental block or
delay that you're building into your
practicing so
be very careful how you read that.
Now, what you need to
do is almost memorize.
Here's the end of one line.
And go to the beginning of the next.
Practice that transition.
Okay, going on.
[SOUND] Then from here to here,
and then from here to here.
[SOUND] From here to here.
All right I guarantee you,
if you change your practicing to purposely
plow through the natural tendency
to stop at the end of every triplet,
you're gonna be able to have a passage.
That moves very smoothly.
You will know ahead of time where to move.
Okay, good.
So take your time.
You can even stop here and
review everything that we've
done up to this point.
And pay particular attention to making
sure all the gaps of your timing
are filled in before going on.