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Popular Piano Lessons: Save the Best for Last - A Section

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This arrangement of Save the Best for
Last is a great exercise
in the most common kinds of
pop rhythm that you're gonna hear in
virtually any song on the radio today.
Even though this is a bit of an older
song, by studying this piece you're gonna
really understand how syncopation works,
really from the inside out.
The key thing is going to be, again,
breaking things into very small pieces,
and understanding how things are
continuously moving between both hands.
Take your time.
The notes are not too hard.
That's a good thing so that you can
focus on the rhythmic relationships.
It's gonna sound a little stiff when
you take things that slowly, but
you wanna pay attention
to those little details.
And once you understand where
the notes are and how they
relate to each other between your hands,
then build up your speed little by little.
But really take your time to understand
how pop rhythm is broken down.
Let's start by taking a look
at the right-hand melody.
We're below the G-clef staff line,
so we skip down from the low E.
We have one staff, one ledger line,
and one more ledger line below this,
which takes us to an A, C, F.
And it's tied.
And then,
we take a look at the next two notes.
That's also tied, and that's also tied.
Just put that together, ready?
And, tie, tie, tie.
Now, the rhythm is only
gonna make sense when we
put it together with your left hand.
So, let's take a quick look
at the left- hand notes, and
then we'll put it together right away.
Before we go on with our left hand,
I almost forgot to mention we need
to take a look at key signature.
Our key signature is pretty simple,
we only have one flat to worry about.
And that flat is a B flat.
So every time we come across a B [SOUND]
it automatically gets changed to
[SOUND] B flat.
So we have to keep that in
mind throughout this song.
All right.
So the first note's with the left hand.
Start with I fall down.
And then below that it's a C [SOUND] Skip,
skip to G.
[SOUND] Now the next
time it's gonna be a B.
But as we know from our key scheme,
we automatically change that to a B flat.
Okay, see how that works?
That's tied.
Skip down to move down to
the B flat [SOUND] tied.
And then this is gonna move down,
but this will stay in place.
[SOUND] All right?
Let's do that again.
Ready, and [SOUND] tied.
Move down [SOUND] tied.
[SOUND] All right.
Let's put your hands together, and
then you're gonna see how
the syncopation actually works.
So be careful
about the ties.
One hand will hold, typically,
while the other hand plays.
It's gonna go back and
forth pretty quickly, and
we're going to break everything up
into its individual eighth note beats.
Okay, here we go, ready,
slowly right hand.
Then the left hand comes in.
Then the right hand comes in.
Then the left hand.
Then the right hand.
Then the left hand.
If we were to hear just the notes as kind
of rhythms, you would hear
a continuous stream of eighth notes.
One and two and three and
four, and it doesn't stop.
It just jumps back and
forth between the hands.
So you wanna try to make sure as you put
your left hand together with your right
hand, try not to stop between the hands,
that you get that smooth flowing rhythm.
One more time.
Keep going.
It's only here that
the music actually stops for a bit.
Okay, understand?
Good, let's take a look
at the next phrase.
We just ended up on a C.
We're gonna replace that with
a thumb on the same note C.
Open up your hand to the B-flat.
Remember, all B's
are flatted in this piece.
Do that again.
Tied, and
then going on, tied.
Now, let's take a look
at the left hand notes.
A fall down ball, B, B-flat, okay.
It's giving the line takes us to this.
All right?
We actually just played this interval,
so we're going to use the same fingers,
five and two tied.
Now, you move your fifth
finger up to the C, tied.
Now, we're going to move
our fifth finger again and
we're going to re-position our hand for
an octave passage like that.
It goes to the upper D over here.
Let's do that sequence again.
Left hand and, tied.
Tied move up here.
Let's put both hands together now.
Here we go.
Move your
left hand up.
See how that works?
Again, similar kind of rhythmic pattern
to the phrase we just played before,
no stopping between your hands.
Let's do that
one more time,
Good, let's do what we've just done and
now add in the pedal.
When we start this piece,
we're not gonna use any pedal and
we'll use the pedal only when
the first full measure comes in.
So here's what I need, ready?
No pedal here.
Now pedal with the left hand and
change with the left hand.
You change the pedal here.
Change here and
then you can change the pedal here,
change the pedal, change the pedal,
change the pedal.
So in general,
we're gonna be changing twice a measure.
Okay, most of the time you'll
be changing with your left hand.
And remember that exercise we did a while
ago where you're pedalizing your fingers.
You can hold that bottom
note a little bit longer.
So that you can give yourself enough
time to catch the pedal on those notes.
Let's do that one more time,
from the beginning and
Pedal, notice how I'm holding the,
fifth finger is on the left hand here,
change the pedal here,
hold this, pedal, pedal.
Let's take a look at the next section.
All right.
Now, we're gonna get into a little
bit of a trickier syncopation in this
next phrase.
Back down to that A below
the G-clef staff.
Now, I wanna shift my
hand a little bit higher,
since we have ran out of
fingers to go a lot higher.
Let's do the very next note instead of
with a four, let's use a three here.
That's tie to an eighth note, and it's
gonna jump to the A, and that'll be tied.
Let's play that all again.
Let's take a look at the left hand note
and they will the left hand notes and
let's put it all together.
Left hand, we're going to be playing
a series of octaves at first.
okay, and
then we move down to this B-flat.
And now, we move down.
We're going to keep that second
finger on that F over here.
Stretch it open.
Now, we are going to stretch
this open to a tenth.
Ten notes away from that
bottom A to that C over here.
Let's do that sequence again.
Now, A in the bottom,
stretching to the ten, the C on top.
All right.
Now, let's put our hands together and
watch carefully how
the syncopation works here.
I'm gonna go a little extra slow so
you can see exactly where
I'm gonna be placing my
right hand in relationship
to the left hand.
Here we go.
Now together.
This is tied.
Left hand plays,
then the right hand plays here.
Right after that.
So it's a little off.
Doesn't really line up like it
did the previous two phrases.
Let's do that again.
Okay, notice how
that pinky on the A comes
with your second finger
with the left hand.
Sometimes when I'm having a hard
time getting a syncopation down,
I'll try to think of what finger
I'm actually aligning with.
To make sure it fits properly.
Let's try this one more time just so
you can review.
Watch how A jumps to the second finger on
my left hand and gets locked in with that.
Okay one more time and.
Let's go on to the next phase.
We return to a C on
the right hand here.
Pretty simple.
Let's take a look at
your left hand notes now.
B flat down here.
C octave here.
Now here's an interesting passage
that we're gonna come up to,
it jumps down to an F.
It starts the same, but
we have a little extra ending.
So I'm gonna put my second finger
over this, kinda crab walk that.
Look at that again.
It's a very pretty way to end that little
So let's do the whole thing
with the left hand here.
Then jump down to F.
nice little filler
material at the end there.
Let's put your hands together.
>> [MUSIC]
Left hand.
All together.
Move up to the C.
Jump down to the F.
Now, I'm not playing the right
hand as it comes in.
We'll do that as we look
at the next phrase.
So, just for now, let's play it again,
see how this sounds.
Ready, and
Let's go back and review it and play it
with pedals, just these last two phrases.
Okay, as we start the middle of measure
four, we've already been using the pedal,
I'm gonna push it down just
to show that it's engaged,
and we'll change the pedal on
the first on the right hand.
And change.
Now, change.
And we're gonna change, of course,
with this last note as well.
So, notice again, the pedaling is
following the left hand more often,
to change with the left hand notes.
All right.
We'll bridge this into
the next phrase now.