Great work this week everyone!
Please play F major triads as you warmup this week – we have moved on from the D minor ones. When we play triads we start in root position and go all the way up to the next root position (so not only playing to second inversion). Play these hands separately and try solid as well as broken.
Hunting Song – In the first half of this song LH moves up into the treble clef to play with RH. The way this is notated is that RH’s notes have stems going up, and LH’s notes have stems going down. Please follow the fingering carefully. Notice how in the second half of the song RH is playing F major triads in varying inversions. Once notes and rhythms have been learned, you can go ahead and add dynamics and play through the entirety of the form (so 1st half, 2nd half with repeats, then D.C. al fine). The ritardando at the Fine means a gradual slow down – it helps add emphasis to an ending.
Hey Jude – In the chorus, please focus on holding LH’s half notes for the full 2 beats each – what will help with this is if RH also can be more legato. The chorus should sound just as grounded and legato as the verse. You can start practicing the 4th page as well this week – for the coda, watch the RH slur articulation. Think of the way they sing “better” in the song; there should be a little lift after each 2 notes. Once all notes and rhythms are comfortable, you absolutely can go ahead and play through the form with the repeats and D.S., coda, etc. We will try improvising in that ending section next week!
This week for your warmup let’s put the C major scale hands together. Both hands’ finger 3s will line up on the E and the A.
Bye, Bye Love – Let’s try playing the first page hands together! Notice how when RH and LH do play together, they are either doing the same rhythms or RH is simply holding whole notes. Whenever RH has intervals, please double check you are playing the correct note on the top/bottom, since sometimes they get flipped. 2nd page we will still keep hands separately, however LH should now also read the chorus section (bar 18 until the 1st ending). Bar 19 specifically has a trickier rhythm: try clapping and saying the counting before playing it. The rhythm should be 1+2+3+4+ with bolded beats being where you clap/play. LH low F shows up a lot in the piece, so try memorizing what that looks like on the staff (just under the bottom line).
This week our scale is A major, 2 octaves hands together. The saying for the order of sharps is Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle, so if A major has 3 sharps they will be F, C, and G. Play the scale a little slower than you might like just to solidify fingering.
Pachelbel’s Canon – This piece uses one chord progression which repeats every single phrase – no matter how complex the LH part may look, the bottom note every two beats will always be the root of the chord. The progression is D-A-Bm-F#m-G-D-G-A, with all chords being major except B and F# minor. Think of this progression while you are reading the notes, as it will help a lot. Please play lines 1-2 hands together, and as the week goes on also try lines 3-4 hands together. For lines 3 and 4 assess LH’s interval patterns before jumping in and playing it. Whenever there is a big jump within a chord, use the pedal to help you connect. Ideally this whole piece is played with pedal, so integrate it as soon as you are comfortable (in lines 1-2 would be a good place to start).
Etude in G – Awareness to the staccatos even as you’re playing hands together is very important; make sure that beat 3 is just as staccato as beat 2, and the endings especially should be crisp. LH please make sure you’re in the correct octave! In bar 15 please note the second time the C comes around it’s still sharp. A spot to isolate a few times before playing the piece through is the last 2 bars – just to smooth out the transition so the ending can be strong.