Nice to see everyone again, great work this week!
This week for our warmup let’s stick to just D harmonic minor, but we will put it hands together. Notice that your finger 3s play together on the third and sixth degrees, which are F and Bb. Let’s also add D minor triads hands separately; for fingering, RH uses 1-3-5 for everything except first inversion (which uses 2), and LH uses 5-3-1 for everything except second inversion (also with finger 2).
Hound Dog – The first page can definitely be put hands together this week, just continue being very precise with your counting. For example, the first “You ain’t nothin’ but a” should start at a faster speed so it can match up with the way you play the rest of that line. You may also begin playing the second page hands together but only if it feels very comfortable rhythm-wise.
Allegro – This week let’s work on really speeding up that first line – you absolutely can play it faster (like we did in class) it’s just that you’re still so used to playing the slower tempo. Your staccatos can definitely be crisper in bars 1, 2, 5, and 6. Watch out for that F minor in bar 5 – it’s just one note off from the F major in bar 2. It would be nice to hear this piece with the repeat next week since it adds some contrast with the 8va.
We will keep our warmup the same as last week, with those C major and F major triads. Switching between inversions will be easier if you keep the two higher notes pressed down and then shift the new fingers onto them (instead of completely lifting and having to re-find those two notes that stay the same). Remember that RH uses finger 2 in first inversion, and LH uses finger 2 in second inversion.
Try your best to memorize or at least use these two sayings to help you find notes on the staff: in treble clef, use Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge for the lines, and in bass clef use Good Birds Don’t Fly Away.
7th St. Blues – This song has lots of line notes! So your sayings above will come in handy. Notice that a big pattern in this piece is how the bottom G repeats while the top note of the interval changes. I think later in the week it’s worth trying to put this song hands together.
In terms of a new book, this is a link to the Rock n’ Roll Faber & Faber book. I think it will be a fun time to work on some popular songs: https://www.long-mcquade.com/176316/Print/Piano/Hal-Leonard/FunTime-Piano-Rock–n–Roll–Level-3A-3B—Faber-Faber—Piano—Book.htm
For the warmup this week, let’s put the G major scale (2 octaves) hands together – remember that your finger 3s line up on the third and sixth degree, which for this scale is B and E. Try your triads (1 octave) hands together as well – broken will be easier than solid, but do try solid as best you can.
In Church – The second half of this piece can definitely be put hands together this week, except for bars 37-40. There are some trickier chord and articulations going on here, so isolate those bars to get really comfortable before trying it hands together. LH’s top voice in bars 27-38 should be legato. Be aware of your recurring intervals in the first part of the piece – the B-F# especially; there’s a lot of repetition so it’ll be great if you can quickly recognize the shapes.
Fur Elise – For the pedal in the first section, see if you can delay the change until the first new notes of the next chord have played – that way it’s as connected and full as possible. Try adding pedal in the E octave part as well. When playing with pedal, our heel should stay on the floor and only the front part of our foot moves; if your whole leg is lifting when you change that’s too much work!
Lovely to meet you today and hear all your pieces! For the Arietta my only suggestion is slowly inching up the bpm so it can get closer to the “allegretto” tempo recommendation.
To Fly Like an Eagle – The pedal in this song is a good tool to help with the large jumps on the keyboard – bar 4 to 5 you can move your hands into position much earlier since the pedal hangs on. A cool next step is to think about the chords as you play this one – LH will conveniently always give you your bass root and 5th of the chord, and RH fills in the rest. Since your notes and rhythms are all learnt, let’s focus on the dynamics and swells.
Sherlock Holmes – Your swing feel is very solid – let’s continue it all the way into the very last bar. You seem to be extending those note values into double their length, so just make sure you’re counting carefully. The staccatos (the little dots below the RH notes) can be crisper – nice and short to provide contrast from all the legato parts.
Foggy Beach – This piece is in 6/8 with a few bars of 9/8 – this means the 8th note (not the quarter note) gets one count, and there are 6 counts per bar. Notice that LH’s part switches to treble clef for the second half of the song. In the final bar, that symbol on top of the notes is called a fermata, and it indicates a longer hold – basically as long as feels right.