Lesson 6

C Boogie

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman.
Today we're learning how to play "C Boogie,"
which is a lot like "D Journey" that we learned in an earlier lesson.
In this song we'll also be practicing our counting-out-loud skills,
which is a very important skill for any musician.
It's a foundation for good rhythm, so let's practice.
Just like we had with "D Journey" the beats are in groups of four,
so will you tap your thighs with me while we count out loud, 1 2 3 4 to practice.
Every time we say "one" is when we tap, like this: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Now try it with me, go:
1, 2, 3, 4,
1, 2, 3, 4,
1, 2, 3, 4,
1, 2, 3, 4.

Ok, let's learn how to play "C Boogie" on the piano.
As you know, now that we know about piano posture,
we're always going to go through our
piano posture checklist every time before we play something.
So number one: your bench, make sure it's not too close,
not too far, and that you're at a good height
so your forearms are level with the floor.
Number two: your back is tall and flexible.
Number three: you're going to check with your arm weight;
make sure your arm is relaxed.
And number four, we're going to have a nice hand and finger shape.
Today we're going to be using the left hand,
and we're going to be playing a C, which you'll remember from a previous lesson
is the note right before D. D is right in between a group of two black keys.
C is the note just to the left of that, right here.
Okay, so we're going to take our left hand finger two, and just drop on that C.
Let's do that together and count out 1 2 3 4, always dropping on beat one.
Ready, go:
1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4.
Good. When you drop, you're going to let gravity kind of just fall,
and then you're gonna float up with your forearm,
and then just drop every time on beat one.
Now to make this sound more cool, we're going to add an accompaniment.
Let me show you what that will sound like.
There's four beats to get ready, and then we start. Here it is:
1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4.
Nice. Okay, now, when you try it with me, get finger two ready.
Remember you're going to keep just enough firmness in that finger
to keep that shape all the way down to this knuckle.
You want to avoid your finger buckling backwards like this.
Make sure you keep enough firmness,
that it stays in this nice naturally curved shape.
Okay, let's try together. Get finger two ready on C, and you're ready to count.
Here come the four prep beats: 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4.

Nice. Okay now we're going to bring this one to the next level,
same way we did with "D Journey," but this time, we're gonna boogie
down the piano, so put yourself in a position that you've got room
to do four C's going down. I'm gonna start on my middle C,
then down to C number two, number three, number four.
We're going to count four beats on each one,
then we come back and do it one more time.
Let me show you how to do it once. Here it goes:
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4,
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4.

Mr. Hoffman?

Yes, Scuba?

I've been following along with your lesson today, and this counting out loud thing
is kind of getting annoying and it's messing up my playing.

I see.

Can I just not count? It's hard!

Well, hard is good.


You see, I love watching my students suffer. Wha ha ha! No, just kidding.
Scuba, I ask you to do hard things sometimes to build your skills,
to challenge you, to help you get better.
Counting is a very valuable skill that, if you master,
it's going to come in very useful in later,
more advanced songs you might want to learn.

Oh, okay. I'll do it. I do want to get better.

Super. If you find it annoying to say it in full voice, it's okay to just whisper it,
but I do want to see your mouth moving.

You got it, Mr. Hoffman! Well, I'm off to go practice.

Bye-bye Scuba. Now remember, like before, whenever you're done playing,
you're going to float up your forearm and let your hand go limp.
Releasing that tension is so important to learn to do in piano.
As we get to more advanced songs, the more relaxed you are,
the faster and more flexible your fingers are going to be,
so this is a great way to practice this habit early on.
Now before we try this together, press pause and try,
a couple times on your own, counting out loud: 1 2 3 4, moving down the piano.
Then, when you're ready to try it with me, press play to go on.

All right let's give it a try together, so finger two on C,