Popular Music Lesson

Für Elise (Beethoven) , Part 1

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Hello and welcome. I'm Joseph Hoffman and
today we are going to learn one of the
most famous classical pieces of all time,
"Für Elise." The great Ludwig von Beethoven
composed "Für Elise" a little over 200
years ago in Vienna and then dedicated
it to a mysterious woman named Elise. In
German, für Elise means for Elise, and
who was this woman Elise? No one knows,
but as you listen to "Für Elise" you can
get some hints about how Beethoven felt
about her. By the end of this video
you're going to be playing one of the
most famous beloved classical piano
pieces of all time. By the way this "Für Elise" tutorial you are watching is my
super easy preparatory level tutorial
which is perfect for anyone with zero to
six months of experience playing piano.
To help you master this song I highly
recommend that you get the accompanying
sheet music for this tutorial which is
available for purchase online at the
Hoffman Academy's store or if you're a
premium member of Premium Member of Hoffman Academy the sheet music is free, included with your
Premium Membership. If you're more
experienced pianist and you'd like a
harder version of "Für Elise" check
out my level 1 tutorial or if you'd like
Beethoven's original advanced version of
"Für Elise" check out my level 4 or level 6
tutorials. Okay let's come to the piano
to start learning. Let's take a look at
the notes we're going to need to play
"Für Elise." These two blue notes are the
only notes you'll need to use your left
hand to play, and to find them just look
for two black keys nearest the middle
of your piano. We have a middle C, and E a
skip above that. Those two notes will be
played with your finger one, your left
hand thumb, and finger three of your left
hand, your middle finger. So go ahead
and get your left hand in position there
on C and E and then up here in the right
hand we have the notes A B C D and E.
We'll need all five of those notes so
we'll need
all five fingers of your right hand
covering up those five notes starting
here on A just in between this group of
three black keys right there. Go ahead
and get your right hand in position on
those five. Now every once in a while
we'll also need a D sharp which will be
played with finger four so your four
will sometimes be on D sometimes on D
sharp so just stay flexible there. Then
every once in awhi le we'll also need a G sharp
which will use finger one so shift your
hand forward to play one on G sharp. So
with your hands in this position you're
ready to start playing. Now checking out
the first five notes of "Für Elise"
you'll notice it goes back and forth
between E and D sharp
using the right hand fingers five and
four. We've got finger five on E so we go
ahead and move finger four up to D sharp
and when you do that you know you
don't have to keep your other fingers
there. Go ahead and just let the hand
naturally shift up so you're only
worrying about these two notes. You're
going to use those two fingers to go
back and forth on these first five notes.
When I said D I really mean D sharp. Now
you try that. Good, let's do it one more
time together. Go. Good, now look at the
next four notes, after that we're going
to need to make sure our fingers are
falling back in this kind of five note
position, and the next four notes go B D C A which
kind of forms a pattern. You notice
we've got this skip up here from B to D
and then a step down then a skip down, so
these notes are in pairs. We've got a
skip up and then a skip down, B D C A, will you try
those four notes? Good. Now if we put that
all together we E D# E D# E B C D A and a little bit more quickly we
get [ ♫ ]. Now press pause and I'd like you to
just work on those first nine notes
several times on your own until you feel
comfortable with it, then press play to
go on. I'd like to point out that when
you play this I'd like to really make
sure you have good piano posture.
It's common for beginner students to
play with a really flat pinky which bad
habit to get into. Try to play near the
tip. Also for the right feel on
"Für Elise" it needs to be played gently
so don't hammer out the note, play it
and with feeling. You'll notice I start
soft and I crescendo a little bit in the
middle, and then get soft again at the
end. That makes it really nice. Now let's
go on to the next section you'll notice
the next two notes are played by the
left hand. I know that because they're
down in the bass clef and we just have C,
E and then the right hand plays a B so
again the left hand plays finger 3 then
1 3 1 then the right hand plays 1 2. C E A B.
Now you try, let's try it together now.
Good now looking at the next one we have
the G sharp, so to get to the G sharp
we're going to have to shift or slide
our right hand forward a little bit so
your finger 1 can comfortably reach that
G sharp. Don't cramp your hand over like
this, just glide for it and you'll be
able to reach it really easily. So we
have E, G-sharp, B. Notice I'm playing the
B way up here because of where I've had
to shift my hand for my thumb on the G
sharp and then B. By that time you can
slide your hand back down if you like to
this more normal position. Okay so watch
that one more time: E, G-sharp, B, C. Notice how
I slid my hand to accommodate the black
key. Now you try that on your own. Good
now let's put those two phrases together.
We have C E A B, E G-sharp B C.
Now press pause and practice those
eighth notes on your own several times
until you feel comfortable and then
press play to go on. Good. Now next up we
have E in the left hand which is played
with finger one and I kind of pounded
that, don't do that, play it gently. E and
then E for the right hand way up here
with finger five, your pinkie, so we have E ♫ E D# E D# E B D C A.♫ It goes
back into the main theme. The only thing
that's different this time is
we've led into it with this E in the
left hand. ♫ E E D# E D# E B D C A ♫ and then
we've got the same pattern as before.
♫ C E A B ♫ and now a new pattern ♫ E C B A.♫ Okay so
let's try this new pattern. So we go
from E in the left hand to C in the
right hand with finger 3, then 2 1. ♫ E C B A.♫
Now you try. Good now let's go all the
way back to where we played this E
with the left hand: ♫ E E D# E D# E B D C A ♫
♫ C E A B ♫
♫ E C B A ♫
Press pause and try that entire
section on your own, then press play to
go on. Now next you'll notice when we get
there, there's a repeat sign. This little
symbol here with the two dots and the
one thin and one thick line, that's
called a repeat sign and it takes you
back to the start of the piece. Then we
get to do the whole thing again. ♫♫♫ And the
last time, when you're on the second time,
I like to slow down and get really soft
on those last three notes. Getting softer
on each one and slowing down. That makes
a really nice ending. Now I'm going to
play all the way through with the repeat.
If you'd like to try playing along you
can, or if you just like to listen to see
what it's going to sound like, that's
fine too. Ready go.
One thing I wanted to mention is to be
sure to hold these dotted quarter notes
extra long. If we're using rhythm words
we could say ♫TI-TI, TI-TI, TI-TI, TI-TI, TA-AH♫
It's a TA plus an extra half-beat. ♫One
and two - bam bam bam one and two-
bam bam bam one and two.♫ Sometimes I hear kids play
those dotted quarter notes too
fast ♫(Plays without holding the dotted quarter notes)♫ but that loses the charm of the piece.
You've got to hold those extra
long. ♫(Demonstrates holding dotted quarter notes longer)♫
Okay so hold those dotted quarter
notes Okay, you know the main melody for
"Für Elise" now and this is a slightly
simplified version for this preparatory
tutorial. If you master this and you feel
like a harder one you can go on to the
the next tutorial, which is my level one
version. Great job learning how to play
the melody of "Für Elise" today. To help
you and your practicing I recommend that
you use the sheet music, which remember
is available from the Hoffman Academy
online store or available for free with
your Hoffman Academy Premium Membership.
Happy practicing and see you next time.
"Hey, would you two like to hear an
interesting story about 'Für Elise?'"
"You betcha."
"Okay, well 'Für Elise' has become so
famous over the years that I imagine
there are very few people on the entire
planet who haven't heard it. In fact when
I lived on the other side of the Pacific
Ocean in Korea for a couple of years, and
this is a true story, I found out that
they had invented a very special way to
let you know that it was time to take
out your trash. The garbage truck had a
loudspeaker that would play music."
"Oh, like on an ice-cream truck?"
"Yes, like an ice-cream truck, except you
wouldn't want to eat anything out of
this truck."
"Ew! Gross! Yuck!"
"Wel,l as the garbage truck
drove around every week, guess what
melody it would play over and over as it
drove around picking up your trash? "What?"
"'Für Elise!'"
"What? You mean that beautiful
song was like the trash anthem?"
"I don't know how Beethoven would feel
about his piece being used as the theme
for taking out your garbage."
"So it'd be like singing, ♫ 'Truck is
coming, please take out your trash, take
out your trash, take out your trash♫ '" (Laughing)
"Did I just hear my favorite song?
What? Hey. Trash can appreciate true
musical beauty too, you know." ♫ (Hums tune to Für Elise) ♫