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Für Elise (Beethoven) , Part 2

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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 grape Ludwig van 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 is my easy Level One
tutorial, which is perfect for anyone
with I'd say about six months to one or
two years experience with 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 store. Or if you're a
premium member of Hoffman Academy, the
sheet music is free included with your
premium membership. If you have less than
six months experience you may want to
check out my super easy preparatory
level tutorial, or if you're a more
experienced pianist and you'd like to
learn Beethoven's original advanced
version of fear Elise check out my level
4 or level 6 tutorials. Ok let's come to
the piano to start learning. Let's
briefly check out where we need to place
our hands and which notes were going to
be needing for "Für Elise". These two
blue notes are all you need for the left
hand. All you're going to need are your
left hand finger 1 on this E and your
left hand finger 3 middle finger on
middle C. Your right hand will be up here
on this a minor pentascale and every
once in a while you'll also actually
quite often you'll need this D-sharp as
well. So your right hand finger 4 will
sometimes be on D but most often on this
We have to kind of play double duty.
Then every once while your finger 1
will also have to shift here to G-sharp
When you do that don't twist your hand
like this that will put pressure on your
wrists. Go ahead and just slide your hand
forward like this to reach the finger
1 there, and then there's this one spot
you'll even need this really high E here.
So those are the notes we'll need for
"Für Elise" let's start playing. Okay so
go ahead and find this position with
your hands and check out the first five
notes of the sheet music. You'll see that
we alternate between E in the right hand
right here and this D-sharp. The first
five notes go E, D-sharp, E, D-sharp, E
as you're doing that go ahead and
let all of your fingers just comfortably
shift where they're going to be happy as
you go back and forth between fingers
5 and 4. You don't have to keep
fingers 3 2 1 locked on these
white keys, they can shift down
to those once you need them 1 2
3 4 5 now can you try those
first five notes?
Good, now notice in the sheet
music it says pianissimo. Beethoven
wanted this to feel really tender and
sweet so nice and soft as you play those
notes. Play it one more time and be sure
you're playing pianissimo, go. Good after
you play those first five notes the next
four notes go B with finger 2, then D
with finger 4, so we skip up and then
step down to C, skip down to A.
So we have a skip up and then a step
down then it skip down. B D C A Now you try
Now if you put all that together
we get E, D-sharp, E, D-sharp, E B D C A
Or without the letters. Now I'd like you to
press pause and try that on your own
several times until you feel like you've
really mastered it. Be sure you're
playing pianissimo to get the right
sound that Beethoven was going for.
Now one thing I'd like to point out is
as you're playing don't play with the
flat pinky. That's kind of a bad habit that
you'll not want to get into. Your
pinky should always play near the tip
like this. Okay, will you try one more
time, using really great posture playing
near the pinky tip. Let's try it together go.
Great, now pause if you need extra
practice, otherwise let's keep going.
Check out the next three notes. Now
you'll notice we come down to the bass
clef which means our left hand has to
take a turn. We've got a middle C and
then it skips up to E so we'll play
3 1 in the left hand on middle
C then E above middle C and then the
right hand plays A B. So all together we
get C E A B each hand plays two notes C E A B. Now you
Good, now let's look at the next four
notes. This time we have E in the left
hand and then a G-sharp in the right
hand. So remember we're going to glide our
hand forward a little bit so finger 1
can easily reach the G-sharp. Finger 2
is going to stay on B, it was on B before
and as I glide over, just going to move
my thumb. Finger 2 is going to be here.
So we have E, G-sharp, B and then for C I
can glide my hand back down to its
natural place. E, G-sharp, B C
now you try those four notes.
Good, now
let's put those two patterns together we
had C E A B
E, G-sharp, B C. Now press pause and try
putting those two phrases together. Try
it as many times as you need to to feel
confident and then press play to go on.
Now let's hear all of that put together
from the beginning we have.
Notice I started really soft but then I let it
crescendo a little bit, but then it
decrescendos again back down to the A.
So starting really soft, it can grow a little bit and
then get really soft again. When you see
pianissimo all the notes don't have to
be super, super soft just has to have a
very gentle feel to it. Some notes will
be really soft and sometimes you can
crescendo a little bit to give it some
feeling. Now press pause and work on
those notes, try to add some dynamics, let
the notes get a little louder sometimes
a little softer sometimes but always
gentle and delicate. Try that on your own
then press play to go on.
Now let's look at this next section. It starts off with an E in the left hand
and then immediately goes up to an E in
the right hand, so left hand's finger 1
on E right hand's finger five on E. 'E, E' and
then it's just like the beginning. Going
on, now here it changes a little bit, we
have E C B A. So notice that pattern was a little
different to end with. E C B A. Will you try that? Good,
now try it with me. Say the letters E C B A Good
now let's try this whole section. We have,
E C B A. Now press pause and try that
section on your own then press play to go on.
Now here we see a repeat sign and
this funny little bracket with a one
inside. That's called a first ending and
a first ending means when you get there
do that only the first time that you get
to it and you're going to get to it
again because this repeat sign means go
back to the start and play all of those
notes over again. So once we get there we
go back to the start and play again
Now here I've already gone into the
first ending so I can't go in there
again. This time I have to go to the
second ending which is marked with a
little bracket and the number two inside.
So once again I'm playing an A but now I
have new notes and I'm going to keep
You see I start with finger two on B and
then it just steps up four notes in a
row stepping up B C D E G F E D F E D C E D C B. Now let's stop there did you see that pattern you notice we
had this crescendo stepping up to E and
then I've got to reach my thumb down a
little bit to G and then up the interval
of a seventh to F from G almost up a
full octave but not quite to F. G F and
step down, step down. Then I'll do that
same pattern again one step lower. By
that I mean we had this pennant of going
up a seventh then step down, step down,
then I'm going to go up a seventh
again but starting one note lower this time
up a seventh, step down, step down, then we
go up a seventh again, step down, step
down, but starting one note lower. This is
called a sequence where you have this
pattern, now the same pattern again but
one step lower, same pattern again but one
step lower.
Okay, now I'd like you to press pause and
work on this section that goes B C D E G F E D F E D C. E in the
left hand D C B. Press pause and work
on that section on your own then press
play to go on.
Great now when you get there, you'll
notice we've got this decrescendo that
brings us back to pianissimo, then we go E
in the left hand, E in the right hand, E
in the left hand, E in the right hand with
finger 5 then E in the right hand
with finger 1 which means we've got to
shift the hand. Now as we play E with
finger 5, then we've got to play that
same note with finger 1 and that's to get
ready to play this really high E with
finger 5. If you don't make that shift
you won't be able to reach that high E.
See how I did that? I go E in the left hand
E in the right hand, E in the left hand, E in
the right hand E again with finger 1
and then E really high with finger 5. E E E E E E
In slow motion, left, right, left, right,
right, shifting fingers, right on the
really high E. Now press pause and
practice that little pattern on your own
then press play to go on.
Now let's put this whole section
together, starting in the second ending
with finger 2 on B, we crescendo up to
mezzo forte.
Now, will you press pause and
try putting that whole section together
then press play to go on.
Now looking at the notes that come next,
you'll see it's back to the main theme
we had at the start.
Just like before
Here comes another first ending with a
repeat sign, so I'm going to take the
repeat back to this forward-facing
repeat sign to do the section over again.
My hand moves back down.
Notice I can't go back into the first
ending so I have to skip to the second ending
which brings me to this A, and you really
do that without a pause. It goes straight
to the second ending and pretend that
first ending not even there, because I've already
done it. You're only allowed to go in the
first ending the first time. Now before
we try putting this all together, I just
wanted to talk briefly about the rhythm.
Most of these notes are eighth notes so
you just play them steady and smooth. TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI, but
every once and a while you get one of these
dotted quarter notes, which is equal to
three eighth notes technically. So you
could think to yourself TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI-TI, 1 2 3, BA-BA-BA
1 2 3
If you're counting 1 2 3 at the
same speed as your eighth notes,
you'll hold it the correct amount.
Technically it's just a beat and a half,
but if you're counting eighth notes as
your beat, It'd be 1 2 3 BA-BA-BA 1 2 3 BA-BA-BA 1
I hear a lot of students rushing through
those, rather than holding it a full
3 beats, so make sure you're
stretching that note out
so it sounds the way it's supposed to.
1 2 3 BA-BA-BA 1 2 3 BA-BA-BA 1 2 3 See what I mean? That adds to the feel of the piece, now let me
play through the whole thing for you start to finish with
all the repeats. You can just listen or
if you feel ready you can try playing
along. If you do play be sure to hold out
those dotted quarter notes and also
remember to play with dynamics.
I'll count 2 beats and then we'll
start. 1 2
You'll notice how at the end on the last
time, I kind of slowed down and got
softer and softer on each of those last
three notes for a really special ending.
Great, remember to not pound any of the notes,
this is a gentle, sensitive song. Play it
beautifully and legato, remember to
follow the dynamics. Enjoy playing. Great
job learning how to play the melody of
"Für Elise"
today. To help you in 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 another
interesting story about "Für Elise"?
Uh, is this the trash story again? No, no, this is
definitely not the trash story. In fact
it's a love story. Ooo!
Let's hear it! Well I suppose if you must.
Would you be more interested Scuba if
you knew it was my love story? Wha?
Really? You have a love story? Just listen
and I'll tell all. Oh boy! So, I was living
in Cambridge Massachusetts at the time. I
just graduated from college and then
moved out east for an internship at
Harvard. Wait, is this a true story?
100% true. So I was going to church just right
down the street from Harvard Square
where I met this lovely, intelligent girl.
Ah.. She had just recently graduated from
Wellesley College. She seemed so poised
and classy
but also caring and smart. So? So, what? I
mean she sounds awesome! Did you ask her
out? Actually, no. Mah! Yeah this seems
funny now, but at the time I actually
thought to myself, she's such a neat lady,
too bad she's not my type.
Are you serious? Not your type? Yep, that's
what I thought. So we remained casual
church friends, until one day.. Yes, go on.
This girl that I thought wasn't my type,
she for a long time had dreamed of
learning to play "Für Elise" on the piano.
No way! And she was friends with another
girl who played the piano really well
and she was thinking of asking this
girlfriend of hers to teach her to play
piano so she can learn "Für Elise".
No! No! She should ask you! Would you let Mr.
Hoffman tell the story for crying out
Sheesh! Well, actually that's what happened. A
different friend told her no, don't ask
your girlfriend to teach you you should
ask that guy, Joseph Hoffman, to
teach you. Yes, yes! And so, that's what she
did. She called me up and asked if I
would teach her piano lessons. Woohoo! I
agreed, so we met at the church because
neither of us owned a piano at the time,
and I gave Kelly a piano lesson. Wait,
I'll bet during the lesson you touched
her hand! Scuba! Nothing exciting
happened during the lesson, but after the
lesson, we went out for a hot chocolate
down the street at Burdick. How romantic!
Pretty soon after that we both realized
that we were a good fit for each other
after all. In fact, we liked going for
long walks in the woods and along the
Charles River even better than piano
lessons. So we never did another piano
lesson and she never learned "Für Elise",
but that's okay because "Für Elise"
brought us together, and fast forward 15
months later, and Kelly and I were
married. All thanks to piano and Mr. Van
Beethoven's "Für Elise".
Hooray! Wow! Well Scuba, I hope that love story
wasn't too boring for a guy like you.
Nope, not at all.
Why scuba, are you crying? Don't worry
these are happy tears. It's just such a
beautiful story. I'm touched,
Scuba. Glad you liked the story. Wow, piano
really can change your life. In more ways
than you might realize.