Lesson 34

G Major Pentascale

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman,
and in our lesson today, we're going to learn a new major pentascale: G major.
Let's come to the piano to start learning.

Now, you already know the C major pentascale.
Can you point and sing the solfège with me? DO RE MI FA SO.
And, we've also already learned about half-steps.
In every major pentascale, we've got a half-step here, between MI and FA.
A half-step is two keys with no key in between.
So, let's actually give these a special color
to remind us that these two pitches, MI and FA, are the half-step.
That's really important, because when we want to transpose to a new pentascale,
like, let's move up to the D major pentascale, we need to keep this half-step there,
which is why, in D major, we have to use F-sharp to keep a half-step
between MI and FA. Today though, we're doing the G major pentascale.
So, let's slide DO up to G, and, taking a look at this,
can you tell me if the half step is correct here? It is!
You can see that MI and FA naturally fall on these two white keys, B and C,
which happen to have no black key in between. So, it's already a half step.

Now, let's point and sing the solfège now with DO on G: DO RE MI FA SO.
It goes a little bit high. Now, let's point and sing the letter names.
Can you say the letter names with me? Go: G, A, B, C, D.
Good, now, try that by yourself. Point and sing the letter names, go:
Good, remember, in the musical alphabet, the letter after G is A,
and then it starts over: A B C, and we get up to D.
So, just like the C major pentascale, the G major pentascale uses all white keys,
because we have this half-step naturally on the two white keys.
Now, on your own piano, see if you could place your right hand in position
for the G major pentascale. So, your finger 1 is on G now,
and let's try and play "Chocolate." Ready, go:

♫ Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, ♫
♫ chocolate I have some. ♫

Good, now let's try that with your left hand.
So, left hand finger 5, we'll find a G, and let's play 'Chocolate', ready, go:

♫ Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, ♫
♫ chocolate I have some. ♫

Good. Now, pause the video,
and I'd like you to find three different G major pentascales on your own piano.
You can go really high, really low, or somewhere in the middle,
and play "Chocolate" in three different places.
Try and use right hand and left hand. Then, press play to go on.

Now, let's try playing our finger power exercise, "Stepping and Skipping,"
in G major. You can try right hand alone, or left hand alone, or you can try both.
We're going to go about this speed:
♫ Stepping up, and stepping down, and skipping up and down. ♫
Then we'll finish with a chord. Okay? Choose right hand, or left hand,
or both hands, and let's try to play together. One, two, you know what to do:
♫ Stepping up, and stepping down, and skipping up and down. ♫ Play a chord.

Good, now, a few reminders about your good piano posture.
Remember that you want to use arm weight,
and kind of feel like your hand is dropping on the key.
So, you're using gravity to help. You're not just using finger motion,
you're using the weight of your arm to kind of drop into the keys.
Also, make sure that your fingers stay in a nice, curved shape.
You don't want the knuckles to bend backward,
or the joints to bend backward. like this. Keep it curved, right down to the tip.
I kind of like to think of my wrist as being a little bit springy,
almost like a trampoline I'm bouncing on as I play.
So, let's try 'Stepping and Skipping' one more time,
and really focus on your piano posture. Make sure your pinkie doesn't play flat,
but that it stays near its tip, just like your other fingers.
Get in position, and ready, go:
♫ Stepping up, and stepping down, and skipping up and down. ♫ Play a chord.

Now, for fun, let me show you another way that you can add variety
to this finger power exercise of "Stepping and Skipping."
I've been showing you what's called similar motion,
where our fingers are going in the same direction. That's called similar motion.
There's also something in music called contrary motion,
where fingers go in opposite directions. So we start on finger 1, and go:
♫ Stepping out, and stepping in, and skipping out and in. ♫
Now, try that with me. Just use your fingers up in the air,
and try going in contrary motion. Ready, go:
♫ Stepping out, and stepping in, and skipping out and in. ♫
And then, you can play the chord. So, finger 1 begins, and it sounds like this:
♫ Stepping out, and stepping in, and skipping out and in, ♫ Chord.

So, this week, as you're practicing in all the pentascales we know so far,
C major, D major ...