Popular Music Lesson

Gravity Falls Theme - Early Intermediate Version

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Welcome back to Hoffman Academy. I'm Alex. Today we're going to learn the theme from "Gravity Falls" the TV show. This is such a great theme even if you haven't seen the show, you'll love to play it. Go ahead and grab the sheet music on the link below so you can follow along with me, and remember this is the intermediate version. If this one looks too challenging, check out our elementary version. Okay, so if you have the sheet music let's start from the top. All right, we're starting with right hand only for these first four measures, and this is way up here on the top of the treble clef. This first measure is a D minor chord in the second inversion. So we're going to play that up and down a couple times, and then it's the same position, but we're going to change fingers. Our middle finger plays this C. This is now an F major chord. Now this next measure is an A major chord. Normally you'd play that with 5 3 and 1 like this, but you'll see why it's going to be easier to do 4 and 2 right here, and then you actually do that same chord again for the first half of this next measure, but then you're going to use finger 3 because this is why we used finger 4 before, we have to get up to our finger 5 on that high A. So these last two measures, measures three and four look like this, and then my 3rd finger replaces right there. And those are staccato, so you can calculate those like this. Pop, pop! That makes it kind of cool. All right, let's do these first four measures slowly together. Okay, are you in position? Let's do this at this speed: 1 2 here we go. 1 3 4 1 2, now 4th finger on E. And one more time, and then 3rd finger replace. Good, now right after we get to that high A we're already in position for the melody in measure 5, so we're going to start there. We'll get to the left hand in a second. It's going to be pretty challenging so I'll show you a couple options to help make it easier, but first this melody. This melody is pretty simple. It's mostly steps. A couple of skips, so I'm just going to play along with it and see if you can keep up on your sight reading skills. I'm going to go kind of slow starting on measure five with this D. Here we go. 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, freeze right here. This is a tricky rhythm so I'm just going to tell you how this goes. This goes: 1 2-& 3 4 So that G has to come after 2, but not on 3. On the & in between 2 and 3 like this: 1 2-& 3 4 So try that a couple times if you need to. 1 2-& 3 4 and then stretch down to the C. And then starting in measure nine is just like measure five. 1 2 3 4, half note, half note. Half note, half note. 1 2 3 4, now rest on measure thirteen but notice that F is with finger 1 so we're going to slide up here, and start there. 1 2 3 4, rest. And rest again. And rest, and then stretch up a little bit to the C-sharp for three of those, and then back to F again. Rest 2 3 4 1 2 3 4, rest, this is a B flat. I didn't mention the key signature before, but the B's are flat in this one. So 2 3 4, G for 2 beats, 3 4 up to the C. Skip down and then that C-sharp again so just a little bit of a stretch. And now we repeat all the way back to the beginning. So this is kind of a big trick. You have to play that C-sharp and then jump really quickly back to our starting position. So let's try that. Let's go to measure 24, and then do measure 25, and then jump back to measure one at the beginning kind of like this. Here's measure 24 it's a G. We're still in this F position, so right there here we go. 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1, just like that. Okay, we'll play a faster version of the right hand in a minute, but let's talk about this left hand. All this left hand is doing for most of this is this cool little pattern of pinky to thumb back and forth. Now this is called a power chord, and this makes it sound way cool, but it is kind of challenging because you're moving a lot, so here's some ideas to make it easier. If you tend to have a stiff hand, and you play with only fingers that's going to make it really hard. So you don't want to be stiff at all. You're going to get tired really quick. So one thing you can do is kind of loosen up, and let your hand kind of rock like you're turning a doorknob, that sort of motion. Rock back and forth a little bit, and practice that for a little bit until that feels comfortable. And that should feel really, really nice.\ Now, the other really challenging part about this left hand part is that it it does that but then it changes positions really quickly. So it's in this D position down here, and then it has to quickly go to F, which isn't too bad, but then watch this: when it goes to measure nine. Here we go. It has to jump way down to that B-flat down here. So, if you find that a challenge and it's kind of going, and you're missing, so what you could do, a little secret, is just leave off that last C. You could go 1 2 3 4, and then use that last eighth note of a beat for measure eight to just shift your hand down here. I'll show you how that works. I'll play both hands for measure seven, and watch my left hand. I'm going to leave out that last C. See how this works. 1 2 3 4 See, sounds pretty good just like that. Okay, then we I'll show you these chords. So this starts on ...