Lesson 89

Lady, Lady: Hands Together, B Section (Unit 5)

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman. Well, how is your practicing going with the A section or phrase one of "Lady, Lady"? Have you been working hard at it? If yes, that's awesome. I'm proud of you. Today we're going to work on the B section of "Lady, Lady," so let's come to the piano to get started. Alright, let's find the E-flat major pentascale with both hands. Good now we're starting the B section today which is here in measure nine. When I put something hands together I like to quickly review hands alone once. The right hand is FA FA RE. Your turn. While the left hand is doing a V7 chord. TI FA SO TI FA SO. Your turn. Now slowly let's put that together and notice the rhythms. 1 2 3 1 2 3 Now pause the video and try that several times until you feel confident with it, then press play to go on. Now let's look at measures eleven and twelve. The right hand plays MI MI SO, your turn. And the left hand does DO MI SO DO MI SO. Your turn. Now let's put that together slowly. 1 2 3 1 2 3 Now pause the video and try that several times on your own until you feel confident, then let's go on together. Now let's put those four measures together. We have FA FA RE MI MI SO Remember, the first time you do something hands together it feels crazy hard sometimes. Just take your time and know that every time you do it, if you do it correctly, it will get easier and easier. So go really slow even if it's super slow motion. It's better to go slow and get it correct than play it fast and get it wrong. Every time you play it wrong, remember your training the mistake. Now, little mistakes here and there are totally fine unexpected but if you're making the same mistake every time, now you're training yourself to play the mistake and you're becoming an expert at that mistake. So, you want to go slow so you can train it properly from the start. So pause the video and work on measures nine through twelve hands together. If you're getting stuck, try it hands alone again, and then bring the hands together. Make sure you're counting so you see when to play. The left hand's always playing on every beat right 1 2 3 but the right hands sometimes holds. 1 2 3 1 2 3 Pause the video to work measures nine through twelve, then press play to go on Now let's check out measures thirteen through sixteen. Let's review the right hand once. 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 Now your turn. Now let's try the left hand we have: TI FA SO TI FA SO DO MI SO DO MI SO. Now your turn Good. Now in super slow motion we'll put it together. ♫sweep the cobwebs out of the sky.♫ Pause the video and work on measures thirteen through sixteen hands together as slowly as you need to go to get it correct, and then press play to go on. Now you know the whole song hands together essentially because once you've made it that far we're back to our A section. The only difference is when we get to the end remember we play DO MI SO DO the left hand has that final note SO end on a DO, hold for 3 beats, and then both hands lift together to finish. So now you've got a lot of work ahead of you to make this smooth and confident. Today it probably feels really slow and clunky and awkward. The only way to really master this is lots and lots and lots of practice and repetition. It's going to feel hard for the first five maybe even ten times, but then when you do it twenty times it will start to feel like oh, this isn't so bad. And then after 40 or 50 or 60 times, you'll be cruising along and it will feel like you're the master of this song. So just do some practice every day. Choose the hardest part, and just play that over and over again. Like, if the hardest part for you is 'sweep the cobwebs out of the sky,' measure thirteen, do that section all by itself hundreds and hundreds of times if you need to. Trust me. Every time you do it it will get a little bit easier. Now, some advanced tips as you're practicing this. I want you to remember to always play your pinkie near the tip, not flat. And when you're doing those repeating notes, kind of think of sinking in and stroking that note so it doesn't sound staccato but like ♫broom for my♫ see how my hand's kind of sinking into that note? ♫broom for my baby♫ Remember all these slur marks mean to play legato so your hand wants to sink smoothly into each note. Let the notes flow from one to the other. Now a really advanced pro tip is something called voicing. When you have two hands playing together you want to take the melody which is the part that we sing, and play that a little extra loud. So the right hand has the melody because that's the part we sing. The left hand is just playing chords. I say just playing chords. The chords are very important, but they're not the main ingredient of the music. Like if you're making a sandwich, you know, you don't want most of the sandwich to be mustard. Right? This mustard is just a little flavoring. Okay, you want the main thing to be the bread and maybe the meat and the cheese with a little bit of mustard, and the chords are kind of like the flavoring. You just want to hear a little bit of it to support the melody. So, notice if I'm playing this correctly. Notice how the melody is quite loud, but my chords which are the accompaniment are quite soft. Now that's pretty tricky to do it first, but it makes for a beautiful sound. Listen how ugly this sounds. It's like the lady lady is stomping around with big heavy boots. Not very happy. Now this is a more beautiful sound. To master doing that here's a trick that I use with my students. I have them play the right hand as loud as you possibly can. This isn't how you'll really play it but this is just for practice. Right hand as loud as you can, left hand don't even play the notes just touch them. So you're kind of like, I call it ghost playing. Okay, like if a ghost were trying to play the piano they couldn't actually make the notes go down but they could touch them. Okay, so this hand as loud as you can, this hand just touch the keys like this: So I'm touching the correct notes even when I go to the V7 chord I'm touching the notes of the V7 chord, but I'm not actually playing them. Now that's going to feel really hard to do at first because you're teaching one hand to do the opposite of the other. It's kind of like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. It's two different things that you have to think about at the same time. So give it lots of tries, and then once you can do that, ghost playing super loud, then let your left hand not be a ghost but let it be like a little mouse where it's just barely playing the notes and the right hand is still as loud as possible. Then once you can do that, the final step is to just don't hammer the right hand so loud, just let it be beautifully loud and the left hand still keep in the mouse range and then you get really beautiful playing. This is called voicing. When you make one hand sing out with the melody and the other hand really quiet. My final tip is yeah you probably thought I was going to forget about the metronome, but no, I love the metronome as a practice tool. It's a great way to learn to keep a steady beat. At first maybe you'll go really slow. Maybe all the way down to like 72. Go as slow as you need to that you can play through with no pause, and as you're ready you can gradually increase that a little at a time. Once you can play with no pauses, no missed notes, increase the speed. Increase the speed gradually until you're at a final speed of you might shoot for around 152. Nice work getting started with the B section of "Lady, Lady" hands together. But your work isn't finished yet. Now it's time to practice lots on your own every day until it's mastered. I recommend starting your practice every day with what feels like the hardest part for you, which may be different everyday. Choose a very small section to focus on. Maybe just one or two measures. Play it slowly and carefully five times or ten times with no missed notes. When you've mastered it, then choose another small section to focus on until you can play the whole song confidently with no pauses. Once you have "Lady, Lady" mastered beautifully, please make a video of yourself playing and share it with me online. I'd really love to see the results of your hard work and practicing. So have fun with this challenge, and see you next time! Princess, Princess! I'm ready to play for you! Okay, let's hear it! All right, here goes. ♫Scuba, Scuba, you practiced hard on your tuba♫ I did practice hard! That's what made you so good! Now I'm gonna go learn another song! I have a feeling we're gonna be hearing a lot of tuba from Scuba.