Lesson 38, Part 2

Minor Pentascales

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman.
Today, we're doing an improvisation together using the D minor pentascale,
so let's come to the piano and get started.

For today's improvisation, we're going to be taking turns.
Each of us will get eight beats to improvise a melody in the D minor pentascale.
I'll get the first eight beats, and then you take eight beats,
and we'll count the eight beats into groups of four, like this:
One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, and then the next person gets a turn:
One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. Try counting with me:
One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. Good, now let's try it.
I'm playing the chords in the left hand. You don't have to worry about that yet.
For now let's just work on the right hand playing a melody, taking turns.
I'll get the first eight beats, and then, it's your turn to improvise,
playing any note you want. Here we go.
Your turn.
My turn.
We each get one more turn.
Bring it to an end.
Nice. Now, if you'd like to try that again, just rewind it.
You can do it as many times as you like.
If you're ready to go on, then just keep watching.

Now, I'd like to show you how to play the left hand chords.
We're going to use a two-note chord on D and A, using this low D minor position.
Two-note chord, and then you're going to shift your hand down one step
to C and G, and play a C G chord. Each one will last for beats, like this:
One two three four, shift,
one two three and then shift back.
One, two, three, four,
one, two, three, four.
Now let's try together. With your left hand, cover up this low D position,
and we're going to play a two-note chord, and please count out loud with me.
One, two, three, four. Each chord last four beats. Ready, go:
One, two, three, four,
one, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four,
one, two, three, four.

Good, now let's try improvising with you playing the chords,
and I'll do the melody by myself, so you can just concentrate on the chords.
But, I have one extra thing to challenge you with. We're going to start quietly,
and it's going to build up, which is, the chords should get a little bit louder
toward the middle, and then we're going to get quieter again
as we come to the end, and by the end we'll be super quiet again.
Here we go, okay, let's give this a try. Remember to start quiet,
and then we'll let it grow. In music that's called a crescendo,
getting gradually louder. So here we go starting soft. One, two, ready, go.
Now start getting soft.
Last chord on D.
Nice job.

Now, my final challenge to you today is to try to improvise your own melody
and chords at the same time. Your right hand doesn't have to move
back and forth from D to C, but if you want to you can. It's up to you.
You can keep your right hand in the D minor pentascale the whole time,
and only move your left hand, or, every time your left hand moves down,
your right hand can move too. I'll leave that up to you.
The important thing is that you make it music that you love. Try to create a mood.
I like to start soft with this improvisation to create a mysterious sound,
and then, as it goes, it builds up, and then once again it becomes quiet
to bring back the feeling of mystery.

I really enjoyed improvising with you today.
So today, I have a special assignment for you, since improvising can be so fun.
I'd like you to find someone that you can teach to improvise. It could be a friend,
or could be a brother or sister, mom or dad. Show them the D minor pentascale,
and then you play the chords while they improvise a melody,
or you can teach them the chords, and you can improvise the melody.
As always, thanks for watching, and I'll see you next time.

Hey Princess, I have a joke for you.


Why couldn't the piano teacher open the piano lid?

I don't know.

Because it was locked, and all the keys were on the inside!

I get it. Piano keys. So, if all the keys are on the inside,
how are we going to get this lid open?

Uhhh... Mr. Hoffman!