Lesson 265

Minuet in G Major: A Section: Left Hand

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Hello and welcome back I'm Joseph Hoffman,
and in this lesson we'll be learning how to play the left hand part for the A section of "Minuet in G Major" by Petzold.
Let's come to the piano to get started.
All right, taking a look at this first chord of the left hand part,
you'll notice there are no finger numbers!
Well, sometimes in sheet music
they just expect you to figure it out.
If you look at what three notes we have, what do we have? What's the bottom note of this chord or triad?
If you said G, you're correct. And then you can see it just skips up, skips up,
well what finger should we use?
It makes sense to use 5 3 1 since that's just your basic G major triad. So let's
find that position 5 3 1, and then I'd like you to pause the video and figure out the rest of line 1 by yourself,
and let's count the beat. Let's count 1 2 3,
because there are no eighth notes in the left hand part you can just count the quarter note beat.
Pause to figure out line one by yourself, then press play and we'll try it together.
Okay, let's try to play this together. I'll count 3 beats and then let's play line one.
Here we go. 1 2 3
1 2 3, 1 2 3,
1 2 3, 1 2 3
Now if that matched what you played great, otherwise pause the video to work it out until you can play it just the way I did.
And let's hear what this would sound like hands together now.
Now, I'm going to give you an option right now. If you'd like to try a little bit of line one hands together,
pause the video to try that out. Otherwise we can keep going and you can come back later on your own in your own practicing this week and try the hands together.
Up to you.
Now let's look at line two in measure five
the left hand's going to be starting on a finger four,
and then we step down for 3 beats,
and then what?
We have these three notes skipping down in the G major triad. D B G
D, and then the left hand finally gets to have some fun.
We drop down an octave to this low D
and then what interval do you see from this D
to middle C. Can you tell me the name of this interval?
From D to C is a seventh, one note short of an octave,
and that's an easy way to find a seventh. Just think an octave minus a note
is a seventh. So we go down an octave then up a seventh.
So listen to all of measure eight left-hand part: TA TI-TI TI-TI
Now that's a little tricky, and in fact I don't want to stop on this A because
they're eighth notes I want to keep going
into the first note of measure nine.
So I'd like you to pause the video and practice measure eight,
and stop on the first note of measure nine.
So you get that octave and that seventh,
and the rhythms. TA TI-TI TI-TI TA
Pause to practice that section, then press play to go on.
Now let's connect that with measure seven. So we have TA TA TA TA TI-TI TI-TI TWO-OO.
Okay, pause the video and now work on measure seven, eight, going into the first note of measure nine, then press play to go on.
Now let's look at line two hands together.
And I'm going to stop on the first note of measure nine.
When you have moving notes it's really good to
go on into the next measure so you don't train a pause there because there shouldn't be a pause
at a bar line. A bar line never means to pause we always play through the bar lines.
Now because measures seven and eight are tricky to do hands together, I'd like to try some of this together.
How do you tackle something hands together especially when it's tricky.
Well, I really recommend that you do small sections.
Like let's take just measure seven right now.
And then I like to remind my hands what they're doing. So I'll take just the right hand part.
And sometimes my students say, oh Mr. Hoffman I hate starting in the middle of a piece though.
Well I say sorry Charlie, that's tough luck. You
have to learn to start in the middle of a piece otherwise you're going to really limit yourself.
It's important to be able to take just a little section to practice just that section.
That means sometimes starting in the middle of a piece.
so whether you like it or not,
let's start here in measure seven.
Now your turn. Just the right hand, go.
Good, and then your left hand, keep your right hand there, your left hand's going TA TA TA, now your turn.
Now when you put it together, take a look in the score and see when the notes line up we have TA, that plays together,
and then the right hand plays TI-TI
so it plays two notes while the left hand just plays one note.
Watch that again from the start.
Now pause the video and practice just measure seven.
You might do it twenty times.
Keep doing it until it feels comfortable and you can do super slow motion.
and gradually if you do it again and again and again, it will start to feel easier.
Pause to practice measure seven, then press play to go on.
Now let's take a look at measure eight.
The right hand plays TA TWO-OO
Now your turn. Start on finger 3, go.
The left hand plays TA TI-TI TI-TI
And I forgot that we're going to go on to the first note of measure nine.
So together we get TA TI-TI TI-TI
1 2-& 3-& 1
And we'll stop on the first note of measure nine.
Now pause the video and play measure eight
ending on the first note of measure nine, then press play to go on.
Now maybe you're pulling your hair and saying, ah that was so hard Mr. Hoffman!
That's okay, just remember if you do it enough times things that feel hard will start to feel easy.
If you've ever learned how to ride a bike, the first time it probably felt hard.
But if you stick with it, it becomes easy.
Same with this. It will feel hard at first.
You practice it enough and it will feel easy, just like that.
But be patient, it may take a hundred times. That's okay.
You'll get it with just enough trying.
Take your time, go slow, do it right hand alone, do it left hand alone,
then super slow motion, try it together.
Now you'll have all week to keep working on that,
but let's go on and take a look at line three.
Let's check out the left hand part for line three starting here in measure nine.
What do you notice about the left hand part?
Well, this is interesting isn't it? The right hand part we found
in our last lesson was identical
to line one, measures one through four.
But the left hand part is different.
Interesting, huh? So you're going to start with finger 2 on this B,
and I think you can figure out these notes for yourself. Be careful because sometimes they're steps, sometimes they're skips. You know how to read notes that go like this. So,
take a moment, pause the video, and figure out line four by yourself, and instead of stopping at the
bar line here because we have these eighth notes
I think it would be better to stop on the first note
of line four. When you have moving notes at the end of the measure it's good to practice through the bar line,
and stop on the first note of the next measure so you don't train a pause right there.
So, pause the video practice from measure nine to the first note of measure thirteen, then press play and we'll look at it together.
I'm going to play line three for you starting here in measure nine. You're welcome to try playing along with me,
or you can just listen. It's up to you, and I'll stop on the first note
of measure thirteen.
I'll count 3 beats, and then I'll start.
1 2 3
1 2 3, 1 2 3,
1 2 3, 1 2-& 3-&,
1, and note that when we come to the first note of measure thirteen I switch to a finger 1 because that's what the music says,
and that's going to get me ready for some notes that are coming later.
Now pause the video if you need more practice on line three, otherwise let's keep going.
Now let's check out line four.
What do you notice about these notes? Measures thirteen through sixteen.
Same or different from line two?
If you said different, you're correct.
Once again, the right hand here in measures thirteen and fourteen
are the same as what we had in measures five and six, but the left hand part
has some new things to do.
Now because there are lots of intervals, I'd like to pause
and mark some notes that I would like you
to figure out
the interval. So any two notes that I drew a line between, I'd like you to pause the video
and figure out the interval. You can just write in a number. Like I'll do this first one for you.
That first interval, let me get a darker color,
this is the interval of a third
from a line to a line. Now can you figure out these other intervals?
Pause the video to figure that out, and then press play and we'll look at the correct answers.
All right, here's what you should have figured out. This is up a third.
This is down an octave, which we could say an eighth, but it's most common to call it an octave.
Up a fourth down an octave.
Now before we try to play this, I want to talk about articulations in measure fifteen here.
I'd like you to try
a kind of baroque sounding staccato which
my piano teacher when I was a kid used to call sticky staccato. Instead of
a really quick staccato like that. It's more of a sticky staccato,
where you still let go of each note but not as quickly as we usually do and sometimes I've seen that marked
like this with a staccato dot and a tenuto line,
when you see that, it's often in a baroque piece of music
where you're just supposed to play the notes detached like that. It's not
and it's not
staccato. It's somewhere in between like a sticky staccato.
So for sticky staccato, just lift your hand a little bit
after each note. Again it's not going to be like a staccato with that quick lift.
It's just going to be more of a like a stroke, like you're petting a kitty cat.
Stroke, stroke, stroke.
You're just touching the note, then letting go.
Watch one more time. TA TA TA
That's called sticky staccato.
Now pause the video and work just on measure fifteen
with a little float off of each note to separate each note.
and then press play to go on.
Now let's combine measure fifteen with sixteen. So we have TA TA,
TA then 1 2 3.
Now a lot of my students cheat the half note. Remember, a half note gets 2 beats. You have to count 1 2 3.
A lot of times, they no one just wants to wait. They get bored I guess in a half note.
TA TA TA, 1 2 3. Do not cheat the half note. 1 2 3. If you bought two cookies, you want to get your two cookies.
1 2 3
All right, now pause the video and you're going to go 1 2 3, 1 2 3.
Practice measures fifteen and sixteen, then press play to go on.
Now, these measures are also a little tricky hands together, so I'd like to give it a try.
Let's review the right hand part. Finger 2 starts on A
TA TI-TI TI-TI 1 2 3
Now your turn.
Good, and the left hand does TA TA TA
1 2 3, your turn, go.
Now if your hands alone are not confident,
it's going to be even harder to do hands together. So pause the video
if you need to practice just the right hand alone or just the left hand alone a little bit more, but if you feel confident in both hands, then let's keep going and try it hands together now.
1 2 3
It's especially hard to hold that half note when we're in slow motion like this.
This is not our performance tempo.
We are going in slow motion
to get this right.
1 2 3, and notice
one other thing before you try, my right hand is legato
while my left hand is doing this sticky staccato thing
which is extra tricky. You're making this hand really smooth and connected and this hand my left hand is doing these lifts.
It's like patting your head and rubbing your stomach.
a little tricky, but with some practice you can get the hang of it. Pause the video now
and try measures fifteen and sixteen hands together.
Don't expect it to be perfect. This is just a little taste.
This week you're going to have lots more time to practice and get this hands together.
So pause to practice that on your own, then press play to go on.
Now let's look all the way back to measure thirteen for hands together.
Actually, we haven't looked at the left hand yet for measures thirteen and fourteen. We had a 1 on A, then 3 on F-sharp, 2 on G.
Then our finger 1 needs to come up here to B, and then 2 crosses over
for measure fifteen.
1 2 3. Let's watch that again. Measure thirteen 1 2 3, 1 2 3, cross over, TA TA TA
1 2 3, and then hands together we get this:
1 2 3,
and then repeat, we go back and play page one again.
Now pause the video and work on just left hand alone measures thirteen
to the end of the line, measure sixteen before the repeat sign.
Work on those four measures just left hand alone, then press play to go on.
Great, we've learned the whole A section right hand alone, now left hand alone.
Your job this week is to do a lot of hands alone practice to get confident.
Working on fingerings, rhythms, making it beautiful,
working on this sticky staccato touch, making the right hand very legato and lyrical, beautiful.
And then every day take a small section to work on hands together.
I like to choose the hardest sections first
because I want to make those hard sections my easy sections. You turn something into easy by just practicing it enough.
Practicing it enough.
So, choose a short section, just one measure, play it again and again until it starts to feel easy, then choose another measure.
Then link those two measures together,
then link those sections together into a whole line.
Gradually you're going to work from very small sections, and then zoom out, zoom out, zoom out, until you're playing the whole page hands together confidently.
Great work learning to play the left hand part for the A section of "Minuet in G Major" by Petzold.
Happy practicing, and see you next time!
Uh, Scuba?
Ah, back from the library I see.
Yes, in fact.
Uh, I hate to ask but what are you doing now?
Huh? Oh, practicing my staccatos of course.
I can see that, but...
why are you playing with a stick?
Why Princess, because Mr. Hoffman said we should make our staccatos sticky of course.
That's exactly what I'm doing. Sticky staccato.
Oh brother.