Popular Music Lesson

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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The trick is to pull one of these out,
and then you got to stack it on top.
Can you try it?
you're not very good at these reindeer games.
For this tutorial we'll start with the right hand melody.
What's great about this melody is we're only going to use white notes,
and we're only going to really need three positions.
For this first position we'll put our thumb, finger 1, on F.
And use the rest of our finger numbers one at a time all the way until we get to our pinky, finger 5, at C.
The second position we'll need is down one step,
with finger 1 on E, and finger 5 on B,
and the final position we'll
need is on G with our finger 1 thumb on G,
and our finger 5 pinkie on D.
Let's start with the first line.
We're going to want to check out this rhythm
first because it's a bit syncopated,
which means that the beats don't always
line up with the rhythms that we have written.
For "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," you'll notice that we have an eighth note that's separated,
a quarter note, and then another eighth note that's separated.
Here's how we can clap this beat:
1-& 2-& 3 4
For 'Rudolph the red nosed'.
To play that, I'll put my right hand in our first position.
With my thumb on F.
Starting with finger 2 on G.
1-& 2-& 3 4
You might have noticed there that my thumb stretched down a little bit.
We're going to have to do that a couple more times in this video,
so get used to moving your thumb
one note down without moving the other fingers away from your position.
Here it is one more time.
1-& 2-& 3 4
We're already in position to finish this line.
I'll simply use my finger 3 on A, and finger 2 on G to
close that out
Here's the entire line.
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
For the next line I'm going to keep my position,
and this time I won't even have to stretch down, which will make it a bit easier to play.
We'll start with finger 2 on G,
and go:
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
The beat isn't syncopated here,
but I still like to count the & beats on that first line
just to make sure that I have all of the eighth notes in the
right spot.
Here it is one more time one.
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
For this next line, we'll move down to the next position,
with our thumb on E.
Here you'll notice the same rhythmic pattern that we had at the beginning.
Let's start on our pointer finger F,
and count along as we play this first rhythmic figure.
1-& 2-& 3 4
You might have noticed that we have
the exact same rhythmic pattern
in this line that we had at the very beginning.
Even down to moving our thumb, stretching it down to D like we did at the very beginning.
The only difference between how we play the first and the second line.
Is that we'll end this time with our 4th finger and our 3rd finger.
rather than our 3rd and 2nd finger.
Here is the third line with the last measure added on.
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
Moving on to the fourth line the first ending.
You'll notice that we have again another
rhythmic structure we've seen before:
four eighth notes, two quarter notes, and
a whole note.
This time in our E position.
Here it is with counting:
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
Great job!
Next, we would repeat back to the beginning and play
that entire section of music before moving on to the
second ending.
Let's jump right to the second ending and learn these notes so that we can put everything together.
The second ending is the only time that
we'll use our third position with our thumb on G.
Here's what this music sounds
like with counting:
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
You might have noticed that this felt very similar to line two where we played a section of eighth notes,
quarter notes, and a whole note ending on our 4th finger.
Let's try putting all of these measures together.
I'm going to start at the very beginning.
Go until the first ending repeat sign hits,
and then go back to the beginning.
On my second playthrough, I'll skip the first ending and jump right to
the second ending
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 repeat beginning.
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 second ending here we go.
1-& 2-& 3 4 1 2 3 4
Nice job!
Go ahead and pause the video and practice along for a minute,
and repeat that section of the video when you're ready to play along again.
Once you have that down we can move on to the left hand.
You'll notice
that this section of music is going to mostly stay
mostly stay in a C major pentascale,
with our pinkie 5 finger on C,
and our thumb 1 finger on G.
there's going to be a couple points where we're going to use some black notes,
but we'll tackle those when we get there.
This first line is pretty simple with half notes starting
on C,
and then going to G.
Let's play this together with counting.
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
To prepare myself for hands together,
I'm going to play the left hand and sing the
right hand melody just so I know what it
will sound like when I put it all
♫Rudolph the red nosed reindeer♫
Now we can move on to line two.
You're going to notice that this line has a few more tricks up its sleeve.
For one, we're
going to have to move our 4th finger to E-flat,
and then move our pinky up to D.
What's lucky for us is that once we get to that F-sharp that we'll play with our pointer finger,
we'll have to put our thumb right back on G, putting us in the position we started in.
Here's this section of music with just the left hand and counting:
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
If you're having trouble with this fingering pattern,
I'd recommend that you try it slow motion while
saying the note names out loud,
and looking at your hand. You might need to
memorize a section of the music.
Sometimes playing these notes so close
together can feel a little funny when you're not looking.
♫had a very shiny nose♫
Once you're ready to move on, we can take
a look at line three.
For this section we'll go back to half notes, starting
with our thumb on G and our 4th finger on D.
Here's this section of music with counting:
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
Let's do it one more time, but
sing the melody while we play the left hand.
♫and if you ever saw it,♫
Once you're ready to move on we
can jump down to line four.
This is going to start the same as line three with a
half note on G and another half note on D,
but following that, we'll have to jump
out of our position for a second.
You'll notice that the finger numbers say 1 2 1,
which means that after we play B with our thumb,
and A with our pointer finger,
we'll have to cross our thumb underneath to grab G like this:
Cross under
By doing this you'll wind up back in C position, and you'll be ready to play the beginning of the song again.
Here is the first ending, left hand, with counting.
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
One more time with singing.
♫you could even say it glows♫
Nice job! Let's jump over to the second ending.
You'll notice here that we start the same as our first ending with a half note on G and another half note on D.
Following that you'll notice another line of quarter notes,
but for today we're just going to stop on C with our
pinkie and hold it out for 4 beats.
The next 3 beats are actually transition material to move us into the next section of the song.
For now we'll just end on C so that we can have a completed section
that doesn't feel like
it's going anywhere funny that we don't know yet.
With the second ending, I'll count it like this:
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
One more time with singing.
♫join in any reindeer games♫
Great, now that we've practiced the right hand and the left hand separately,
we can start putting things together.
Because our left hand is playing on half notes,
we won't have to play in between the right hand.
For the most part, we're going to be lining up on strong beats together,
which will make this a little bit easier to feel.
For this first section of music,
I'm going to make sure
that after starting together, that my next spot where my
hands line up is my thumb G,
and my thumb E, that I'm stretching my right hand
down for.
Here's what this section of music sounds like.
You probably noticed that my left hand had to play one note all on its own while the right hand held out.
I'd recommend practicing holding your right hand note down so that your right hand G
doesn't end too quickly.
Once you're ready to move on, we can jump
to the next section in the same position.
That fingering can be tricky to hit at
the end of that first measure.
Make sure that you go in slow motion
and really check that you're playing each of those notes with the right finger.
Like so:
Pointer finger and middle finger.
Pinky and 4th finger.
4th finger and pinky.
I'd recommend practicing that section many times in isolation,
without even the
beginning of that line or the end of the line.
Simply count 3, count 4, and
count 1 of that second measure
until that's smooth and comfortable.
Here's that line one more time.
Great job! In the next section we'll keep
our left hand right where it is,
but we'll move our right hand down one step to that E position.
Rhythmically this is the same as the
first line and presents all the same challenges.
Make sure you hold that last
G out for it's full value while you play the left hand D.
Let's move on to the
first ending of the song hands together.
Our left hand will be in the C position,
while our right hand stays in the E position from the previous line.
The only
trick here is making sure
that you remember that the left hand stretches up
to B, and then crosses on the way down.
The good news here is that your right
hands going to be holding E.
No extra fingering tricks to check out.
Here's what this section sounds like hands together.
Nice job!
Now we can jump over to the
second ending before putting everything hands together
through the entire song.
Remember in the second ending,
our right hand has a brand new position. We're
going to move it up to sort of a G position
while our left hand stays in
our C position like so:
Here's the last section of music hands together:
Here's the song in its entirety hands together:
♫Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer♫
♫had a very shiny nose,♫
Down to E
♫and if you ever saw it,♫
♫you would even say it glows♫
Back to F.
♫All of the other reindeer♫
♫used to laugh and call him names♫
Back to E.
♫They never let poor Rudolph♫
Up to G.
♫Join in any reindeer games.♫
Thanks for watching!
Which is your favorite reindeer of Santa's crew? I know mine.
Let us know down in the comments.
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Happy practicing!