Lesson 277

The Song of Twilight: A Section: Left Hand

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman, and in this lesson we're going to work on learning the left hand part for Yoshinao Nakada's "The Song of Twilight." Let's check out the score to get started. Now, first a quick reminder that we are in treble staff for both the right and the left hand, and since we're working on this left hand part, remember that Nakada wants the left hand to begin up above middle C, so remember this is your treble G line just like it is up here. It's the same notes duplicated, so the left hand actually begins way up here on A above just one step above treble G, and this C-sharp to make this really beautiful sound. Both hands start up nice and high. Now, before we learn how to play this, let's analyze some chords. At the top of your music, will you write a I chord symbol, a IV chord symbol, and a V chord symbol, and then I'd like you to figure out how to spell each of these chords in A major. Let me give you a clue. Remember, the I chord starts on the first note of the scale, and we're using our A major diatonic chord, so the I chord, I'll give you the first one, is A C-sharp E. Now, pause the video and see if you can figure out how to spell the IV chord and the V chord, and then we'll look at it together. All right, the IV chord is built on the fourth note of the diatonic scale. One, two, three, four. So the IV chord is going to be D F-sharp A. I know it can't be an F because F isn't diatonic in the key of A major. F doesn't even exist. We can only use the notes of the A major scale, which means our IV chord has to be D, F-sharp, A, and what's the V chord? Well, we go up to the fifth note. One, two, three, four, five. It has to be E G-sharp B. Now I've mentioned before these are the three most common chords in all of music, and so these are the chords we're especially going to be watching out for. Now I'm going to draw some boxes. Now, wherever I've drawn a box, Mr. Nakada has chosen to use one of these three chords, and I'd like you to figure out which one, and go ahead and mark it down. Press pause to analyze all of these chords, and then press play and we'll look at it together. All right, here are the correct answers. He started off with this I chord, then goes to this V chord, then this is a I chord in second inversion, right? The notes don't have to be in this order right? If it's C-sharp E A, that's just the I chord in inversion, and we've got a IV chord here, we've got a I chord in first inversion here, and then these notes are kind of spread out right, but if you move this B up to here and get rid of this E because we already have one down here, you can see that's an E major chord, which is our V chord. I chord, V chord, I chord. Now one chord that we didn't analyze is this one here. Note that we jump into bass clef here, and this is really important, because it kind of looks like the notes go up here, but they actually are going down from treble staff into bass staff. So from this chord here, which is written in treble staff, we now go into bass, the notes are getting lower and lower, and so Nakada was like uh, I don't want to keep writing more and more ledger lines so let's just switch to base staff here, and that makes it easier to draw the notes because he's finally gone low enough that it makes more sense to use bass clef there. and that happens to be our VI chord. It's not quite as common as the I, IV, and V chord, but still a very I think very beautiful chord, and you can hear how that leads very nicely into the I chord there, right? The VI chord to the I chord. Isn't that a beautiful sound? VI chord to the I chord. I love doing this kind of chord analysis because when I'm playing, I like to know what I'm playing. What chords I'm using and why I'm doing them, and it will help you in your own composing if you get familiar with these chords and learn how to use them. Now let's try and play it. All right, so as we've discussed our left hand is starting up here in treble clef land, our right hand begins up here, and the left hand is going to be right here. And be sure you're watching out for all of our sharps. Remember these three keys are kind of like hot lava. F G and C. I pretend they're hot lava so I have to play these black keys instead. I'd like you to pause the video and see how much of the left hand you can learn on your own. Here's measure one. Now watch the finger numbers, watch where we we circled in a previous lesson where those sharps are if you never did that you can pause and circle all the F's and C's and G's so you know where to sharp as you play. Pause to work on measures one through four on your own, and then let's look at it together. Okay, here's the left hand part. We have 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a, 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a, 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a All right, now is that what it sounded like when you played? If so, congratulations. Good work. If there's anything that sounded different from what you played, pause to try and work it out so your notes are matching what I just played, and then let's work on adding pedal. You may have noticed underneath the music that we have these pedal markings, and at the start here you see this down pedal, so we'll actually start with the damper pedal already down. And that's going to make the notes have this beautiful, echoey sound. Up down, up down, up down. So whenever you see that little arrow up, remember that's where your pedal will do a little up down. So let's practice just left hand alone with pedal. So pedal starts down. Up down, up down, up down. If you pedal perfectly, you'll hear a smooth legato sound with no gap whatsoever. Listen. If you pedal early, there'll be a slight gap in the sound. Listen to what I mean. Did you hear that gap in the sound? That's because i pedaled too early you have to wait. Your foot doesn't go up until your fingers go down. That's what makes pedaling tricky. The foot comes up when the fingers go down. And if you do the timing just right, you'll get a nice smooth legato sound. If you do the pedal late you'll get a blur. Hear that blur? If you're hearing the blur, that means you pedaled too late. So you want it just the moment the next chord starts, up down, up down. Up down, and that makes a perfectly legato sound, and that's what we want with beautiful pedaling. Up down, up down. So I'd like you to pause the video now and work on just left hand alone with your pedaling and listen. The key to great pedaling is great listening. Listen for the timing so it's a smooth legato beautiful sound. Work on that on your own, and then press play to go on. Now, let's try putting some of this hands together. As you do that, I encourage you to count out loud. 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a, 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a That will help make sure that your hands are staying in sync, and that we're getting these rhythms cracked. 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a, 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a Now, maybe you won't do that far hands together. Maybe you just want to try measure one hands together. Maybe just measures one and two. It's up to you how far you want to go today. Pause and work on at least one measure hands together. You choose if you want to go farther than that, and then press play to go on. Now let's learn a little more left-hand part going on from measure four. I'm going to start here in measure four, &-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a. Now we go on to measure five with this A major chord, then this V chord, then we drop to bass clef. I know it looks like that's a big jump, but we're just stepping down into bass clef land. & 4-e-&-a, then we get these chords in measure seven. Interesting chords, huh? Notice we have a D A B here at the start of measure seven. And then this chord which is actually a V7 chord we just leave out the B. Right? We used to play V7 chords like this but look it's an inversion of this is actually the root position V7 chord, and we leave out that B, and then we come up here for the last three chords in measure eight. So for measure seven we get 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a, 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a. Okay, so pause the video and I'd like you to work on left hand alone measure five through the end of measure eight, then press play to go on. All right, let's listen to the entire A section hands together with pedal now. Now on your own this week, work on right hand alone, work on left hand alone, work on left hand alone with pedal, and then gradually a little bit at a time put it hands together. Nice job today learning the left hand part for the A section of "The Song of Twilight" by Yoshino Nakada. Thanks for watching and learning with me, and happy practicing! It's time for poetry time with Scuba. In honor of learning "Song of Twilight", I'd like to share my poem called Ode to Twilight. Okay. The sun is gone and darkness falls, crickets chirp, an owl softly calls, the moon looks down from a sky so clear, and one by one the stars appear. That was beautiful! Thank you. Do you have a poem to share Princess? I do! I call it Searching for the Sun. Where does the sun go when it's time to go to bed? Does it swim deep in the ocean, or does it hide in caves instead? Or maybe it's a game of hide and seek, the sun just wants to play! You can hide your best sun, but I'll always find you at the start of each new day. Nice poem Princess! Thanks! You know, hide and seek reminds me of a joke I heard today. Wanna hear it? You bet! Okay, why are leopards so bad at hide and seek? I don't know, why? Because they're always spotted! Hahaha Good one Scuba.