Lesson 279

The Song of Twilight: B Section: Left Hand

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman, and in this lesson we're going to learn the left hand part for the B section of "The Song of Twilight" by Yoshinao Nakada. Let's get started by checking out the score. All right, once again we're here in the B section. Measure nine inside our first ending, and we're working on the left-hand part so please be careful. Here we switch back to treble staff. And so let's take a look at these notes and do some key signature work, just like we did last time. Let's pause to find and circle any note that is F or C or G since those are notes that we need to sharp. All right, and let's go from measure nine all the way up to the repeat sign. Pause to find and circle any notes that need to be sharped, then press play and we'll look at it together. All right, here are the notes you should have circled. We've circled all the F's and C's and G's. Now let's take a look at this chord. Can you play these three notes? Looks like we have a C-sharp, F-sharp and an A. Can you tell me what chord that is? Because we have a fourth here, that's a clue that the top note is going to be our root. So I can take this C-sharp and put it up here. Now I have a root position chord that I can name. I can see that it's an F-sharp minor chord, but it's in second inversion like this. And our best fingering for a second inversion chord is usually 5 2 1 for the left hand. A left hand playing in second inversion. So try with your finger 5 2 and 1 to go ahead and play that F-sharp minor second inversion chord. Now what happens next? We repeat, we repeat, repeat. We're playing the same F-sharp minor chord over and over, and then when we get something new, I want to show you how I like to think about chords as I'm learning a new piece. If I see that the chord changes, instead of reading all the notes over again, I'd like to see how the individual notes are moving. I can see that this bottom note repeats. So that's helpful to know. I can just stay on that C-sharp, but what happens to this middle note? It steps up, and what happens to the top note? The top note also steps up. Now that's very useful to notice because now I don't have to figure out these notes over again. I can just see oh, just step those top two notes up to make this chord, which happens to be our C-sharp vii chord, and then it goes back. Those notes step back down, but you'll notice this bottom C is now missing. It's just a two note chord. Okay, then we bring the C back. Now what happens when we go to this chord? Notice that the top note steps down. The middle note stays the same, and the bottom note steps down. Okay, so we get this chord, and these two outside notes are going to step down. Okay, and then what happens here? Now the outside notes repeat, bottom note stays the same, top note stays the same. The middle note skips down from F-sharp down to D. Now this way of thinking about chords where we're almost imagining each note as its own voice, is called voice leading. Okay, it's thinking about how one note of a chord moves to the next, and often they're just moving by steps or repeats. We saw this one case of a skip right here, and then as we go from this chord to this chord, we've got quite a bit in motion now. The bottom note steps up, the top note steps up, and this middle note skips back up from D to F-sharp, and now, can you tell me how these chords are moving? How do we move from here, to here, to here? If you said these two are both stepping up, you're correct, and then they both step back down, and this bottom note, notice it has a different rhythm. It's a half note, which means it's got to hold 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a You're going to hold down that bottom C-sharp while you play these two upper chords. 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a See how I held that half note? 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a And then we end with that two note chord. Now on your own, I'd like you to pause the video and try to learn as much of this on your own as you can of the B section left hand part. Challenge yourself. See if you can learn it on your own, and then press play and we'll check it out together. All right, can you show me where to place your left hand for the B section, which begins here in measure nine? Show me this first F-sharp minor second inversion chord. Since this is my middle C, and because we have this treble staff symbol, I know that I've got to be somewhere in this treble range. So, Here's my first chord. Notice it's a middle C but it's C-sharp so that's my lowest note. F-sharp, A, and we want to use a finger 5 2 1. That's the standard left hand fingering for second inversion. So let's try this together. Ready? Go: 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a Now here on beat 3 remember the bottom note stays the same, but these top two notes step up. 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a, and actually, I'm going to use a 1 2 there. 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a Now let's try it together. From measure nine, ready go. Play with me. 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a Now if you need more practice with that pause and you can work on that other on your own. Otherwise let's go on to measure eleven. Here we get 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a Now let's try that together. Try it with me, go. 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a Now pause if you need more practice with that. My fingering is 5 2 1, 5 2 1, 5 2 1, 5 3 1. Pause if you need more work on that, otherwise let's go on to measure twelve. Now remember here we've got some staccato dots. Our pinky finger 5 is playing this C-sharp while fingers 1 and 2 play these staccati. 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a Let's try that together. Remember your finger 5 is going to hold that C-sharp down while fingers 1 and 2 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a, do those staccati. Let's try it together ready, go. 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3-e-&-a 4-e-&-a All right, now let's take a look at putting this hands together starting in measure nine, we get this: Now maybe you're not going to get all of that hands together today, but on your own I'd like you to pause the video and try a little right hand alone, a little left hand alone, and then maybe try one or two measures hands together. If you'd like to try a little bit more that's fine too. But by the end of this week, after a few days, try to master the whole B section hands together. So pause to do a little bit of hands together work in the B section, then press play to go on Another thing I'd like you to work on this week is your pedal technique. So starting here in measure nine whenever you see that little up arrow, your foot's going to do an up down. See, then we hold. Up down, up down, up down, up down, up down, up down, up, and then your pedal’s done for that measure. Remember that when the fingers go down is when the foot comes up. That timing is very important for good pedaling. So pause and try just left hand alone in measures nine through twelve, the B section. Use left hand alone with your pedal, your damper pedal, and then press play to go on. Now, let's check out the very last measure of the piece: our second ending. The left hand is back in bass staff, So can you find on the piano where we should play this first chord of the second ending? Show me on your piano. If you're playing this A major chord you're correct. We have an A on the bottom, C which becomes C-sharp because of our key signature, and E on top. Now remember how I like to learn chords, using voice leading. Voice leading is looking how each note moves from one chord to the next. So looking at chord number two which notes stayed the same and which notes changed? Can you figure it out? The bottom note stayed the same, the middle notes step down to B and the top note stayed the same. So now we have this very cool sounding chord. It's kind of a sus chord we could call this an a sus2 because that 2 is really, it's called suspended, which means it's kind of out of position because it really belongs here. And a suspended, one chord we've learned in the past is this sus4. This is an asus4 which is the most common suspension chord, and it's like that 4, which is measured from the root, this fourth is suspended, but it really belongs there. Here is an asus2 which is really trying to get there. And those are our three chords in the second ending. We have A major, asus2, A major, now try it with me, go: 1-e-&-a 2-e-&-a 3 And then we fermata and hold that forever. Hands together with damper pedal we get 1-e-&-a, ritardando. You can slow that down to our ending. Now pause the video to work on the second ending, left hand alone, then try it hands together with the ritardando and fermata, then press play to go on. So again, this week in your practicing you're working on left hand alone, some right hand alone. Work on counting the beat out loud with the 1-e-&-a, and work on your pedal technique using the damper pedal. And slowly you'll be putting all that together hands together with damper pedal, and trying to build in some good phrasing as well. Great work today learning the left hand part for the B section and second ending of "The Song of Twilight." Happy practicing and see you next time! Hey, did you hear about the kid who was really good at sleeping? No. He was so good he could do it with his eyes closed. Hahaha Hey, did you hear about that restaurant on the moon? No. Well the food was so good, but there wasn't really much atmosphere.