Lesson 271

The Wild Horseman: A Section: Left Hand

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman, and in this lesson we're going to be learning how to play the left hand part for the A section of the "Wild Horseman" by Robert Schumann. Let's come to the piano to get started. Since the left hand is playing a lot of chords in the "Wild Horseman" and we're in the key of A minor, let's review all of the diatonic chords of A natural minor. This will help us learn the "Wild Horseman" faster. Go ahead and let's take both hands, and let's start with the A minor i chord, and let's play and name all of our diatonic chords in A minor. We have A minor i chord, B diminished ii chord. Play these along with me, and let's name them. C major III chord. D minor iv chord, E minor v chord, F major VI chord. G major VII chord. A minor i chord. Those are all the possible diatonic chords of A natural minor. But there's another kind of minor right? A harmonic minor. We take the seventh note and we raise it a half step for that really cool exotic sound. Right, so let's do the diatonic chords of A harmonic minor. The i chord is the same, the ii chord is the same, here's where things change, the III chord is a C augmented chord. A really kind of wild sounding chord. The iv chord is the same as before, but what happens on the V chord? Now the V chord becomes major. E major V chord. The VI chord is the same as before, and the vii chord is also different. now we get G-sharp diminished vii chord, and then A minor i chord. Now, why did I take the time to do this? We're going to find these chords in the left hand part for "The Wild Horseman." In the A section, Schumann uses the three most common chords that you find in all of music. Those chords are the i chord, the iv chord, and the major V chord which comes from the harmonic minor. Okay, play those with me. A minor i chord, D minor iv chord. E major V chord. Now I'd like you to pause the video and spell each of these chords. Take a piece of paper and write out the names of the three notes of each of those three chords. The i chord, the iv chord, and the V chord. Write out the three notes that spell each of those chords, then press play and we'll look at the correct answer. Okay, the i chord is spelled A C E, those are the three notes we're looking for for the i chord. The iv chord is D F and A, and the five chord is E G-sharp B That's how we'll recognize those chords in the music that we're learning today. So now in your own sheet music, I'd like you to write out the spelling for the i chord, and remember we'll use a lowercase roman numeral i, and that has an A, a C, and an E in it. And our iv chord is spelled D F A. You can do this in your music too, and then the V chord is what? We have an E G-sharp B. Now, I'd like you to pause the video and you're going to mark all the chords of the left hand. Figure out is it a i chord, is it a iv chord, or is it a V chord, and uh if you'd like, I'll do a couple with you, or if you don't want any help you can pause the video, but basically you're going to go through this first chord because it has an A and a C, I can tell that's a i chord even though it doesn't have the E. Remember chords sometimes will get creative and might choose to leave out a note. But there's no other chord that it could be. No other chord has an A and a C in it from this i, iv, and V. uh, option. And then we're going to go on, and this chord also is a i chord. I can see that's A C E. Another i chord, and then right here what do we have? We've got an A on the bottom, and I can see that those two notes both stepped up. So what chord is that? Well, we can see that this A if placed up here that gives us our D minor triad which is our iv chord, but to make it more playable, we put that A on the bottom. Right, we've been playing iv chords like that for a long time. So we know that's the iv chord. And now I'd like to ask you to pause the video now and figure out these rest the rest. Let's just go up to maybe the end of measure four on your own. Figure out these chords, and write it in your music. The i, the iv, the V, and then press play we'll get it together. Okay, here are the answers. We have the i chord, the iv chord, it goes back to a i chord. Then rest, rest, then here we get the V chord: E G-sharp B, and then why is this a i chord? Well see this E we can put up here, and then we just see it's our A C E i chord, but in second inversion. It goes back to the V chord. Remember the G is still sharp. Sharps live the whole measure until the bar line, then this we can call the i chord even though it's missing that E. We've got an A and a C for i chord and C it's a i chord to the V chord. Now I find it's so useful to analyze these chords because then as I'm playing it. I'm not just thinking of random notes, I actually know what I'm playing and how those chords work together. So let's try to play it now. Okay, let's look at where we place our left hand. Notice that we play A and C, and it's middle C. It's important to know where you are on the piano. It's not just any A and C, you have to find this A and C because I can see that that one is a middle C with the A a skip below that, and as we're learning the left-hand part, let's be very careful of the rhythms. There are lots of these eighth rests that we'll need to be sure to count. In fact, the right hand starts on beat 6 all by itself, and the left hand rests so for the left hand we'll think: 1 2 3 4 5 rest, 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6 All right, now let's break this down and try a little bit at a time. Back to measure one. Get your left hand ready with fingers 5 and 3 on A and E. And it's my turn 1 2 3 4 5 6, now your turn play and count, ready, go. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Good. Now hopefully you were playing while I was counting. I was just letting you do that well I count it. All right, pause if you need more work on that otherwise let's go on to measure two. Now we have a i chord and then remember the iv chord all you got to do is shift your thumb up, but your finger 2 is already in position, so don't move your finger 2. It's already right there for the iv chord: 1 2 3 4 5 6, and watch how this one since it's a quarter note remember with an eight on the bottom from our time signature, a quarter note now gets 2 beats. 1 2 3 4 5 6, now your turn, go. Good, now let's look at measure three. We have to come down to this V chord which is our E major chord: E G-sharp B And it's a quarter note so how many beats does it get. We're used to quarter notes getting 1 beat, but it's actually 2 beats, so hopefully you said 2 beats, because of our key, sorry, time signature. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Watch that one more time. We're playing the V chord, and then we're doing the i chord, but in second inversion. So it kind of feels like you're playing a iv chord, but you're not. 1 2 3 Okay? Now your turn. Play measure three, ready go. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Okay, now let's look at measure four. We're going to just scoot our thumb up which we just did a second ago, but this time it's only A and C. 1 2 3 4 5 6 And on beats 5 and 6 we rest. Now you try. Measure four. Ready, go: 1 2 3 4 5 6 All right, now let's put all of this together. I'm going to go back to measure one, and I'm going to start counting in the measure before to get us ready. Let's watch this. You can try playing along if you want or just listen. 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6 Now pause the video, and I'd like you to count out loud as you play and work on these four measures left hand alone, then press play to go on. Now let's take a look at putting this hands together. Your right hand starts on beat 6. 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6 And I'm going to stop right there because that's the beginning of our next phrase. All right, now pause the video and I'd like you to try just a little bit of this hands together. You don't have to master it today. Even if it's just this first measure. Maybe stop right there. Maybe you want to go a little bit farther. Choose a little bit to work on hands together on your own, then press play to go on. Now let's look ahead at measure five. We have 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6, then what? Ah it's a little different this time 1 2 3 4 5 Now why is there no beat 6 here? Well, because there's a repeat sign it's going to take you back and beat 6 will be there waiting for you at the start of the song, or if you've already done the repeat and looking down at the next line you'll see that there's that beat 6 waiting for you there on the next line, which begins the B section. So that repeat side is actually in the middle of a measure before we get to beat 6. So now, your job this week is to practice your left hand alone until you feel really confident with it. Practice your right hand alone make sure you're confident, and then gradually start working on it hands together. As you're starting to get the hang of it, you can bring in the metronome. Start super slow, one note per click. Maybe around 100, maybe even slower. I have found that slow is fast. Meaning practicing slow is the fastest way to get good. When you practice slow, your hands will figure it out faster it's kind of this paradox. Slow is fast. If you want to get fast at something practice slow. It's kind of a mystery, but it works, trust me. If you practice slow, before long you'll be able to play it a little faster and faster, and soon. you'll be able to play it full speed. Just remember to start slow, increase the speed when you can play with no missed notes, no missfingerings. That's the key to being able to play fast. Great work learning to play the left hand part for the A section of "The Wild Horseman" by Robert Schumann. Thanks for watching and learning with me, and happy practicing! Master Monkey! Master Monkey! I've brought you the lion's whisker! Well Master, I learned that breathing could help me face my fears. Well, when I started breathing, I was able to focus and notice that there was a splinter in lion's paw. So breathing helped me be more observant, my Master. I learned it's kind of smelly in lion's den. He really needs to do some house cleaning if you ask me. What? Compassion? You're right! Kindness did give me power. Yes I have power! Does that finally mean I'm going to learn some ninja moves? All right! Whohoo! I've been waiting so long for this! Let's start practicing. I won't be practicing with you? Who will I practice with then? My training partner? Who's my training partner? Me! Aaah! How did you get here? Easy, I followed your tracks in the snow. I found Master Monkey and I kindly volunteered to be his assistant. His assistant? Oh no, let's begin, and jump! And dodge, and jump, and dodge, and jump, and dodge, and jump, and dodge,.... Three hours??