Lesson 272

The Wild Horseman: B 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 melody of the B section of "The Wild Horseman" by Robert Schumann. Let's get started by checking out the score. The B section begins down here in measure nine, or actually I should say the pickup to measure nine. Did you know that pickup notes can actually happen in the middle of a piece? Sometimes because up here in measure eight we only used up 5 of our 6 beats because remember we are in 6/8 meter right now. 1 2 3 4 5 beats, and it repeated back to the start of the piece, but then after we come back the second time we still have a beat 6 left over, then that leads us into measure nine. So, this is the pickup to measure nine, which is where we begin the B section. Now looking at the beginning of the B section here, which hand has the melody? If you said the left hand you're correct. So remember up here in the A section, the right hand is playing the melody, left hand's playing chords. Now the left hand takes a turn playing the melody, and that's why we're going to learn left hand today, so we can tackle that melody first. Now, I'd like you on your own to pause the video and take a look at all of these notes, except I'm going to ask you to ignore that one D, but take all of these other notes and see if you can figure out what chord is being used throughout these notes, then press play and we'll look at it together. Did you figure it out? Let's see, we have a bass C, an F, another C, F, and then an A, then this F A C, and if we put all those notes together then another A, a C, an A, an F, what chord is that? Well, it's just an F major chord with this extra C on the bottom. Every single note, except for that D, is part of the F major triad using some inversions along the way. That is such useful information and we'll be able to learn this so much faster knowing that Schumann is just going through the F major arpeggio. Let's try to play it. So, beginning at the pickup to measure nine, let's look at these first five notes, and when I'm learning notes that follow a chord, I like to think of them in a chunk in the chord itself. So can you mush all five of these notes into one blocked chord and play it with your finger 5 2 1, this F major second inversion triad? And now let's break it up. Now you try. See how easy that is when you think of it as a group, as a chord, that's why we learn chords and triads. Now all you have to do is think about moving through those notes. Try it one more time, go. Good, now let's look at the next four notes, and you'll see that if we mush them all together into a blocked chord we just have this F A, and then a C, A, and though that C A is legato with this sfortzando. So remember, you're going to drop. for that sforzando, use arm weight to get that extra loud sound. Now you try. Good, now let's put that together. So notice after the first five notes, you have to shift your hand up. It's basically like going up an inversion, and then our finger 1 has to come up to this D, which means now finger 2 has to be in charge of the middle C, and then you have to do this little stretch down. Now you try. Now let's put all of that together. Pause the video to work on measures nine and ten with the pickup, and then press play to go on. Now let's take a look at measure twelve. I'd like you to analyze what chord is being used in this measure, but ignore this third note of measure twelve left-hand part. Looking at the other notes what chord is being spelled? Well we've got this G, we have an E, then we're going to ignore that A, then another G E, and then we get this C. Aha! It's a C major triad with this little A thrown in there for fun. So we have: Now pause the video and work on measure twelve until you feel really comfortable, then press play to go on. Now let's take a look at measure thirteen. And let's look at just the first three notes. Can you tell me what chord is being used here? Let's make these a block. Well we have an F, we have a C, and we have an A. that is an F major second inversion chord again. And then the C and G triad. Now pause the video and work on measures twelve through those first four notes, or first four beats of measure 13. Pause the video to work on that section, then press play to go on. Now, let's go back to the pickup to measure nine and put all of this together. Now, as you're playing don't forget to have a nice flexible wrist as you do these staccati. You want to stay loose in the wrist and think of an up motion, and that will keep the staccatos crisp, but allow your fingers to stay close to the keys. You don't want to peck at the notes and go flying. Keep your fingers close to the keys and just use the wrist to make the staccato. Pause to work on the pickup from measure nine through the middle of measure thirteen, then press play to go on. We're back in the score. Can you find for me, here's a little mini challenge, can you find the pickup to measure fourteen and point to it? Remember, these little boxes tell you measure numbers, so this is measure twelve. Here's measure thirteen. Here's measure fourteen. Where is the pickup to measure fourteen? You have to look before the bar line. Remember, the pickup is the note or two before the downbeat of that measure. So if I say pick up to measure fourteen, I look before the bar line, ah, this eighth note is the pickup to measure fourteen. And why do I want to start here? Well this is the beginning of a new phrase. Starting here the pickup to measure fourteen, I'd like you to pause the video and look from here to the end of the phrase here in measure seventeen, and tell me what you notice are these notes the same or different from the previous phrase that we just learned? Pause to figure that out on your own, and then press play and we'll look at it together. What did you find? Is this phrase the same or different as the phrase we just learned? If you said the same yet slightly different, you're correct it's so important to check every note when you're learning a new song. Because the composer sometimes will make it exactly the same for a while but where does it change? Right here, just these last couple notes of the phrase. Schumann gives us a different ending for some variety. When you have two phrases in a row that start exactly or almost exactly the same, and then have a different ending that's called a parallel phrase, so these two phrases are parallel. Now pause the video and on your own I'd like you just to play the left hand part of this phrase, and watch out for this special new ending, and then we'll look at it together. Let's check out from the pickup of measure fourteen through measure seventeen we get: Now, if that sounded like what you played, great. If you need extra time to practice that you can always pause to work on that. So now let's talk about how to practice the B section this week, the left hand part. Once you feel comfortable with the notes, you can set your metronome to about 100 beats per minute, and play one note per click. The metronome is a great way to make sure you're keeping a steady beat. It will also help you see where your you are pausing, and you want to work on smoothing out those pauses so you can play all the way through, no missed notes, no pauses, and no missed fingerings. Getting the fingerings correct from the beginning will make it easier to play it at full, fast tempo. The allegro combrio that we want. As I like to say, slow is fast. The fastest way to get good and fast is to practice slow. That's why slow is fast. Once you have it mastered, no missed notes at 100, then go up to maybe 108 and try it again. If you master that, no missed notes, no pauses, go up again maybe to 116, 120. This I like to call the metronome challenge, where you're going to see how fast you can get it but only allow yourself to go up maybe 5 to 10 beats per minute at a time. Because eventually we want to go quite fast you want to get it all the way up to 200. Whoops I made a mistake so I’ve got to try it again. When you can play it that fast you're in good shape to go on to the next lesson to learn the right hand part. Great work learning how to play the left-hand part of the B section of “The Wild Horseman.” Happy practicing, and see you next time! We're exhausted! I did three hours of jump and dodge just like you asked! Shall we demonstrate? No!! My reflexes? Ah! 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