Lesson 153

When the Saints Go Marching In: Left Hand

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman.
Today we're learning how to play the left-hand part to "When the Saints Go Marching In".
For starters, let's check out the score.
The left-hand part of "When the Saints Go Marching In" does something that's kind of like a call and response,
which would be typical for this kind of folk hymn.
There might have been a singer
that would sing ♫Oh, when the saints♫, and then there might be a choir that echoes that. ♫Oh, when the saints♫
Then the solo singer sings ♫go marching in♫. The choir might echo ♫go marching in♫
It's called call and response. So the left hand is kind of like the response for the right hand.
You'll see it's playing the same notes that the right hand plays. C E F G, C E F G, C E F G, C E F G.
Just an echo back and forth.
Let's come to the piano and try that out in our left hand.
Okay, we'll place our left hand in the bass C major pentascale. So here's middle C.
Your left hand finger 5 will start off on C.
Notice that while the right hand plays the left hand just has 4 beats of rest.
So those 4 beats we'll have 1 2 3 4, then 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1
2 3 4 1 2 3 4, stop.
Good, now you'll see this is doing the exact same thing the right hand used to do.
We're just echoing it a measure late.
So, press pause and try that once with your left hand, then press play when you're ready to go on.
Did you remember to count out loud?
I forgot to remind you. Hopefully you did it anyway.
If not, you'll get it next time.
So let's go on now to this next section.
You'll see that while the right hand is playing ♫saints go marching in♫ with all those half notes,
the left hand rests during ♫saints♫, and then comes in on 'go' playing a G, then skip down, then skip up,
then rest, F F E D.
So watch that one more time starting on the word 'saints' we have 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
Now press pause and try that section on your own, then press play when you're ready to try it with me.
Okay, I'll play both hands, but I'd like you to just worry about the left hand. I'm going to start on the word 'saints'
and then you come in on 'go', which is beat 3.
Here we go. Let's count the beat out loud and play. I'll start on 'saints'.
Ready, go. 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4, 1 2, now look at the next two notes.
You come up to a G, then step down to F, while the right hand plays ♫how I♫.
The left hand plays G F.
All right?
Now the next part has some serious chord action going on, so let's take another look at the score to figure it out.
Now in this section we start to get some chords in the left hand. So let's identify the chords.
You'll know that this bottom note of this three note chord is a C.
So, can you tell me the three letter names for this chord?
If you said C E G, you're correct.
We have a C on the bottom, an E in the middle, and a G on top. What chord does that spell?
That's right, that's a C major chord, and since this piece is in C major, that
will be a I chord, which we draw with a roman numeral capital I, which stands for the I chord.
What kind of chord do you see here?
That's right, it's another I chord.
In your own sheet music, let's go ahead and write down these chord names for each chord.
You can get the sheet music from our website.
Here's another I chord.
So I've added another roman numeral I there.
Now is this a I chord?
Nope, it's something different. You can see that the bottom note stayed the same, but these top two pitches both
both moved up one step.
So that makes it a IV chord.
So I'm going to put a roman numeral IV for each of these, both of those are IV chords.
IV chord is played like this, with these three notes.
And the one chord is built on these three notes.
Do you see there, the I chord and the IV chord.
Now, looking at this next line, what chord do you see here? A I chord or a IV chord? That's right, it's a IV chord. So let's write that in our music.
And what do you see here?
That's right, another I chord, and what about this one?
That's right, it's a I chord.
Okay, here we get to a five V7 that's missing its bottom note, which is totally possible for chords.
So we only have an F and a G, which you'll play with these two notes right here on your piano.
And we will mark that with a V
and then the number 7
to show that this is a V7 chord.
And then what do you see here?
If you said I chord, you're correct, and then what about these two?
Let's write two IV chords.
We'll mark that,
and then back to a I chord.
And then we finish with this really low note,
which you might recall since it's two ledger lines down, that is a low
C right here on your piano.
Remember, you have middle C here, bass C here,
and low ...