Part one of an in depth analysis of Prelude in C Major. Hugh takes you through the measures showing you the lines for both the left and right hands and how to combine them. He also teaches how to integrate the damper pedal to really bring the piece to life.
- Throughout this piece we need to make sure the left hand notes hold throughout the measure. For example, the very first measure, let's find these notes, the very top staff line and the F clef region is A we're gonna take the first ledger line above that which is C. And the second ledger line above that's E, so when you play this, hold both notes after playing them. So you're gonna play the first two notes here, then continue on to your right hand, G clef G okay skip up to B and the note's right above B line is C.
Skip up to E back down to G. Okay, hold the left hand notes you don't have to hold the right hand notes the reason being is that we're gonna be adding pedaling to this piece. So let's start again the first measure, hold these two notes and continue on with the right hand the second measure is the same as the first. Now did you see that little funny symbol that looks like a bird flying sideways? That is a quarter rest. And it's gonna be important that you lift your right hand off when you see that rest.
So once again, you don't play the first B right hand. Left hand plays, take off the right hand. Let's move on, the next note starts on C again. And you will notice the next note is just above that which is a D. Make sure you hold those two notes, the right hand is moving up to the note above, the G clef G. And then you need a great big dog, and then fur, okay? Here are your notes.
C, D hold. Okay going on, now we go to the note right above the F clef staff line A which is gonna be B and the next ledger space line above is a D. G clef G and then skip this note, B, D. Big no fur on the top. Those are gonna be your notes there. Hold the left hand notes. Rest on the right hand.
And then back to the C and the E, and right hand G. C, E. Good! So let's try that again, and this time I want you to add pedaling every two measures. Let's start from the beginning again, push your pedal down holding your pedal, we will start. Keep the pedal held make sure your right hand comes off we're gonna change the pedal on the C.
Remember how we talked about pedaling? The pedal lifts up when your finger comes down, and then comes back down after the note is played. Now because the left hand notes are relatively fast, that's why we have to hold the first, at least the very first note as well as the second note so that your foot has time to catch it. Now, here's one alternate rhythm if you're still uncomfortable with changing pedals quickly. What you can do is this.
Now the third measure you can do up while holding your finger down, down with the second note. Up, down, see how I'm doing that? Let's go on. The next time is going to be a B. Up, down. Keep the pedal down for the second repeat of this measure. Back to the C up, down.
Hold the pedal through that second time of the measure. But you understand what I'm talking about right? So every two measures you're gonna change the pedal and if you need to you can lift the pedal on the first note, and kinda like down on the second eighth note. Okay so work those first eight measures until you're comfortable and then let's go on. Good, now I'm always gonna start off the last two measures before every new segment because I want you to get used to the idea of not just starting a whole new section but always bridging what's right before with what's coming up next.
My so called "pothole practice" idea. Okay so let's start from measure seven to get into measure nine, okay? Now here's measure nine, we will lift the pedal and then come back down, same two notes here. Right hand starts on the A above the G clef G, skip a space, here's E skip the space and then you're in the ledger line above that which is gonna be A.
So it's an octave A to A here's measure nine. Measure ten is the same as measure nine. Okay, next we're gonna be starting a sequence going down so left hand, even though this is the same note, I want you to switch to a second finger here. C, D and now here on the right hand, right below the G is gonna be an F what you notice there is a sharpness to this so that F becomes F sharp. Space up, okay, now we're back to lines, great big dog so those are the three notes we're working with the right hand, okay? Left hand C, D, F sharp, A, D.
Left hand moves down to a B and then back to this D. Right hand you're in G clef G, skip, D, you get to the top which is F and it's the note right above that. So that is an octave there. Left hand this B will get switched to a second finger for this C, now this is the ew, E, great, G now this goes to a C right above that B.
Going on, left hand the top note over here is A, line above that is gonna be a C and keep the same notes on the right hand, E, G, C. Now A fall down, and back to A these are five and a two here. Right hand, you're gonna be below the staff D. And then the F becomes F sharp, okay? So follow this space to space with F sharp, A, C, okay? You're gonna do measure nineteen.
Then left hand you go to a G and the space above is B. Right hand D, there's G clef G, the B above that and back to that. Good. Now this is a good place for you to stop. You can practice in four measure groups or you can try to do larger sections like we just did. In any case, at least four measure groups but always start at least a measure or two measures before starting each phrase.
Excellent, let's continue on, we're gonna take a look at measure but again before we do so we're gonna back track a little bit and start from measure 21 so that we can bridge into it. So measure if you recall, so it's in the G, B, D, G, E, so 21 again. Okay, now the left hand, continues 23. B becomes B flat and with that thumb up a little bit right hand moves to here, ew, great and then we're gonna skip up to C, C sharp since you start next with.
Now when you have a sharp, if you see that same C again it'll still stay sharp until you see that vertical line that vertical line is the end of a measure. So that sharp will stay in place until the end of the measure and then it resets itself again. So, here are the notes, it's the same thing again here, okay now your left hand, I want you to move your third finger over to the next note down F, A, right hand D. A, D up here.
Same thing here and now this A becomes A flat, okay? And right hand's playing D, F, skip the space, I get B. Now we're in measure 29, left hand moves down to the E. Here, C in the right hand those are below the staff, ledger line down is a C. Ew, great, big, and this is above that, C. Measure 29. Okay, now this E in the left hand is gonna be replaced by a second finger, next note above it is an F.
Now right hand you have a double ledger line, ew, ledger line down one would be C, second ledger line down would be an A. See how I found that? Two ledger lines, one ledger line, okay, here's the first, the bottom staff on here goes right about that, okay? Okay, this moves down to a D, A fall down, fall.
A fall down, ball game, fall down, here, so G and D. Now right hand we have this bottom staff line, first staff line, second staff line but it's below that so this gonna be a G. Okay, next staff line up is B, skip a space, go to this note which is an F, okay? And the left hand, A fall down, this is the note before D but below D that's gonna be C, skip the space, E right hand.
Remember we have this bottom staff line, ledger line. Second ledger line that's right below that one, making this a G. So this is a good place, another target place to aim for practicing towards.
Each song is demonstrated at different tempos, so you can slowly increase your pace as you get more comfortable at the keyboard, and overlaid with notation, so you can read each line of music as it's taught. This training builds on the rest of the Piano Lessons series and is designed for all levels of pianists who want to learn to quickly play the music they love.
Note: This course was recorded and produced by ArtistWorks. We are honored to host this training in our library.
- Reading sheet music: staff, bars, notes, rests, and important symbols
- Breaking songs down into sections and lines
- Playing the right hand and left hand separately and together
- Using the damper and sustain pedals
- Performing songs at different tempos