Download (direct link):
G A BC D
Gee, I like it!
Just like in C position, you can extend your thumb and pinky east and west to access other keys. In this case (G position), you can reach out and play E and F, respectively.
Give this position a whirl by playing “This Old Man,” a song known to many a tormented parent as the Barney theme song. Watch the fingering in this song and shift your fingers where appropriate. You can also listen to “This Old Man” and play along with the CD (Track 28).
This 0(d Man
4 2 4
1 2 3 2 3
This old man, he played "one," he played knick- knack on my thumb, so I 41 2345 2 4321
f if ^'=11
slapped him on his knuck-les real- ly hard. Now he keeps his dis-tancefar.
Chapter 7: Playing a Melody
Moving from one position to another.
Getting mare out of your positions
Knowing two positions is great, but you really only get five or six notes in each position. I know what you’re thinking: “How do I play those modern 12-tone pieces with only six keys?” Whoa there, Tex, save the virtuosic pieces for later.
Combining the use of different positions in the same song allows you to play a few more notes. To combine two positions, you have to switch between them mid-song, which takes a bit of practice. One way is to simply shift your hand upward or downward when the music gives you the chance.
For example, in Figure 7-4 you play the first two measures in C position. During the two beats of rest in measure 2, you can move your hand up and get ready to play B in measure 3 with RH 3. Ta-da! You’ve just shifted to G position.
C position G position
rj ~ ~ g ^ (movehand) ^ 2 3 4 1 5 4
Cross your fingers and hope it Works
Shifting positions can be smooth and easy when rests are involved, but when the melody doesn’t stop, you must find alternative ways to move between positions. The best way is to use a little maneuver called finger crossing.
Why cross over fingers when you can just move your hand? In C position, the thumb can sometimes extend to play B. But not always. For example, you may need to play B followed immediately by middle C. If you extend and contract your thumb back and forth between these two keys, it sounds clunky. And, by George, you don’t want clunky! Instead, you cross RH 2 over your thumb to play B, as shown in Figure 7-5.
You can watch the keys when you cross over or under, but with practice you should easily feel where the keys are without looking. But whether you look or not, it’s important to keep a relaxed arch in the hand even when crossing fingers over or under.
Part III: One Hand at a Time
Crossing over to play more notes.
Bach’s little gem “Minuet” (Track 29) requires your RH 2 to cross over your thumb. You shift positions briefly in measures 3 and 11, but the main focus here is on the finger cross to B in measures 7 and 15.
5 1 2 3 4 5 1
3 1 2 3 4 5 1
4 5432 3 432 ^ 2 ] 2 3 13 2
5 1 2 3 4 5 1
3 1 2 3 4 5 1
4 5432 3 4321 2 32 1 2 1
Chapter 7: Playing a Melody ^ /
Cross over to a new position
Sometimes the finger cross can help move your hand to a new position entirely. For example, you can begin with your hand in C position and play C, D, E in C position before crossing your thumb (RH 1) under to play F. Without any stretches, you can then play the remaining notes (G to C) comfortably in a new position, as shown in Figure 7-6.
From C to shining C.
4 3 2 1 3
Don’t try to make your hand, wrist, fingers, or arm do something impossible. I don’t want any broken ligaments here. When you cross your fingers between positions, it’s important to also shift your hand and arm to the new position after the finger cross.
The song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” (Track 30) gives you another, more musical chance to try out this little switch-o-rama between positions. You start with your right hand in C position (middle C to G), but as you approach measure 4, you cross your thumb under RH 2 and play the G in G position. You then continue measure 5 in G position. Cross RH 3 over your thumb to play beat 1 of measure 6 and finish the song in C position.
Row, Row, Row \!our Boat
4 ; 2 3 2 3 1 2
4^^—i—1 -j J ^ -J J J * o
Row, row row your boat, gent- ly down the stream.
5 3 2 1 5 4 3 2 1
n J H—n——a——j—H- =-— ]
#Lrr j «a =uD...J j g 1 o
Mer-ri-ly, mer-ri-ly, mer-ri-ly, mer-ri-ly, life is but a dream.
Scaling to New Heights
In This Chapter
p- Getting to know scales ^ Building all kinds of scales ? Improvising melodies using scales
w m ave you ever heard the following from your musician friends?
J1 “Scales are boring!”
•h “Scales are difficult.”
J’ “I never play scales.”
,h “The scales in my bathroom read 10 pounds more than I actually weigh.”
These statements are all lies, including the last one. For various selfish reasons, your friends don’t want you to know the truth: Scales are easy, scales can be fun, every musician plays scales, and your friend actually put on a few pounds over Spring Break.