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Piano for dummies - Blake N.

Blake N. Piano for dummies - IDG, 1996. - 353 p.
Download (direct link): pianofordummies1991.pdf
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S Counting rhythms from whole notes to sixteenth notes (Chapter 5).
S Recognizing rests, ties, and dots (Chapter 6).
If you are missing any of these key ingredients, please leave now and head to the store . . . that is, the first five or six chapters of this book. Without these fundamentals, attempting to play songs may lead to frustration.
Let Hour Fingers Do the Walking
In order to play a melody correctly, you need to control the way your hands make contact with the keyboard. If you don’t develop this control, you’ll find it hard to reach the notes you need to play — and your playing will look and sound more like the Keystone Cops than Chopin.
Think of your fingers as being numbered 1 through 5, with the thumbs being 1. In many chapters in this book, I refer to your fingers by number and to your hands by ultra-hip abbreviations: RH and LH. So, when I say RH 1, that means the thumb on your right hand.
Part III: One Hand at a Time
In Figure 7-1, RH 2 plays D. Notice the relaxed but arched position of the hand and fingers. See, too, how the other four fingers are poised and ready to play the next note, whatever it may be. Of course, because it’s a photo, these fingers will never, ever play another key. (Chapter 2 tells you more about how to hold your body and hands at the keyboard.)
Figure 7-1:
Playing a key
With correct hand position and fingering, your fingers literally walk along the keys. Practice enables them to walk faster and faster and without much thought on your part.
As you play a melody, your fingers should travel gracefully up and down the keyboard. You aren’t typing a letter or playing video games, so don’t punch or slap the keys.
Positions; Everyone
So, you’re at the keyboard, your back is straight, the lights are on, and the music’s waiting. Where does your hand go? Good question. You need to get into position.
Position is a common term you hear regarding any musical instrument. Several positions exist for each musical instrument, giving the player points of reference all along the body of the instrument. The keyboard is no exception.
Using positions diligently is vital to playing the keyboard well. From each designated position, you can easily access certain notes, groups of notes, chords, or even other positions.
When you sit down to play, survey the music and locate the first set of notes. After you find these, decide which of the following two positions is the more accommodating.
C position
Chapter 7: Playing a Melody 83
Many tunes start at middle C or close to it, so you often find yourself in Cposition at the beginning of a song. To get to C position, put your thumb on middle C and place your fingers on the five successive white keys, as shown in Figure 7-2. That is, RH 1 should be on C and RH 5 on G with the other three fingers in the middle. If the other three aren’t in the middle, you’ve got something very amusing going on with your fingers.
Figure 7-2:
Getting into C position.
With your right hand in C position, which is sometimes also called first position, try to follow along with “Frere Jacques,” playing one note at a time. To make the song easy to grasp, I chose a tune that’s recognizable and has almost all quarter notes. It may be helpful to just listen to Track 23 a couple of times before you attempt to play along.
Track 23
Frere Jacques
12 3 1
231 345 345
..Q j _. ... .. | . - . .. L.„
$ * i i * i 'iri -* -i 1 Are you sleep-mg, are you sleep-ing. Broth - er John, 5 4 3 1 5 4 3 1 5 1 I • • • — • • °- Broth - er John? 5 1 =i- '-4 ,—\

5 Bells are nng - ing, bells are nng ing Ding, ding, dong. Ding, ding, dong
Be sure to observe the numbers above the notes. These numbers are called fingerings because they tell you which finger to use for each note. Most players appreciate these fingerings because they represent the best possible finger pattern for executing the notes. Of course, being the wunderkind that you are, you may invent other custom fingerings. For now, though, I recommend you follow the fingerings I show you. Otherwise, I’ll see you after class.
Not too painful, right? Try another song that uses C position. In “Ode to Joy” (Track 24), the melody begins on RH 3, travels up to RH 5, then dips all the way down to RH 1. Beethoven, himself, was a pianist, so no doubt he knew just how well this melody would play under beginning fingers.
Track 24
Ode to Joy
4 5 4 3 2 1 2 3
• •
1 Ger - man lyr - ics are too hard if you don’t speak the lang - uage 3 45 4321 232 1
5 And old Lud - wig did - n’t give us a - ny words in Eng - lish 2 31 23431 23432 125
9 So, just con-cen - träte on the notes and don't both-er sing - ing on this song 3 45 4321 2321
J J J ^
13 But if you know Ger-man, then by all means have a "gu - ten tag!"
Chapter 7: Playing a Melody 85
Thumbing a ride to B
As you can probably imagine, not all songs use the same five notes. Eventually, you must come out of your safe little shell of five white keys, take a good stretch, and extend certain fingers up or down. A good finger to start with is your thumb.
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