SAMPLE LESSON

ParallelThirds
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ParallelThirds

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Level: Intermediate

Level 8

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About This Level

In this level, we’ll learn an exercise to help you play parallel thirds on the piano. This exercise is great for developing strength and independence of the fingers. After that, we’ll cover some more scales, and learn to play the C major scale in parallel motion. Playing the scales in parallel motion can be more difficult than contrary motion, because the hands no longer move symmetrically.

We’ll also learn how to build minor chords. After major chords, minor chords are the most frequently found chords in Western music, and absolutely necessary for every pianist to learn. There are literally thousands of songs and pieces build from nothing but major and minor chords, so once you’ve mastered these, you’ll have a world of possibilities at your fingertips.

In the repertoire section, we’ll learn to play a few fun classical pieces, as well as a couple famous folk tunes. We’ll expand upon our lead-sheet playing with the song “Amazing Grace.”

TECHNIQUE

Parallel Thirds

Thirds appear all the time in piano music. They sound great, but can be tricky to play well. In this tutorial, we’ll learn an exercise for practicing parallel thirds. This exercise is great for building up finger independence and coordination at the piano.

E Major Scale

In this tutorial, we’ll learn to play the E major scale in contrary motion. Notice that this is the only contrary-motion scale (other than C major) where the white and black keys are symmetrical. In other words, every time you play a white key in one hand, you’ll play a white key in the other hand as well, and the same goes for the black keys.

C Major Scale (parallel motion)

Up until now, we’ve learned the scales in contrary motion, which meant that the thumbs always played at the same time. Now we’re going to learn to play the C major scale in parallel motion, which is a little trickier due to the fact that the thumbs no longer play together. Go slowly at first, so that you can really concentrate on the correct fingering.

 

THEORY

Minor Chords

After major chords, minor chords are the most frequently encountered chords in Western music. In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to build and play them.

REPERTOIRE

Amazing Grace

In this tutorial, we’ll learn to play the song “Amazing Grace” using a lead sheet- melody in the right hand, chords in the left.

 

White Christmas

In this video we’ll learn to play the Christmas song “White Christmas.”

On Top of Old Smokey

In this tutorial, we’ll learn to play the traditional song, “On Top of Old Smokey.”

Hunting Song (Oesten)

In this tutorial, we’ll learn the “Hunting Song” by Theodore Oesten. Don’t forget the accents on the first beat of each measure- they help give this piece its energy!

 

The Wanderer's Song

In this tutorial, we’ll learn the “Wanderer’s Song” by Theodore Oesten. Be sure to keep the right hand louder than the left!

 

The Merry Springtime (Oesten)

In this tutorial, we’ll learn “The Merry Springtime” by Theodore Oesten. Notice the accents on the first note of each measure; this helps us really convey the 6/8 time signature.

 

Piece No. 13 (Berens)

In this tutorial, we’ll learn the “Piece No. 13” by Hermann Berens. 

 

Questions before taking this course?

Feel free to contact us with any questions.