Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/22/09 10:56 AM

Thanks to a really nice response from my short video tutorial a week or so ago, I've started to put together a new YouTube lesson series to cover Claude Debussy's "Clair de lune". The first lesson here is an overview of the whole piece, and a preview of the some of the camera angles, digital score views, and computer simulated damper pedal views for multiple learning perspectives. This lesson series is designed for the beginning adult pianist in mind, so consider yourself warmly invited to participate even if you've never played the piano or read a note of music before! Please leave comments and questions if you need help with specific spots as we cover the piece - we can interleave those responses with the lesson series as needed.

Here's the first lesson's overview:


Enjoy!
Posted by: natdad

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/22/09 04:44 PM

Very excited to start learning this with you. Thanks for taking the time to do this!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/22/09 07:35 PM

Thanks, Natdad! I'll post these as quickly as i can edit them - i record the lessons in 1-2 hour batches, then break them up into 5-8 minute lesson videos. Lesson #2 coming up right now!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/22/09 07:39 PM

Lesson #2: The Key Signature

Before watching this video, you might want to check out this overview of navigating the piano and the basics of the note names:

Star Wars Piano Basics

Then you should watch this video to learn how G clefs work:

Star Wars G clef and note reading basics

We'll talk about the special rules governing the notes in this piece, and some possible reasons why Claude Debussy decided to use black keys instead of white ones, which would've been easier to play.
You can download a PDF of the score as part of the Suite Bergamasque from IMSLP.org here:
IMSLP.org

You can also download the MusicReader version of Clair de lune itself here:
MusicReader Version for Annotating

Posted by: Mark...

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/23/09 09:09 AM

I'm following this closely. Curious as to how it plays out... laugh
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/23/09 09:28 AM

If anyone is looking for the sheets for this, it's right here:

http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=855#

It's public domain so no copyright issues...
Posted by: Collyermum

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/23/09 11:54 AM

Thanks Hugh, I'm feeling inspired to give it a go now!

Will definately be following your youtube lessons (especially once you get past the basics, but they are just great for beginners - and thanks for the contrast between playing in different keys!).

Thanks again

Collyermum
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/23/09 01:00 PM

I'm in.
Posted by: Mati

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/23/09 03:41 PM

Thanks Hugh for these lessons, I'm sure many will find them very helpful and inspiring! For all those who ponder whether to give Debussy a go or not, I encourage you to try smile Clair de Lune is a very special piece somehow. It is pretty difficult, even though it may not sound so - but it gives a great amount of fun and pleasure. I must say I didn't particularly like this piece when I started it year ago, but now after playing it for some time I grew extremely fond of it. Not many other pieces gave me so much satisfaction as Clair de Lune did.

Having said all that, have fun!
M.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/23/09 06:33 PM

Thanks so much for the score link, Mark, but this appears to be for a Flute and Piano arrangement - it took a little digging, but I was able to find the solo piano arrangement from the same site here:

http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=608

You can also download a 1905 edition arrangement as a PDF from here (extracted from the full Suite Bergamasque available at IMSLP.org):

http://airturn.com/musicreader-library/piano-solos/debussy-clair-de-lune-pdf/download

Enjoy!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/23/09 06:42 PM

Lesson #3: The First Measure

Now we get started learning the very first notes of Debussy's "Clair de lune". Using the G clefs in both hands, we can easily map out where to find the notes, keeping in mind the special rules governed by the Key Signature that changes most of the notes to flats. We also learn about ties and how they're used to extend the length of notes. I also show how I'm using a special program to better illustrate how I'm using the damper pedal (far right) to control how notes are sustained and released.

Posted by: bluekeys

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/23/09 09:01 PM

Hugh,
I really appreciate the time and effort you've put into these lessons, and I look forward to participating in this one. I must admit I'm surprised to hear you encouraging people who have "never played the piano or read a note of music before" to attempt a piece of this difficulty. I've been playing three years and believe this is going to be an ambitious project. Regardless, I look forward to following your lessons and adding this beautiful piece to my repertoire.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 09:29 AM

Hi Bluekeys - you raise some excellent points! This is indeed a challenging piece to play, but I believe three primary ingredients will help anyone - and I do mean, anyone, particularly beginners - learn and master this work:
1. Love
2. Focus
3. Fun

This little story might help explain how these ingredients can be applied to music pedagogy:

Many years ago, I met the most amazing, beautiful woman in the world, but there was a slight problem - she didn't speak English, and I didn't speak Korean! I had tried to learn the language as a teenager, but never got beyond a few rudimentary phrases, the alphabet, and basic grammar. I simply didn't have a strong enough motivation to learn, and quickly gave up after a number of half-hearted attempts. But when I met this woman, suddenly I had all the motivation in the world to not only learn Korean, but learn it as fast and as quickly as possible! (If you haven't guessed, that's my "love" ingredient wink
I honestly had no idea where to start - it seemed so overwhelming a task, to try to master an entire language fast enough (I was afraid she'd lose interest in a guy she couldn't talk to!); I had some old grammar books, but they seemed so useless starting with basic "Hello" and "goodbye", number counting and useless vocabulary when what I really wanted to talk about was what I had seen at the beach, what my favorite foods were, the interesting concerts I heard/played....rather than get overwhelmed with cramming an entire language all at once, I purposely decided to limit my study to just 5 words a day. That's it. The 5 words would be ones with immediate application, some nouns, and at least one verb and one adjective mixed in. That was my "focus" ingredient.
Limiting my focus made the gargantuan task much more manageable, a bite at a time. To help with the memorization, I started making a comic book - yes, that's right, a comic book, where I would take about the syllables of each word and draw visual association mnemonics. For example, I would draw a picture of a girl named "Jill", with her looking up at the "moon" with a question mark over her head - "jill-moon" is the Korean word for "question". Worked like a charm.

Long story short, we fell in love, got married, and to this day she is the love of my life! Hard to believe that once upon a time, my biggest dream was to just be able to have an actual conversation with this woman!

I'm hoping that for folks who really love this piece, that will be the "love" ingredient to motivate them to put in the time to study and learn.
By using digital tools to "cut out" small slices of the music at a time and to apply bright colors and highlights, i'm hoping that the "focus" on small, bite-sized pieces of material will help folks see how easy it is to play pretty much anything once it's broken down small enough.
Finally, the "fun" is really a mixture of all of the above, combined with the joy of seeing that you can actually make progress on just about anything if you take it a step at a time, no matter how large the mountain may seem in the beginning! Hopefully these lessons will continue to be fun for everyone interested in learning "Clair de lune" - I'm certainly having a ton of fun putting these together!

I almost forgot about one more element that will make a HUGE difference - feedback. Please let me know if I'm going too fast, or if I need to better explain certain aspects more clearly. "DarkAngel"'s left hand question was an excellent one that motivated me to explore putting these lessons together, so please don't be intimidated to ask! I may not be able to get to every single question, but i'll do my best to integrate them into the lesson videos as time allows.

Remember - have fun!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 09:33 AM

Lesson #4 - The Second Measure

In this lesson, we define what a "measure" actually is in music, talk briefly about the function of other lines that affect the musical "smoothness" (slurs), and discover a new symbol - the "natural" that temporarily takes away any special rules applied to a note from the key signature or any other previous lowering or rising symble (like flats and sharps).


Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 09:37 AM

Great story and lesson!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 10:44 AM

Thanks, Carl Mc! It's amazing how similar the study of music is to learning languages (wish i was better at languages, though :P
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 11:08 AM

Lesson #5 - Measure 3

In this lesson, we look at "reminder" accidentals, some really cool fingering secrets, and tips on playing 2 voices in one hand.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 11:14 AM

Lesson #6 - Measure 4

If you've been following these lesson videos, you've seen how I use digital scores and a "snipping" tool to cut out small portions of the music for easier focus. In this lesson, I show a neat application of the snipping tool to make it easier to combine the end of one line with the beginning of the next. We also explore the use of the right damper pedal to connect moving hand positions, keeping the sound smooth and unbroken even when the hands need to jump.

Posted by: Nikalette

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 01:33 PM

I'm also in.
Posted by: bluekeys

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 01:59 PM

Hugh,
Thanks for the reply and the personal story to illustrate it.

The lessons look good so far, but I'm a little confused by the timing in measure 3. It looks like the 4 eighth notes covering the last 6 beats of the measure comprise 2 sets of 2 notes that span 3 beats each, but since the middle note (F) is tied, you actually have 3 notes (Db F Db) spanning 6 beats, where the first Db gets 1.5 beats, the F gets 3 beats, and the last Db gets 1.5 beats (plus another beat in measure 4). Is that correct? Any suggestions for counting and playing that smoothly?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 02:15 PM

Great question, Bluekeys! Technically, you have the right answer, but i'll work on a video response that should make the rhythm easier to understand. Please post more questions if you need help with anything else! Thanks!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 02:15 PM

Aren't the 4 notes you speak of Blueleys 16th notes? The first part is a triplet then 4 16th notes giving you the 3/8's?

I think since this is for the raw beginner Mr Sung wants to keep it simple and play more by feel.
Posted by: PaulMac

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 02:17 PM

I'm in also, even though it's above my skills. I have the first six bars down, eager for more lessons smile
And a big thank you for this tutorial smile
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 02:24 PM

Welcome to the "class", Nikalette! wink Hope you have fun!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 02:28 PM

Welcome, PaulMac! If at any time i'm going too fast or not being clear, please slow me down and post a question - i'll do my best to make everyone at any level feel welcome and comfortable with the pace of these lessons.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 02:30 PM

This is totally weird! What a nice guy to do all this though. Does he say how hard playing in thirds is?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 02:30 PM

Hi Mark... - I think Bluekeys was referring to 8th notes that suddenly do a little "time warp" by making 2 fit into 3 (how's that for musical magic? LOL)
I'll work on a quick video addendum to address that great question and about the role of rhythm and time signatures in general. My primary intent is indeed to keep things simple, but if interest is there and great questions get posted that give us an opportunity to explore the piece a bit deeper, then more power to all of us! Isn't that what a great teaching environment produces? Great questions and great community learning? (well, at least, that's what i'm aspiring toward...let me know if i'm close to the mark! wink
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 02:33 PM

Hi Keyboardklutz - i have to confess, it can be easy for me to presume a lot and to forget that something easy for me is actually really hard for someone else. Thanks for the reminder, and please let me know if i jump the gun again!
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 02:37 PM

Jeez, I thought your interpretation was so-so - even mechanical. I just found this



Why didn't you do it this well? It's superb!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 03:08 PM

Hi Keyboardklutz - LOL! i feel like my cover's been "blown"! hahaha!
That Pianodisc version was a very personal interpretation; it's one thing when i perform as a soloist, another thing as a collaborative pianist, and yet another matter when i wear my "teacher" hat. As a teacher, i never want to impose my own interpretation on anyone else, so i was very conscious of that when taping the "overview" - i wanted to give a relatively straightforward approach as a "baseline" for students.

Wanna hear another funny story? When i started learning Korean, my (then) girlfriend spoke to me in a very standard, "Seoul" dialect - easy to understand, rather neutral in tone. After a year of exchanging letters and phone calls back and forth, i thought it was time to pay an extended visit to get to know her and her family better. My cousins live in Seoul, so i'd been relatively familiar with their pronounciation and dialect, but my girlfriend lived several hours south, so after flying into Seoul i had to take a train ride down to her hometown.
When i arrived at her house, i met her sisters and their husbands and boyfriends - and i could not understand a WORD they were saying! They had the strangest slang and the weirdest pronounciation, almost sounding like they were shouting and fighting all the time - i thought i was in an entirely different country! I looked at my girlfriend, completely bewildered, and she sheepishly told me that she used the neutral Seoul dialect with me because she thought it would be easier for me to understand...

In retrospect, she was very wise to "start me off" with a neutral dialect. If i had dove into colloquial expressions, i would've become so frustrated and confused, it would've made the mountain of learning the language 10 times higher! At least, after having climbed a certain height and gained a level of basic mastery, picking up the southern "drawl" wasn't as bad as if i had tried to from the beginning.

Does that make sense? I think the same approach is almost necessary at least in the beginning stages. Later on, it's fun to talk about different interpretive options and personal approaches, but we have to remember to take baby steps before running that full marathon.

Thanks for sharing that video, by the way! The final production version should eventually sound MUCH better than the sound that was recorded with the camcorder microphone wink
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 03:11 PM

It just shows how a real performance requires no less than 100%!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 03:14 PM

Perhaps - but then again, i've run into too many musicians who punish themselves for not being 100% perfect and never seem to enjoy the amazing gifts they possess. That's not for me - if i flub, <shrug>, i'm human, and that's ok. When i stop punishing myself for missing notes or other slips, i find i can really enjoy the music and the joy of sharing it with others. smile
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 03:50 PM

It's bar 5 ,6 ,7 and 8 where you give the music, where it's 100%. The teaching one just doesn't have it. I'm sure it's a being in the zone kinda ting.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 07:25 PM

Lesson #5.1 - Buzzing Bumblebees for BlueKeys

Here's a video response to BlueKeys' question about the rhythm in measure 3 of Debussy's "Clair de lune". To help answer this question, we talk about time signatures, note values, and a silly mnemonic for working out the differences between 3 and 2 notes per beat. Hope this helps, BlueKeys!

Posted by: btcomm

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 07:39 PM

Well, for me the "teaching" version is pretty wonderful. I figure I might have it down in say 10 years or so!

Hugh, thanks so much for your great teaching style.
Posted by: bluekeys

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 07:55 PM

Thanks Hugh,
That's exactly what I was looking for. I was pretty sure I had the mathematical interpretation right, but I needed the "bumble bee / buzzing" part to play it more smoothly.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 07:59 PM

I'm so glad that helps, Bluekeys!
Thanks for the encouragement, Btcomm!
Posted by: LisztAddict

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 11:35 PM

Wow! This is very neat! what a great way to get the message across.
Posted by: Glock fan

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/24/09 11:42 PM

Holy guacamole, my good man! This piece starts out pianissimo with five flats (later changing to 4 sharps), both hands in the treble clef, 9/8 time and you consider it suitable for beginners? I love your playing, but wouldn't it be better to take a run at Fur Elise or Take Me Out to the Ballgame first?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 12:09 AM

That, dear Glock fan, is the question only beginners themselves can answer - can something like "Clair de lune" be taught in such a way that they can actually play the piece - and still have fun in the process? I'm going to go back to my previous 3 fundamentals and say that if they don't love the piece, then it will doubtless be impossible. If they do, then I fully believe that they absolutely can! If they try to tackle too much at once, then again, it will be an exercise in futility. If they can, instead, focus on small enough portions that are manageable and easy to understand - well, over time and with steady application, let's see! And of course, bottom line, it needs to be fun. If the student loves "Fur Elise" and that Baseball song more than "Clair de lune", then by all means those other pieces would be more appropriate to "start" with.
This is quite an experiment - I have anecdotal testimony that these techniques work extremely well for beginner students working on pieces considered way beyond what many teachers would consider "appropriate" for their level, but it remains to be seen from the wider public if this actually works.
Oh, and i keep forgetting - let's not forget feedback! I really appreciated Bluekeys' question, and happily welcome others as we progress through the piece. So, beginners, please let us all know how this is working! Are the lessons too hard? Are we biting off more than we can collectively chew? I'd love to hear from you!
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 02:09 AM

Count me in for Clair de lune! I've been dabbling with this piece for a while, and Hugh, your lessons have me hooked - you're a wonderful teacher!(Love the bumblebee buzzing)!
When I first started back at the piano a few months ago, the first thing my husband said was, "You have to learn Clair de lune". He downloaded the sheet music for me and I took one look at it, said that he was nuts - it has 5 flats, changes keys, etc! A while later I tried to play through it. It was VERY frustrating. I am SO happy you are doing these video lessons! I'm looking forward to the next one. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!

CMohr
Posted by: 4evrBeginR

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 07:02 AM

Hello Mr. Sung,

Regarding your previous comment about interpretation, would you suggest that when learning new music, this one, or any other, that you start out play exactly by the page as noted; neutral as you say?

Is it ok to throw in some of our own interpretation while learning something new without doing any research; obviously dangerous, but is that generally acceptable, or if I haven't a clue, then it's better to play it as written and risk sounding boring?

Thanks.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 07:48 AM

Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Hello Mr. Sung,

Regarding your previous comment about interpretation, would you suggest that when learning new music, this one, or any other, that you start out play exactly by the page as noted; neutral as you say?
The page gives very little, the music lies within the context of the genre and period. There is no 'exactly by the page as noted', there is the composer's intention which you should be obliged to search out. Sorry to sound harsh but I believe beginners should be on the right track from lesson one. I think you may be referring to individual expression? I don't go a bundle on that either, but that's an individual thing.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 08:16 AM

Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Hello Mr. Sung,

Regarding your previous comment about interpretation, would you suggest that when learning new music, this one, or any other, that you start out play exactly by the page as noted; neutral as you say?

Is it ok to throw in some of our own interpretation while learning something new without doing any research; obviously dangerous, but is that generally acceptable, or if I haven't a clue, then it's better to play it as written and risk sounding boring?

Thanks.


Great question, 4evrBeginR! When I was teaching "Star Wars" to my son, I was thrilled to hear him play the arrangement in all different keys, changing rhythms, jumping to different octaves - he was literally playing in the musical sandbox, and I couldn't be happier to hear him genuinely experiment with the expressive possibilities of music!
By all means, throw in your expressive instincts into learning a piece of music! For many classical musicians, we've lost the "sandbox" fun in interpretations, and I'd like to encourage all of us to recapture that sense of experimentation and discovery. One encouragement I'd like to leave with you is to think of music as a language; if you don't read French, for example, and sing the words of a French chanson without understanding the meaning of the words, your interpretation is going to miss a huge part of the fun of playing with all aspects of what the song is actually saying. Having said that, though, there've been wonderful performances of American songs by non-English speakers who don't really understand the words at all, but latch on to what they love and enjoy in the music, and give a thoroughly thrilling performance!
Start with what you enjoy and understand of the music, and have fun putting your own personality into the performance/study. The wonderful thing about learning is that it never stops!
Hope that helps - and I hope you'll share your interpretation with us!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 08:20 AM

Originally Posted By: CMohr
Count me in for Clair de lune! I've been dabbling with this piece for a while, and Hugh, your lessons have me hooked - you're a wonderful teacher!(Love the bumblebee buzzing)!
When I first started back at the piano a few months ago, the first thing my husband said was, "You have to learn Clair de lune". He downloaded the sheet music for me and I took one look at it, said that he was nuts - it has 5 flats, changes keys, etc! A while later I tried to play through it. It was VERY frustrating. I am SO happy you are doing these video lessons! I'm looking forward to the next one. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!

CMohr


You are so welcome, CMohr! Don't be intimidated with all the flats and key changes - we're going to take things a little at a time and walk you through the piece, step by step. Just remember to have fun along the way! And please let me know if I go too fast or if I do something that makes the learning process frustrating. Welcome aboard!
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 08:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
Having said that, though, there've been wonderful performances of American songs by non-English speakers who don't really understand the words at all, but latch on to what they love and enjoy in the music, and give a thoroughly thrilling performance!
Sure, who needs meaning anyhow!?

I'll get my coat.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 09:56 AM

Lesson #7: Measure 5

In this lesson, I share some more thoughts on fingering strategies, give a brief overview of eighth notes and other types of note values that affect their length and speed, and get a phone call from my Karate master! LOL! Ah, domestic interruptions! wink

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 09:57 AM

Lesson #8: Measure 6

In this lesson, we review the origins of the "G clef" (also known as the "Treble Clef"), which is used to help identify notes in the upper range of the keyboard. We also introduce the "F clef" (also known as the "Bass Clef") which is used to find notes in the lower range of the keyboard.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 09:58 AM

Lesson #9: Measure 7

In this lesson, we look at repositioning hands by phrase groups, transitioning to a new musical "sentence" or phrase, and why changing fingers on the same note sometimes makes sense.

Posted by: elendil

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 01:31 PM

I'm also in, although someone must have way too much time on their hands, if they can keep up. smile Or maybe I should just begin skipping the posts and concentrate on the videos.

Great stuff and I actually rather enjoy the fact that you don't spend too long getting the timing just right. The simplifications/omittances and speed in the lessons are perfect. For me.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 04:17 PM

Hugh Sung, I can't tell you how much I am enjoying your tutorials. I love all the fine details as we dissect this all time great classic piece. Thanks again!
Posted by: 4evrBeginR

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 05:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
Having said that, though, there've been wonderful performances of American songs by non-English speakers who don't really understand the words at all, but latch on to what they love and enjoy in the music, and give a thoroughly thrilling performance!



Thanks, I completely relate to that. My children loves singing along to whatever they hear, not just Italian/German/French, but also Japanese animee songs and the theme songs from (uh, sorry) those dreaded Korean TV soap operas (one famous one in particular performed by young children and the kids love it), or something more serious like Pie Jesu in Latin. They don't have a clue what they are singing but sing along so well. It's amazing. Of course, my kids don't give any thrilling performances, just cute whenever they sing in these foreign languages.

Oh, btw, I'm in the SF Bay Area, and there's programming in just about every language on television, just in case you wonder.
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 05:59 PM

I have been lurking along this thread, and frankly I do not even have anything of value to offer now, except to say that I am truly enjoying the tutorials. I am aso realizing that although these are meant for beginners I can see things that would help more experienced players as well.

Thank you Hugh! smile
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 06:08 PM

I am pretty good through the first five measures. Thanks for the reminder of the tied Db in the 4th measure. I was playing it again.
I got a bit off track because my music sheet starts the bass cleff on the 7th measure instead of the 6th shown on your music. But, I'm good.

I suspect I will fall behind as we get deeper into the piece, but just reading along with the video and making notes is great.
Posted by: Nomadness

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 06:24 PM

I'm in, and thank you for doing this! I've been playing for about 3 years and learning to read music, and for the past few months have been on a Satie kick (here's my latest - Gnossienne #4). Clair de Lune has always seemed intimidating, but your early nibbles around the edges are making it less so. Delightful teaching style... hope I can keep up as it gets tangled in there!

Steve
Posted by: Liber_Ouchy

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/25/09 07:35 PM

Hugh, I find it hard to adequately express my gratitude for the time and effort you put into these tutorials. We are all very fortunate to have you on this forum.

By the way, watch those very talented fingers. My master warned me numerous times to spar with my hands closed. I didn't listen until I got kicked in the hand one night, and broke my right middle finger. Lesson learned!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 10:05 AM

Lesson #10 - Measure 8

Sorry this took so long to post - YouTube was acting like molasses this morning!

In this lesson, we work on some pretty challenging material; we look at a special fingering that breaks an apparent pattern, learn about thinking ahead like a chess player, and about taking advantage of notes that hold vs. notes that move for fingering strategies.

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 11:44 AM

Hugh,
Count me in also. Sorry about starting so late, but I just found this thread today and have some catching up to do.

Your teaching technique and presentation are really clear are very easy to understand. Great job!!! It's apparent that you enjoy your treaching as much, perhaps more, than your pplaying ability. I personnaly am glad you ahve both.

I'm looking forward to the future lessons. For me, it's too soon to have any questions yet.

Thanks,
Woody
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 11:53 AM

Lesson #11: Measure 9

Now we approach one of the most beautiful measures in the piece, where the hands swim over and under each other towards the top of the musical phrase. I'm using a virtual piano program called Pianoteq to illustrate how to use the damper pedal. My acoustic Cunningham Grand Piano has a QuietTime system installed, which uses special sensors on the piano action to transmit MIDI signals, allowing me to simultaneously route them through my computer to use in programs like Pianoteq.
We also talk about pivoting fingers, and why I encourage you to cheat and skip that technique by just using the damper pedal wink
A challenging measure to work on, but by taking things one at a time, you'll see it really isn't so bad!

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 11:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Hugh,
Count me in also. Sorry about starting so late, but I just found this thread today and have some catching up to do.

Your teaching technique and presentation are really clear are very easy to understand. Great job!!! It's apparent that you enjoy your treaching as much, perhaps more, than your pplaying ability. I personnaly am glad you ahve both.

I'm looking forward to the future lessons. For me, it's too soon to have any questions yet.

Thanks,
Woody

Welcome aboard, Woody! If you're an absolute beginner, then don't try to take on too many lessons at a time - I'd recommend trying just one a day or every two days to start. If a particular lesson takes longer, don't sweat it! I'm hoping that the small increments will make it easy to "digest" for anyone, especially for novices.

If you're more experienced, you can start jumping to lessons that deal with specific measures. I always do a quick review of the previous measure leading into the lesson measure.

Feel free to post questions, or better yet - submit a video showing your progress using these lessons! I'm dying to hear how effective these lessons are for beginners. Am I going too fast? Assuming too much at a time? Let me know and I can try to adjust the lesson formats accordingly.

Above all, have fun!!
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 01:25 PM

Dear Hugh,
I have been watching your video quietly from the beginning and finally decided to introduce myself.
First of all, THANK YOU so much for your time and effort to put the lessons together. You are an amazing person.

I am not a total beginner, I can actually play the piece through the end in decent speed but never been able to play as beautifully as you do.
And I know why. I didn't get any good theory lessons when I had teachers as a little girl, which was a long----long time ago, as well as any proper fingerings and all sort of proper techniques. So, I find your lessons helpful to slowdown a bit to overcome my bad habits and learn something I didn't pay attention before.
So please know that you are a BIG help for me.

One request from me. Could you introduce some tips how to play softly and beautifully? In other words, please help us not to just focus on getting the right notes? I know it could be too much for a biginner, but at the same time, if you don't learn it as a biginner, you take a risk of building up bad habits like I did. It's been a big challenge for me to remember not to bang on the keys. I've actually hurt my right hand middle finger joints by playing too hard, too stiff and too fast!

Thanks again.
Posted by: 2play4U

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 02:56 PM

Dear Hugh,
I have loved going through each of your lessons. I am similar to CoffeeLover in that I can play the piece in its entirety, but I have a long ways to go to master it. Listening to your lessons reminded me why I love the piece so much, and I have picked up a couple of very good tips. I loved your 2 vs. 3 counting tip :-). I plan to continue to follow your lessons.

I understand that the purpose of the lesson is for beginners, so I will try and not muddle up the lessons with more intermediate questions.

When I was younger, I tried to learn French. I had a horrible time. Maybe that is why I take so long to learn a piece on the piano :-).
Thanks again

Mike
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 05:48 PM

Hugh,
I have made it so far as lesson #5.1 where you answer Bluekeys question. I took lessons for years as a kid (literally 50 years ago) and never heard an explanation like the one you provided bluekeys. The clarity of the explanation, to me was truely brillant! A light bulb actually clicked on in my head.

I have been back to playing piano for a little over two years now and thought I was making progress despite being self-taught at this time. Maybe, but not as much as I learned today in just a few of your on-line lessons. Thank you for bringing this to us. It is truely appreciated.

The speed of your instruction so far seems to be perfect for me. By the time it takes to download a lesson, I can spend time practicing the previous lesson and getting it almost under my fingers. I'm not sure how fast the more "interesting" portions of the score will take to sink in, but so far I can keep up.

Now, that I got that off my chest it's time to get back to lesson #7.


Thanks again,
Woody
Posted by: cscl

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 08:59 PM

Dear Mr. Sung,

I'd like to chime in with the others who are offering their profound thanks to you for creating these videos.

I'm in too for learning this piece. I had only been hoping to learn La fille aux cheveux de lin as a first Debussy, but I'm game for working on Clair de lune instead. I'm really excited about watching the videos. I've only watched the first one and read the forum comments all the way through.

I'm also very interested in language learning and music learning and what the one might have to teach us about the other, particularly what adult learners can do in either domain when they have sufficient love, focus, and fun as you put it. I like to cite St. Augustine from De Trinitate on the mind as an analogy for the Trinity. He mentions three parts of the mind: memory, understanding, and will. In thinking of these for language learning, a great memory for vocabulary and forms and a great understanding of grammar will certainly help you, but will, which I usually rephrase as motivation (which could in turn be broken up into aspects of love, focus, and fun), is generally the key for who has the most success as an adult language learner. I'm happy to join in this experiment to see what we can all achieve!

And yes, I am trying out these same theories on myself with piano learning. I'm 3 years into weekly lessons and have recently completed my first Chopin waltz (a minor posthumous) and three movements of a Clementi Sonatina (Op. 36, No.3) as examples of what I've completed. My current pieces include Chopin's A major Prelude, Beethoven's Bagatelle in D major (Op. 33, No. 6), a Kuhlau sonatina (Op. 55, No. 2), and a short Handel Prelude in G major. From there on to Debussy (at least surreptitiously!)

Thanks!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 11:00 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Dear Hugh,
I have been watching your video quietly from the beginning and finally decided to introduce myself.
First of all, THANK YOU so much for your time and effort to put the lessons together. You are an amazing person.

I am not a total beginner, I can actually play the piece through the end in decent speed but never been able to play as beautifully as you do.
And I know why. I didn't get any good theory lessons when I had teachers as a little girl, which was a long----long time ago, as well as any proper fingerings and all sort of proper techniques. So, I find your lessons helpful to slowdown a bit to overcome my bad habits and learn something I didn't pay attention before.
So please know that you are a BIG help for me.

One request from me. Could you introduce some tips how to play softly and beautifully? In other words, please help us not to just focus on getting the right notes? I know it could be too much for a biginner, but at the same time, if you don't learn it as a biginner, you take a risk of building up bad habits like I did. It's been a big challenge for me to remember not to bang on the keys. I've actually hurt my right hand middle finger joints by playing too hard, too stiff and too fast!

Thanks again.


Dear CoffeeLover,
I hope this video helps - there's so much more to talk about, but perhaps this will help lay some groundwork for future videos about sound production and tone control. Let me know what you think.

Lesson #12.1 - Thoughts on how to play softly and beautifully

One of the members of the PianoWorld.com Forums posted an excellent question asking advice on playing softly with a beautiful sound. I hope the illustrations in this video help you to visualize the basic mechanics of producing a good sound on the piano. In addition to suggestions for videotaping yourself so that you can see potential posture or muscle problems, you might want to download a terrific audio editing program called Audacity from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ - this video will give you an innovative way to develop a softer sound using Audacity.

Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/26/09 11:57 PM

Dear Hugh,

Wow----I didn't expect a whole lesson on my request!
That was not just nice, but great explanation! Thanks! You got me when you took out the bell! Why didn't I think of that before? (I wish I had a teacher like you when I was younger)
I shall start practicing with something slow and simple tonight.
I will check out Audacity, too.
Regarding videotaping myself, I don't have any equipment to do that now but I will in the future for sure when I have more money. I use a small SONY ICD recorder to record my playing just to see how my playing sounds like. I can't even upload my music into a computer now because I don't have a software for that. Well, it's a long story. So that's all I have right now. When I figure out about the software I can upload my Clair de lune to share with you all. And that will be a good motivation for me. Sounds exciting!

Hugh, thanks a million for working so hard to prepare the lessons.
I still can't get over what a nice guy and a smart and efficient teacher you are. Thank you so much and I look forward to going forward with this song.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/27/09 12:57 AM

CoffeeLover, Audacity should solve all your problems there. All you need is a mic of some sort, and the file will be on your computer once you record.
Posted by: cruiser

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/27/09 01:37 AM

wow! ...how could I have missed THIS thread until now?!

Hugh, let me add my voice in thanking you for the time and effort you're devoting to this great thread. In my opinion you've breathed new life into the Adults Beginner Forum with your Clair de Lune lessons. This is what we need more of! It's wonderful when accomplished musicians and teachers such as yourself and keyboardklutz take the time to record video lessons for the benefit of us all here.

I have always loved Clair de Lune but never attempted to learn it, until now. And so, I'd like to join your enthusiastic group of forum member students in endeavouring to learn this Debussy masterpiece too... got some catching up to do!

...thanks again Hugh!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/27/09 09:10 AM

Originally Posted By: 2play4U
Dear Hugh,
I have loved going through each of your lessons. I am similar to CoffeeLover in that I can play the piece in its entirety, but I have a long ways to go to master it. Listening to your lessons reminded me why I love the piece so much, and I have picked up a couple of very good tips. I loved your 2 vs. 3 counting tip :-). I plan to continue to follow your lessons.

I understand that the purpose of the lesson is for beginners, so I will try and not muddle up the lessons with more intermediate questions.

When I was younger, I tried to learn French. I had a horrible time. Maybe that is why I take so long to learn a piece on the piano :-).
Thanks again

Mike

Hi Mike
Feel free to post those intermediate questions - if i can help address them, i'll try to interleave them into the lesson series. The responses to the other advanced questions have been really nice, so I'm sure your question would help a lot of people.
Posted by: AC26XP

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/27/09 09:24 AM

Hugh,
Thank you for being such a generous contributor to this forum... and thank you for the time you spend producing these lessons (both on and off the camera).

You motivate and inspire me to continue learning piano and to want to share this universal language we call music.

You da man !
Or... I should say (er... type)... Hugh da man !

Thanks again,
AC
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/27/09 10:45 AM

Lesson #12, Measure 10

More multi voice playing for the right hand; tips for holding notes while playing others in one hand; visualizing a large jump for the left hand; using the pedal to catch jumping hands; introducing octaves, and measuring chords by an octave hand; practice tips to gradually add note elements.

Posted by: 2play4U

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/27/09 03:12 PM

My biggest challenge in playing this piece is playing it as legato as possible. I do use a sound recorder (Zoom H4 – very popular in this forum) to listen to my playing. I am always surprised that when I listen to the recording, it is not as legato as I thought it was when I was playing it. My fingering is slightly different than your suggestions, and so I am playing with that a bit.
I do use Audacity for normalizing the sound before I post my playing, but I had never thought of using it to watch the amplitudes of the various chords to see if some are louder than others.

I know that you mentioned that you would cover pedaling later, but I was wondering if you think marking the pedal marks on the piece would confuse everyone. I struggle with the pedaling and where to overlap chords (i.e. hold one chord while playing the next chord) and using the pedal to join the chords. It appears that you lift the pedal quite a bit more than I do in each measure. I was wondering if you could make the pedal on the screen a little bigger, so that I could follow it easier.
Thanks for your help
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/27/09 03:20 PM

Lesson #13, Measure 11 - Part 1

This is a tricky measure, so we're going to tackle it in two parts. We learn about eyeballing octaves and how to use our hands as "octave cookie cutters" to more easily find our way around; we'll start working on the right hand octaves first before adding the inner notes, talking about how to play them in a relaxed manner.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/27/09 03:21 PM

Originally Posted By: 2play4U
My biggest challenge in playing this piece is playing it as legato as possible. I do use a sound recorder (Zoom H4 – very popular in this forum) to listen to my playing. I am always surprised that when I listen to the recording, it is not as legato as I thought it was when I was playing it. My fingering is slightly different than your suggestions, and so I am playing with that a bit.
I do use Audacity for normalizing the sound before I post my playing, but I had never thought of using it to watch the amplitudes of the various chords to see if some are louder than others.

I know that you mentioned that you would cover pedaling later, but I was wondering if you think marking the pedal marks on the piece would confuse everyone. I struggle with the pedaling and where to overlap chords (i.e. hold one chord while playing the next chord) and using the pedal to join the chords. It appears that you lift the pedal quite a bit more than I do in each measure. I was wondering if you could make the pedal on the screen a little bigger, so that I could follow it easier.
Thanks for your help

That's a terrific suggestion, Mike - I'll work on a pedaling lesson for everyone. Thanks!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/28/09 07:06 AM

Here's a bit of inspiration from a young beginner from Sweden - lesson videos have only been up about a week, and to see this kind of result already is a thrill for me! I'd love to see more video responses (and video questions) so that we can collectively encourage each other and have fun learning together!

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/28/09 10:49 AM

Lesson #14 - Measure 11, Part 2

Now we put the remaining elements together in this measure. Once again, we try to use some fingering strategies that take advantage of "cookie cutter" octave shapes, particularly in the left hand where we can position it to fit several consecutive note groups. Octaves are the name of the game! We also look at pivoting fingering in favor of preserving the "cookie cutter" shape, and some different pedaling options.

Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/28/09 01:20 PM

hi,
Thanks for the video, Hugh and "the young biginner from Sweden" ! Good job for such a short time. I noticed that you are plying from memory. Nice. I usually wait until it comes natually.
I tried videotaping for the first time! Just up to measure 14. I'm not sure how this is going to work. I just used a web camera that came with my laptop. Here it goes. (In case you don't know me, I am not a total biginner, but I am trying to make my playing sound better. I am sure there are lots of bad habits like posture, hand position etc. since I got back to piano three years ago just teaching myself. So if you notice something, please let me know.)

humm..., it looks like I have to make it into something like YouTube video.
I guess I'll figure it out and then post it.
Hold just a minute please...this is not going to be easy..
whistle
Posted by: bluekeys

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/28/09 02:29 PM

Beginner from Sweden is doing great!

My biggest challenge is internalizing the thirds timing. Maybe I've lived too long in a "1&2&3&4" world. One thing that's helped is setting the metronome on 32 and letting it click every third beat. Alas, I'm only on measure 8, but I'm learning 2 other pieces right now and only giving Claire a few minutes a day.

This is going to be a long term project.
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/28/09 03:51 PM

Beginner from Sweden is doing much better than I am also. While I can play up to measure 11, it still needs more work to come completely up to speed. My problems are with the fingering and pedaling. I have realized that I haven't been using much of my thumbs on either hand as I should have so I am in the process of fixing that for the fingering and I have either too much or not enough pedaling.

I have managed to work on it a total of about 2 hours since I started yesterday so I am satisfied with where I am right now - just not enough to open up the piano and set up the H2 yet.

I think what would help besides the future pedaling lesson is a review lesson of everything we have completed so far. I'm not sure at what point we can draw the line yet due to continuing phrasing of the music...

Bluekeys is right, this is a long term project!

Woody
Posted by: ski34days

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/28/09 05:13 PM

Hi, new member Joyce popping into the conversation and the lesson group. I can't tell you how delighted I am to find these lessons (thank you BlueKeys, I saw the reference to them in your webpage, which I follow) and can't wait to get home from work and start playing with this. I'm a beginner, started as an adult at age 58 and have been taking lessons and practicing diligently for 20 months now. With Hugh's help I'm ready to tackle this song which is so gorgeous. I'll be posting additional questions and comments as I go thru the study. Thanks everyone for being here.
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/28/09 05:26 PM

Welcome ski34days!
Good luck with your study.

Regarding my video, I've been trying to upload to YouTube and finally got it work, but turned out that the uploaded video plays in fast forward mode and the audio is normal speed, as a result, the audio is cut off at around a third of the whole thing. I'll have to learn more about this stuff. So, my video has to wait until I sort it out. Sorry...
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/28/09 09:51 PM

Okay, here my video goes.
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 02:29 AM

Is this great or what? So many joining in on the Clair de lune lessons. And so dedicated, too! Coffeelover and beginner from Sweden are really doing well.
I'm going to be out of town for a week w/o internet access so I'll have some catching up to do.
My question is, since I don't have video capabilities (and maybe others don't either) could I post an audio only of my progress? It may be awhile before I can do this-I have never recorded my playing or posted an audio before. I think I need some advice on the basic," How do I do this". And also, would audio only be appropriate here confused since fingering, etc. couldn't by commented on? help

CMohr
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 06:42 AM

Bravo, CoffeeLover!! Wow, you're sounding terrific with this! Thanks so much for putting this video up (and for taking the time to learn how to do so!) Now i can take credit for teaching folks not only how to play the piano, but also for how to become computer techies wink
Looking forward to part two as soon as we cover the next batch of lessons!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 06:43 AM

Originally Posted By: CMohr
Is this great or what? So many joining in on the Clair de lune lessons. And so dedicated, too! Coffeelover and beginner from Sweden are really doing well.
I'm going to be out of town for a week w/o internet access so I'll have some catching up to do.
My question is, since I don't have video capabilities (and maybe others don't either) could I post an audio only of my progress? It may be awhile before I can do this-I have never recorded my playing or posted an audio before. I think I need some advice on the basic," How do I do this". And also, would audio only be appropriate here confused since fingering, etc. couldn't by commented on? help

CMohr


Hm, you're giving me an idea for another lesson on some basic audio/video "how to's"! wink
Posted by: HomeInMyShoes

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 07:15 AM

While I'm not joining in on this one, I have to say kudos to Hugh Song for putting this together and sharing his time and energy with the forum.
Posted by: kingdon

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 09:43 AM

I must admit that I am not a beginner. I have played for 40 plus years. Clair De Lune has always been a favorite and your teaching method is both unique and I imagine very successful. I am looking forward to your lessons on some of the more difficult measures which are coming soon. I hope that you consider doing other pieces in this same manner.
Posted by: Ninami

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 11:24 AM

Thank you all for the great response! I must say this forum with all the good piano players and a terrific teacher really inspires me to play even more! Now I'm trying to learn the new measure (measure 11 part 2), it's hard for me because it involves a lot of fingers and my problem is where to put them ;P But I'm getting there, keep up the good work people!

//Beginner from Sweden ;P
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 04:17 PM

Lesson #15, Measure 12

We clip a little more from the digital music score than usual to show an interesting pattern, making the learning of the next measure much easier. Much of music study involves the ability to notice patterns. We also spend some time talking about good posture at the piano and ways to make sure you stay relaxed and use your muscles efficiently.

Posted by: Ninami

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 05:11 PM

I've noticed you often ask if you're going to fast without any response. Well in MY opinion your speed is perfect, and the time between each video uploaded is good for training if the measure is hard (even tho I update youtube several times a day to see if a new video is up :P). The tips for relaxing was great, I have that problem and when I play I kinda press to hard.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 08:07 PM

Sorry this took so long - busy weekend here!
At last, i get around to answering 2play4U's questions about pedaling.

Lesson #16.1 - Basics of Pedaling, Part 1

Another member of the PianoWorld.com Forum (2play4U) asked for help with using the pedal to connect notes. Be sure to view Lesson #3 (measure 1) to review how the damper pedal on a piano works (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPRmDZzLV-g). In this lesson, we'll go over why it can be so difficult for beginners to connect notes with the pedal (a term I call, "Symbiosis", although I'm not sure of the official scientific term); I also use a new program to better illustrate the pedal and keyboard mechanics, Home Concert Xtreme (http://www.timewarptech.com/index.html ). We'll conclude with the proper way to make smooth connections with the hand and pedal; next lesson, we'll demonstrate how to pedal a portion of "Clair de lune".

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/29/09 08:53 PM

Lesson #16.2 - Basics of Pedaling, Part 2

We now show a suggested pedaling for the first page of Clair de lune, using special symbols to indicate when to press, hold, and lift or "change" the pedal. I also talk briefly about some of the technologies I use that dramatically enhance my teaching and playing capabilities, including Home Concert Xtreme, the Wacom Bamboo graphics tablet for drawing digital ink, and an AirTurn (http://airturn.com), which is a wireless transmitter connected to a foot pedal that allows me to turn "pages" of digital music without the need for my hands to leave the keyboard. We talk about the need to remember "UP/down" (emphasis on "UP") as a technique for making sure the pedal connects with the notes played in the hands correctly, and how proper pedaling can actually make "legato" or "smooth playing" easier to do with far less tension.

Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/30/09 02:54 PM

Dear Hugh,

That was a fantastic lesson on pedaling!

I am not really a beginner (more like an intermediate player) but for some reason I've never been able to learn Clair de Lune all the way through. I always drop it after the first page or so. Thus I was delighted to see that you are teaching this piece measure by measure! You have motivated me now to join this "class" and stick with it to the end. I commend you for taking the time to perform this labor of love. Your passion for teaching just shines through.

As an educator myself I am always looking for ways in which technology can enhance my teaching. I routinely use a tablet PC to teach electrical circuits and I noticed you were one of the early champions of tablets for music performance and instruction. And now with AirTurn, the Wacom tablet, Home Concert Extreme, Music Reader, and YouTube, you've taken things to a whole new plane. But of course, all the technology in the world is no substitute for a certain innate teaching ability, great communication skills, and the ability to establish rapport with students, something you are blessed with.

I also like your "just in time" approach to teaching. You keep things simple, yet interesting, and you teach new concepts only when needed to play the next measure. With this approach even a rank beginner need not fear that the key signature has five flats or that there are passages in thirds. He is making real music right away instead of spending weeks on scales, finger exercises, and nursery rhymes.

Oh, and by the way, would you kindly post a pdf of at least the first page with all your suggested fingerings written in? This way one doesn't have to go through all the previous lessons in order to find your fingerings.

Again, congratulations on a job well done!

jazzyprof
Posted by: RobM

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/30/09 07:32 PM

Wow, this is pretty lucky! I started learning Clair de Lune this morning, and randomly decided to check out this site again just now since disappearing for some reason back in January.....and then I see this fantastic thread on the first page! Its the best welcome back I could have hoped for! smile

I first picked this piece up about 12 months ago, but promptly put it back down again when things started to get tricky after the first page. I'm quite pleased that this time around I'm already about half way into page 3 after just one day, although I've just been focusing on the harder parts so far and casually plunking through the rest - I'll need to go back and memorise certain sections later.

Just thought I'd pop in to say hi to my fellow Clair de Luners, and thanks to Hugh for all the effort you're putting in to this. I haven't really started watching the videos yet, so I'm going to catch up now and find out what I've been doing wrong so far.
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/30/09 10:30 PM

Hugh, those are wonderful pedaling lessons! Well illustrated,too.

I may be jumping too far ahead with this question - My sheet music has notated at the beginning that the damper pedal and the una corda pedal be down before the playing begins. I guess what I want to know is if the una corda pedal is held down for this entire first part of Clair de lune. There is no other marking on my music until much further into the piece (measure 43) where the una corda pedal marking pops back up. So, how long is the una corda (or soft) pedal held in the beginning? Thanks!

CMohr
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/31/09 02:23 PM

Bump. It was getting too close to off of page one.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/01/09 12:31 AM

Lesson 16.3 - Preparing Measure #13

Ok, now for something completely different!
We take a little detour in this lesson to lay out some new note reading strategies with some fun, crazy new mnemonics - trust me, these are unique! This will help us read notes faster as we move into the next portions of the piece. We also review the mnemonic for triple and duple rhythms in preparation for what's coming up in measures 13 and 14. I show a neat technique in MusicReader that allows me to add text as "stamps" that can be easily adjusted in size, position, and color on the music. No notes played yet, but hopefully this will lay the groundwork for making the next lessons a bit easier.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/01/09 12:41 AM

Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
Dear Hugh,

That was a fantastic lesson on pedaling!

I am not really a beginner (more like an intermediate player) but for some reason I've never been able to learn Clair de Lune all the way through. I always drop it after the first page or so. Thus I was delighted to see that you are teaching this piece measure by measure! You have motivated me now to join this "class" and stick with it to the end. I commend you for taking the time to perform this labor of love. Your passion for teaching just shines through.

As an educator myself I am always looking for ways in which technology can enhance my teaching. I routinely use a tablet PC to teach electrical circuits and I noticed you were one of the early champions of tablets for music performance and instruction. And now with AirTurn, the Wacom tablet, Home Concert Extreme, Music Reader, and YouTube, you've taken things to a whole new plane. But of course, all the technology in the world is no substitute for a certain innate teaching ability, great communication skills, and the ability to establish rapport with students, something you are blessed with.

I also like your "just in time" approach to teaching. You keep things simple, yet interesting, and you teach new concepts only when needed to play the next measure. With this approach even a rank beginner need not fear that the key signature has five flats or that there are passages in thirds. He is making real music right away instead of spending weeks on scales, finger exercises, and nursery rhymes.

Oh, and by the way, would you kindly post a pdf of at least the first page with all your suggested fingerings written in? This way one doesn't have to go through all the previous lessons in order to find your fingerings.

Again, congratulations on a job well done!

jazzyprof


Thanks so much for the kind compliments! Wow, you really "get it"! I would argue, however, that I couldn't teach the way I do without these tools - they're not only effective in their direct application, but they've also been immensely helpful for me to organize musical material in ways that paper simply cannot do as a physical medium. There are far better teachers out there than me - i just happen to be one that likes to use shiny toys! wink Another nice thing about these tools, i believe, is the fact that you really don't need to completely change the way you read or mark music - you can do so in exactly the same way you're accustomed to with physical paper, only with the complete freedom of bright colors, erasable inks, and non-destructive cut-outs!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/01/09 12:43 AM

Originally Posted By: CMohr
Hugh, those are wonderful pedaling lessons! Well illustrated,too.

I may be jumping too far ahead with this question - My sheet music has notated at the beginning that the damper pedal and the una corda pedal be down before the playing begins. I guess what I want to know is if the una corda pedal is held down for this entire first part of Clair de lune. There is no other marking on my music until much further into the piece (measure 43) where the una corda pedal marking pops back up. So, how long is the una corda (or soft) pedal held in the beginning? Thanks!

CMohr
Some might argue that you can play the whole piece with the una corda kept down. It's really up to you and what you prefer, i believe - i tend to stay away from the u.c. and only use it for really special moments, as it creates such a drastic change of sound, but that's just my personal preference. Then again, i might change my mind depending on my mood! Ah, the fickle art of music wink
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/01/09 09:35 AM

Lesson #17: Measure 13

Now we're ready to tackle measure 13. By the way, a portion of this was covered as a response to an earlier question from a PianoWorld.com forum poster. We're using the new mnemonics to quickly find notes. We learn about how to turn a white note into a flat when there's no black key next to it. We also go over some basic pedaling for the measure, as well as the "buzzing bumblebee" mnemonic for the rhythm.
If at any point I'm going too fast, please let me know and I'll try to adjust the speed of the lessons.

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/01/09 10:39 AM

Hugh,
I have no problem with the speed of the lessons. Since each lesson is self-contained and limited to a single measure in most cases, they can be reviewed (or repeated) as I need them. The real advantage to these on-line lessons is that they can be reviewed at whatever pace we, the students, choose. Since I've been off work for the past few days so I have plenty of time for practice. Once I start back to work later this week, I'll have a lot less time for practice but the lessons will still be at a pace I can learn at based on when I am able to review them. Yes, I may fall behind the class by a lesson or two, but the learning will still be at my pace. This learning method has got to be the way of the future!

Thanks again for taking the time and effort required to present these lessons.

Woody
Posted by: HeirborneGroupie

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/01/09 11:00 AM

I've been following along from the beginning and I think you have a gift for teaching Hugh. I'm enjoying these lessons. I am a beginner and I'm keeping up quite well. The pedaling lessons are fantastic.

Thank you.
Posted by: 2play4U

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/01/09 11:28 AM

Hugh,
Thank you so much for the lesson on pedaling and showing how you pedal the 1st page. I thought it was very easy to understand and very helpful.

I also love technology, and as mentioned before, have gotten pretty good at recording the audio of my playing. I have not ventured into the video world yet. I had always assumed that a camcorder does not do a very good job of capturing the sound of a piano. Perhaps at some future point, you might outline what equipment and software is required to record video and post it.

Thanks again, I am really enjoying following this thread.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/01/09 07:37 PM

Looking forward to the last measure on page one...

I wish I wasn't working on a zillion other pieces and could just do this one...
Posted by: cruiser

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/02/09 06:58 AM

Hugh, do you have any advice to offer regarding the playing of 3rds - and chords generally - in perfect unison, whilst at the same time balancing the voices in the chords appropriately? This is an essential skill I've been trying to master for a long time, with inconsistent results. Learning Clair de Lune with you has prompted me to ask for your help.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/02/09 09:48 AM

Lesson #18, Measure 14

Using our new mnemonics to quickly map out the notes, we find more parallel chords in both hands. We also go over a basic pedaling technique for the measure. Using the hands-free AirTurn to move back and forth between the two clipped measures (13 and 14), we can see how the "buzzing bumblebee" rhythm applies. This brings us to the end of page 1 in many editions, and the start of the more difficult section of "Clair de lune"!

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/02/09 12:22 PM

To make it easier to find for all of my classmates and before it disappeared off page #1 - BUMP>
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/02/09 01:15 PM

Mark: Bumble bee buzzing, buzzing, buzzing...

Wife: Are you losing it? laugh
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/02/09 01:29 PM

Mark,
You may get away with the Bumble bee buzzing, buzzing, buzzing.... But DON'T let her hear the mnenomics - she'll just have you comitted!! "ew great big dog fur", yup, loonie bin for sure. LOL
Woody
Posted by: EJR

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/02/09 01:36 PM

Dear Moderators,

Please can this thread be "stickied"...?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/02/09 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: jazzyprof

Oh, and by the way, would you kindly post a pdf of at least the first page with all your suggested fingerings written in? This way one doesn't have to go through all the previous lessons in order to find your fingerings.


Sorry for the delay in getting this out! At first i was thinking of writing out all the fingerings in a new blank copy of the score, but then i realized that i had been saving my screencast notes as i went along - why not just make a PDF from those notes instead?

So here you go - a little hard to read, and it's only in black in white as a PDF (the highlights come out as solid block colors for some reason, so i have to export as grainy greyscale). Let me know if this helps. You'll also get a little preview of the notes to come in the next set of lessons, btw wink

Clair de lune from scratch notes in BW PDF
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/02/09 11:06 PM

Hm...looks like my site won't allow you to download directly, but at least the link will take you to the page/folder where the notes are located. Just look for "Clair de lune from scratch - notes" and you should be able to download the PDF there. Let me know if this doesn't work.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/02/09 11:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Mark,
You may get away with the Bumble bee buzzing, buzzing, buzzing.... But DON'T let her hear the mnenomics - she'll just have you comitted!! "ew great big dog fur", yup, loonie bin for sure. LOL
Woody

LOL!! You guys are so funny - glad to know that my craziness keeps great company! wink
Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 12:40 AM

Wow, Hugh, thank you so much for putting up the pdf of your notes. Makes it so easy to catch up, review, get up to speed. You da man!
Posted by: Ludwig van Bilge

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 01:43 AM

Hugh,
Forgive me for hijacking your topic but since you're a techie as well as a pianist I'm wondering if you have an opinion on the Synthesia computer program. Specifically, I'm curious whether you think it has any value as an alternative to standard music notation for those of us who totaly hate standard music notation.

If you're not familiar with Synthesia here's a tutorial that uses it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FOWP22OC04&feature=channel_page
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 07:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Ludwig van Bilge
Hugh,
Forgive me for hijacking your topic but since you're a techie as well as a pianist I'm wondering if you have an opinion on the Synthesia computer program. Specifically, I'm curious whether you think it has any value as an alternative to standard music notation for those of us who totaly hate standard music notation.

If you're not familiar with Synthesia here's a tutorial that uses it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FOWP22OC04&feature=channel_page

That's a fascinating question, Ludwig - yes, i've seen videos of Synthesia in action. What i find so interesting is that i find the effort to learn the notes with the "Synthesia" system to be just as hard, if not harder, than reading standard music notation. The Sudow "dot note" reading system seems to provide a similar approach, an intensely graphical notation that ends up being just as difficult, if not moreso, than reading "real" music. Where Sudow and Synthesia excel, perhaps, is in their novelty and the "fun"-factor - the pictures and graphics lookeasy by themselves, and thereby are better at inviting participation, masking difficulties that are surprisingly similar to traditional notation.

Here's what i mean regarding the difficulty. With Synthesia, you have to eyeball the distances between "notes" that look much more similar than standard notation. Complex rhythms would become a nightmare, as you wouldn't have the benefit of the time values spelled out for you - it would be a huge trial and error game until you "got it right".

Here's an example of Clair de lune with a similar program that shows what i mean - turn the volume off, and try to figure out what notes you're supposed to play and when, and you'll see what I mean:



Now, granted, in Synthesia you have a keyboard underneath to "catch" the falling notes, but i would still argue that it's a much more difficult system to use in the end, particularly if you're working with music you've never heard before. That's where traditional notation excels; once you learn it, it makes incredible sense, it's a flexible language that can accommodate remarkable depth with great efficiency, and it isn't hard to learn once you get past some of the biases and - perhaps, this is our fault as teachers - the 'traditional' ways of teaching it.

Take a sheet of regular music, turn it 90 degrees clockwise, and you have "Synthesia" kind of in reverse - instead of the notes falling down, the notes rise, but it's the same graphical representation with regard to distance. The benefit is that you can clearly see which hand plays which part, how long to play each note instantly instead of waiting for the longer notes to show their "tails", which keys to prepare for in advance (key signatures), so on and so forth.

Synthesia is a fun game for pieces that you already know, but i would argue that the time and effort spent trying to figure out an unfamiliar piece with it would be far greater than the time and effort with traditional notation. I'm hoping that lessons like the ones we're posting for this group will be a step towards making traditional notation much more fun and accessible to everyone.

Thanks again for a terrific question! Hope this helps!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 07:27 AM

Originally Posted By: cruiser
Hugh, do you have any advice to offer regarding the playing of 3rds - and chords generally - in perfect unison, whilst at the same time balancing the voices in the chords appropriately? This is an essential skill I've been trying to master for a long time, with inconsistent results. Learning Clair de Lune with you has prompted me to ask for your help.

Hm - if you could post a video response, that might be helpful in figuring out how best to address your 3rds issues. Thanks!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 09:37 AM

Lesson #19 - Measure 15, Part 1

Now we start one of the most difficult portions of "Clair de lune", but never fear - we'll take things a portion at a time to make the learning as easy as possible. We start by connecting the previous measure into the beginning of measure 15 by digitally clipping both portions and combining them side by side. We also talk about applying a "Tai Chi" style of playing, to ensure smooth transitions between large jumps in the left hand.

Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 10:03 AM

Hugh
Thanks for the notes. These are perfect for review when practicing the individual sections. thumb
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 11:17 AM

Glad to help out, Carl Mc & Jazzyprof! (Even more glad i remembered to save all those examples!) wink
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 03:54 PM

Hugh: Thanks for the lessons, when I have time, I'm going to start working this piece from start to finish!

By the way, I have a really nice copy of most of debussy's finer works: It has a few extra notations and fingerings that make learning a bit easier. Want me to scan and post Clair de Lune?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: munkeegutz
Hugh: Thanks for the lessons, when I have time, I'm going to start working this piece from start to finish!

By the way, I have a really nice copy of most of debussy's finer works: It has a few extra notations and fingerings that make learning a bit easier. Want me to scan and post Clair de Lune?

Hi Munkeegutz
Thanks for your kind offer, but I would advise against posting your version of Clair de lune, unless you can be sure it's in the public domain. There are still some editions out there where the copyright is somewhat iffy, so just to be safe, let's just work with what we can reasonably determine to be PD.
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 04:11 PM

fair enough. Just thought I should throw it out there.
Posted by: Musicwoman

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 04:12 PM

Please do post them so that beginners like me may also learn. Thanks.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 04:21 PM

Hi Musicwoman
You can download a public domain PDF and a MusicReader version of the score from my website here:
http://airturn.com/musicreader-library/piano-solo/

Hope this helps!
Posted by: mcasl

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 09:16 PM

Thanks for the tutorial! I've arrived late and I'm on the third measure but I will follow the lessons from now on.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/03/09 09:32 PM

Originally Posted By: 1weekPlayer
Thanks for the tutorial! I've arrived late and I'm on the third measure but I will follow the lessons from now on.


Welcome aboard, 1weekPlayer! Hope you have fun with the lesson videos! Let me know if they're too hard or too fast - i can try to adjust as needed.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/04/09 09:53 AM

Lesson #20: Measure 15, Part 2

Now we add the right hand to measure 15. Recognizing that the right hand is playing octaves makes it easier to figure out the notes. We also see how pivoting fingers can make the playing of repeated notes easier, particularly as we want to keep the "cookie cutter" shape of our octave hand. Remember Tai Chi piano from our last lesson? Applying slow practice with precise arrivals will help to train the muscles to memorize the physical distances between jumps. We also use "memory guides" where the hands share notes, helping to smooth out jumps.

Posted by: Mark...

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/04/09 03:38 PM

I just love the E flat octave in the base...what a sweet growl... laugh
Posted by: AlphaTerminus

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/04/09 04:00 PM

hey I'm in on this too. I'm supposed to learn the easy version for my next lesson, and already did, so downloaded the original version, and happened upon this. Thanks!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/04/09 08:56 PM

Hugh,
I was really worried about the speed that you were going to use for the "interesting section". I thought for sure I would be lost and it would take me weeks to get back up to speed. I was wrong.

Your breakdown is perfect for me. What I have realized is I have a whole "bumblebee" to go from the base Eb's to the next chord in the left hand and only octives, at first, to deal with in the right hand. YOU have made it easy!

Seu Seung, komapsumnida.

Woody
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/04/09 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Hugh,
I was really worried about the speed that you were going to use for the "interesting section". I thought for sure I would be lost and it would take me weeks to get back up to speed. I was wrong.

Your breakdown is perfect for me. What I have realized is I have a whole "bumblebee" top go from the base Eb's to the next chord in the left hand and only octives, at first, to deal with in the right hand. YOU have made it easy!

Seu Seung, komapsumnida.

Woody

That's so cool to hear! I'm glad to hear that you find the lesson speed manageable, Woody! Thanks!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 09:04 AM

Lesson #21, Measures 15-16 Part 1

We review the duple/triple rhythms in measures 15-16, and introduce MusicReader's text stamping feature to put the "buzzing bumblebee" mnemonic into the music with contrastic colors. We start off by working on the right hand notes, using more colors to highlight the octave patterns. We use pivoting fingerings in the right hand on the repeated notes to preserve our "cookie cutter" shape between the octaves.

Posted by: cruiser

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 12:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
Originally Posted By: cruiser
Hugh, do you have any advice to offer regarding the playing of 3rds - and chords generally - in perfect unison, whilst at the same time balancing the voices in the chords appropriately? This is an essential skill I've been trying to master for a long time, with inconsistent results. Learning Clair de Lune with you has prompted me to ask for your help.

Hm - if you could post a video response, that might be helpful in figuring out how best to address your 3rds issues. Thanks!


Thanks for your reply Hugh but my question is simply related to the playing of chords - any chords - in perfect unison without any notes being sounded momentarily before others, if you understand me. I don't have a '3rds issue' especially but - in common with many others I'm sure - I can't consistently play chords - even 3rds - with all parts in perfect unison. Clair de Lune has its fair share of chords and so I thought this might be a good opportunity for someone of your undoubted teaching ability to offer some advice on this crucial technique. I don't think I need to make a video in order to demonstrate this particular problem, even if I knew how to!
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 12:54 PM

Come on cruiser, drop and flop!
Posted by: cruiser

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 01:14 PM

Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Come on cruiser, drop and flop!


kbk! ...of course, how could I forget your drop and flop technique?! I'm off to give it a go...
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 02:20 PM

Hi Hugh-

Bumblebee perfectly makes sense in the measures 15 through 18 which I didn't get the rhythm right until now. You are amazing!

I just hope this is not taking too much of your time away from your family.
Zoo, Disney land, romantic dinner and stuff...
If there is anything I can help to save some of your time, please let me know.
I really mean it.

Thanks again.
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 02:28 PM

Hugh, I forgot to mention, I live in LA so I know there isn't much I can do, like babysitting I would if you are close enough, but anything I can do with my computer or something with the piano, just any little help will make me feel better. Thanks.
(I am not working right now, I work on project basis, so this is your chance!)
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 02:35 PM

Lesson #22: Measures 15-16, Part 2

Now we add the left hand, noting that much of it uses the same notes. Also note how both hands are moving relatively parallel when put together. We also anticipate a potential practice problem that might create some "rhythmic roadblocks" - stay tuned for the next lesson, where I'll help you overcome/prevent them with some advanced practice and memorization techniques.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Come on cruiser, drop and flop!
Sounds like good advice to me! Thanks, Keyboardklutz!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 03:19 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Hi Hugh-

Bumblebee perfectly makes sense in the measures 15 through 18 which I didn't get the rhythm right until now. You are amazing!

I just hope this is not taking too much of your time away from your family.
Zoo, Disney land, romantic dinner and stuff...
If there is anything I can help to save some of your time, please let me know.
I really mean it.

Thanks again.
That's so sweet of you, CoffeeLover! Thanks so much - i may PM you with some computer network questions soon. Have a great holiday weekend!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 03:39 PM

Lesson #23 Measures 15-16 Part 3

After learning the raw notes, we talk about how to smooth out the entire passage without rhythmic "speed bumps". We develop some custom exercises to overcome the most dangerous spots in the passage by isolating them and focusing them in a separate document called a "Practice Journal" (my PJ's!) By developing smart practicing strategies instead of just plowing through note to note, we can speed our learning exponentially.



Enjoy, and have a terrific Labor Day Holiday, Everyone!
Posted by: EJR

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 05:16 PM

Hi Hugh,

I've been avidly following your tutorials and whilst not currently learning this piece (it is on my ToDo list though) I wanted to say how much I've enjoyed watching your approach, techniques and methods.

There is much to learn from this, the most recent lesson (23) on cutting and pasting to build a "Practice Journal" is particularly noteworthy and an excellent idea.

One comment though, I have tried to do something very similar in the past using Adobe Acrobat Reader and PDF files, but (a big but!)... It doesn't appear to allow you to cut and paste as easily as you can in your video demonstartions. When using Adobe, I had to maximise the application and score and take a full "desktop" screen grab, then do further processing of this image in MS Paint to get the individual bars or phrases I was after, which, whilst it worked, was quite laborious.

Please can you tell us a bit more about the features of the MusicReader software and can it "read" or load PDF sheet music files?

Thanks
Posted by: Gary001

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 06:59 PM

EJR: If you have Windows Vista, you can make use of the "snipping" tool to copy rectangular or irregular sections of the screen which can then be pasted into windows journal or another app of your choice. It removes the print screen/paste in graphics app, copy small section steps.

Not sure if the snipping tool is available for XP except as part of the Tablet edition? There's probably a similar app you can install though, but if you're using Vista, you already have it smile

MusicReader which you've seen in Hugh's videos, comes as two programs, the first (seen in the videos) displays the score and allow you to move forwards/backwards through it in full or half page steps. Along with various annotation options such as freehand drawing on the score and a few other features.

The 2nd is Music Convertor which will take a set of image files (or via scanner) and allow you to put them together in a suitable page order (you can repeat pages as needed too). This is then saved for later use in Music Reader.

The final option, which is what you'd use for the PDF files, is a virtual printer that music reader installs. So getting a pdf into music convertor is as simple as opening it and selecting print smile

There's a demo of MusicReader that is worth installing and giving a road test.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/05/09 08:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Gary001
EJR: If you have Windows Vista, you can make use of the "snipping" tool to copy rectangular or irregular sections of the screen which can then be pasted into windows journal or another app of your choice. It removes the print screen/paste in graphics app, copy small section steps.

Not sure if the snipping tool is available for XP except as part of the Tablet edition? There's probably a similar app you can install though, but if you're using Vista, you already have it smile

MusicReader which you've seen in Hugh's videos, comes as two programs, the first (seen in the videos) displays the score and allow you to move forwards/backwards through it in full or half page steps. Along with various annotation options such as freehand drawing on the score and a few other features.

The 2nd is Music Convertor which will take a set of image files (or via scanner) and allow you to put them together in a suitable page order (you can repeat pages as needed too). This is then saved for later use in Music Reader.

The final option, which is what you'd use for the PDF files, is a virtual printer that music reader installs. So getting a pdf into music convertor is as simple as opening it and selecting print smile

There's a demo of MusicReader that is worth installing and giving a road test.

Thanks so much, Gary001! Couldn't have explained Vista's Snipping tool or MusicReader better than that wink

You can download a free demo version of MusicReader for Windows or Mac here:

MusicReader demo page at www.AirTurn.com

I'll work on another video talking about other snipping options for Windows XP and Mac, as well as an overview of MusicReader's capabilities. It's an amazing program that i use every day for my performing, practicing, and teaching activities.

One of the main motivations in creating the "Clair de lune from scratch" series has been to show how powerful and effective digital tools like MusicReader can be for music pedagogy. The only way to truly appreciate what these tools can do is to "experience them" first hand, and I hope you'll continue to find these video lessons helpful.

Have fun practicing, and don't forget to enjoy your holiday weekend for those of you in the USA!
Posted by: cscl

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/06/09 12:55 AM

I'm all caught up with the videos through lesson #23, now I need to practice more.

Now that we've got a taste of something different in the piece with measures #15-16, I can see how we'll make it to 27, but I'm really curious to see what happens from there all the way through the end of the piece, which looks impossible to me right now!

Thanks for these, Hugh. Clear teaching, good quality videos, and all the bells and whistles really help out. You've got quite a setup and a lot of talent to put it to use.
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/06/09 02:21 AM

Hugh
OK-it wasn't a "duh" slap myself on the forehead moment, but the tai chi example in lesson #19 really hit home. I've practiced tai chi and now the connection I think will help me in all my playing! Thanks for ANOTHER great learning tip!
Posted by: HeirborneGroupie

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/06/09 11:59 AM

Hugh,

I am very interested in learning how to use the cut/paste applications in conjunction with Music Reader. I'm using a Mac.

Really enjoying the lessons. Thanks again
Posted by: BB Player

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/06/09 01:29 PM

Elwyn also sent me a PM that I responded to but I thought I'd post a response here too since I've gotten another request to make this thread sticky.

We made the collective decision a while ago to limit the number of sticky threads cluttering the front page and instead create the "important topics" thread with links to threads of enduring value such as the recitals, study groups, etc. We currently have a recital and 4-5 study groups active so you can see there'd be an awful lot of sticky threads.

I agree this has been and continues to be a very interesting and useful thread (thanks Hugh!) And will add it to the list of study groups in the "important topics" thread. I'm somewhat internet challenged at this point but I promise I won't forget.

Also, please don't hijack this excellent thread to debate whether this or other threads should or shouldn't be sticky.
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/06/09 08:23 PM

Just wanted to say that I am still lurking on this thread - and enjoying the tutorials.

Who says learning classical music has to be boring??
Posted by: cruiser

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/07/09 04:32 PM

I'm eagerly awaiting lesson 24 Hugh, and thanks again for this excellent series.
Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/07/09 04:51 PM

Hey Cruiser, it's Labor Day! You're supposed to take the day off.
Ooops, I see you're in Germany. Oh well, never mind. smile
Posted by: cruiser

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/07/09 05:34 PM

'ooops' from here too, jazzyprof - thanks for the reminder and I hope you've all had - are having - a relaxing hol in the USA!
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/07/09 07:47 PM

Hugh,

Here's a Russian edition of the score with fingering (from piano.ru):

http://www.box.net/shared/yqm7j4n21e

Your fingering is easier, but this edition is nice to have, even with the difficult stretch from Eb to Bb with 5-4 in measure 5.

It's really, really great to hear you stress the joy of learning to play.


Mel
Posted by: Mati

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 02:46 AM

Mel, these fingerings are very similar to those which I use. My teacher suggested them as they allow for playing legato throughout, and she is totally paranoid about legato playing (which I actually very like about her teaching). They might be more difficult for some though, as they seem awkward at times.

Thanks for the score, I'm sure many will find it useful!


M.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 06:21 AM

Lesson #24: Measures 15-16 & Measure 17, Part 1

Now that we've learned the notes for measures 15-16, we'll explore a couple of pedaling options. Be sure to review lessons 16.1 and 16.2 for the basics on pedaling if you haven't seen them before.
We then start to look at the beginning of measure 17, by noticing a new French term for the "right hand" ("main droite") which helps play an extra note together with the left hand. I also give a quick overview of what we'll cover in the next lessons for measures 17-18.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 06:23 AM

Originally Posted By: dannylux
Hugh,

Here's a Russian edition of the score with fingering (from piano.ru):

http://www.box.net/shared/yqm7j4n21e

Your fingering is easier, but this edition is nice to have, even with the difficult stretch from Eb to Bb with 5-4 in measure 5.

It's really, really great to hear you stress the joy of learning to play.


Mel





Thank you so much for this score, Mel! The fingering i give in the videos lessons are purposefully simplified - if there's enough interest out there, I could look into presenting a seminar to explore some cool advanced fingering and pedaling techniques smile
Posted by: RobinL

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 07:01 AM

Hi Hugh. I just joined your "class". I just wanted to say thanks so much for all the work your putting into this! :-)
Posted by: EJR

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 12:59 PM

Hi Hugh,

There is something I'd noticed in the recently covered bars that I'd like to ask about. It's the articulation mark "tenuto" (I think) either above or below the chords.


In bars 15 (top note of the chords both LH & RH), in bar 16 (top RH & Bottom LH), and in bar 17 other than the first RH chord, they are not present.

Does this mean that the note should be accented and if so: how can you vary the relative 'emphasis' of the notes within a chord and can you suggest any ways or methods to practice this skill?

Best wishes,
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 06:44 PM

Originally Posted By: RobinL
Hi Hugh. I just joined your "class". I just wanted to say thanks so much for all the work your putting into this! :-)

Welcome to the "class", RobinL! Hope you have fun learning alongside the rest of us!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 06:53 PM

Originally Posted By: EJR
Hi Hugh,

There is something I'd noticed in the recently covered bars that I'd like to ask about. It's the articulation mark "tenuto" (I think) either above or below the chords.


In bars 15 (top note of the chords both LH & RH), in bar 16 (top RH & Bottom LH), and in bar 17 other than the first RH chord, they are not present.

Does this mean that the note should be accented and if so: how can you vary the relative 'emphasis' of the notes within a chord and can you suggest any ways or methods to practice this skill?

Best wishes,

Hi Elwyn
Great question! I think in this case, the tenutos (you got that right!) are more an indication of the length of the notes, rather than accents. Octaves are notoriously difficult to connect, so this may be Debussy's way of requesting as smooth a texture as possible.

One way to practice may be to try the passages without pedal and exploring how long you can hold each octave while minimizing the "air time" to move between them - i.e., maximize "hold", minimize "air". You'll want to be careful not to produce too much tension in your hands, fingers, and arms - let your hands/fingers rest in each octave pocket by force of weight and gravity as long as possible, and when you move to the next octave, try to do so with as little height to re-strike the hammer as possible. Does that make sense?

There are so many wonderful intermediate and advanced questions being raised, I wonder if anyone in the class would, at some point, be interested in a live "webinar" to explore some creative solutions to fingerings, thirds, octaves, and anything else that the group comes up with that isn't being covered in the core lesson videos. A show of hands, class?
smile
Posted by: Liber_Ouchy

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 07:14 PM

Here's my hand. Have learned so much from you, I'll take all I can get. Would a live "webinar" be something we could replay? I'm sure I couldn't digest everything in one sitting.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 07:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Liber_Ouchy
Here's my hand. Have learned so much from you, I'll take all I can get. Would a live "webinar" be something we could replay? I'm sure I couldn't digest everything in one sitting.
I'm looking into various webinar software - most of them seem to feature the ability to record the session, so i think that's a standard option that we could make available to all the participants. BTW, any techies out there who can make a good recommendation for webinar software that can stream video well?
Posted by: HappyApple

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 10:12 PM

I love watching and hearing you play. Your timing is so perfect. It just relaxed me so much. Can you come play for me and put me to sleep? blush Just kidding. I am planning on jumping on this train tomorrow. And thanks for doing this. It is such a beautiful piece.
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/08/09 10:27 PM

another for the webinar! One other thing that would be nice, if you can afford the time (you might still have the footage) is a video of just your "overhead" view of the keyboard, playing the whole piece straight through. Either your simplified fingering, or the one you would normally use would be useful in their own respects. This way, we could learn how you handle the fingering for the entire song right away, and (potentially) raise you questions before the lesson so you can incorporate answers into your lessons. Just a thought!
Posted by: RobinL

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 05:23 AM

Hi guys. I think I've found a legit version of the score in 'proper' pdf rather than just jpgs embedded in pdfs. Hope this helps someone:

http://www.musanim.com/pdf/debussyclairdelune.pdf

It had a copyright but says it you can freely distribute for non commercial purposes :-)
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 08:47 AM

Originally Posted By: RobinL
Hi guys. I think I've found a legit version of the score in 'proper' pdf rather than just jpgs embedded in pdfs. Hope this helps someone:

http://www.musanim.com/pdf/debussyclairdelune.pdf

It had a copyright but says it you can freely distribute for non commercial purposes :-)


Wow!! This is terrific! Looks like a version created with a typesetting program like Lilypond or Finale/Sibelius, which in many cases is much cleaner to view on a computer screen than scanned paper versions. Thanks so much for sharing this link, RobinL!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 08:48 AM

Lesson #25: Measures 17-18, Part 2

Recognizing that the right hand is playing mostly octaves again, we start by mapping the top notes. We also learn about "grace notes", a special kind of fast note that acts as a musical "decoration". We explore two sets of fingers for the right hand, one for smaller hands, the other for larger ones which provides for better finger connections ("legato", in Italian). The key rule for fingering is to always make sure it feels comfortable for your own hand, as everyone's hand is unique in shape and size.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 08:50 AM

Originally Posted By: munkeegutz
another for the webinar! One other thing that would be nice, if you can afford the time (you might still have the footage) is a video of just your "overhead" view of the keyboard, playing the whole piece straight through. Either your simplified fingering, or the one you would normally use would be useful in their own respects. This way, we could learn how you handle the fingering for the entire song right away, and (potentially) raise you questions before the lesson so you can incorporate answers into your lessons. Just a thought!


That's a great idea, Munkeegutz - i'd have to shoot new footage, as my head tends to get in the way of the overhead camera unless i specifically pull back, but i'll try to work on that in the future. Thanks!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 08:52 AM

Originally Posted By: HappyApple
I love watching and hearing you play. Your timing is so perfect. It just relaxed me so much. Can you come play for me and put me to sleep? blush Just kidding. I am planning on jumping on this train tomorrow. And thanks for doing this. It is such a beautiful piece.


LOL - some people say I put them to sleep with the sound of my voice! I guess i'm just a human tranquilizer! :P
Hope you enjoy the lessons, and welcome aboard!
Posted by: 2play4U

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 11:27 AM

I would love to participate in a webinar.

Thank you
Posted by: HeirborneGroupie

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 11:50 AM

Count me in for the webinar too
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
That's a great idea, Munkeegutz - i'd have to shoot new footage, as my head tends to get in the way of the overhead camera unless i specifically pull back, but i'll try to work on that in the future. Thanks!

The only thing is, you run the risk of people who aren't prepared trying to learn the whole piece and hurting themselves. I know I'm constantly at risk of injury (and am, in fact, hurt right now) but thats mostly due to my deadly combination of hobbies (piano, rock climbing, weight lifting and computer programming)...
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 12:27 PM

Hugh,

I was waiting for your fingering suggestion for the grace note in the measure 18 and you did it again, thanks so much. I am going to use your first suggestion and play the grace note with 5 and then immediately go on with 4-2-1.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 01:59 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Hugh,

I was waiting for your fingering suggestion for the grace note in the measure 18 and you did it again, thanks so much. I am going to use your first suggestion and play the grace note with 5 and then immediately go on with 4-2-1.


I'm so glad you found that grace note fingering helpful!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 02:00 PM

Originally Posted By: munkeegutz
Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
That's a great idea, Munkeegutz - i'd have to shoot new footage, as my head tends to get in the way of the overhead camera unless i specifically pull back, but i'll try to work on that in the future. Thanks!

The only thing is, you run the risk of people who aren't prepared trying to learn the whole piece and hurting themselves. I know I'm constantly at risk of injury (and am, in fact, hurt right now) but thats mostly due to my deadly combination of hobbies (piano, rock climbing, weight lifting and computer programming)...


Hm...i'd suspect that computer programming is by far the most damaging to your body than anything else you mentioned!

This might be another topic to add to the webinar, thoughts on comfortable playing and injury prevention at the piano. Thanks for raising these points!
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 02:23 PM

haha you'd be surprised: I use a special egronomic keyboard for programming, its actually rock climbing that's the problem. I got this injury by combining restarting rock climbing for this semester with 16th note scale practice @ 95bpm. what was I thinking?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 02:28 PM

Originally Posted By: munkeegutz
haha you'd be surprised: I use a special egronomic keyboard for programming, its actually rock climbing that's the problem. I got this injury by combining restarting rock climbing for this semester with 16th note scale practice @ 95bpm. what was I thinking?


Oh my!! Please be careful!! If i may recommend a fantastic book, it would be "Stretching" by Bob Anderson and Jean Anderson. Check it out and let me know if it helps.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 04:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
Originally Posted By: munkeegutz
haha you'd be surprised: I use a special egronomic keyboard for programming, its actually rock climbing that's the problem. I got this injury by combining restarting rock climbing for this semester with 16th note scale practice @ 95bpm. what was I thinking?


Oh my!! Please be careful!! If i may recommend a fantastic book, it would be "Stretching" by Bob Anderson and Jean Anderson. Check it out and let me know if it helps.


Wow is that book still in print? I think I bought mine 25 years ago!
Posted by: ProdigalPianist

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 05:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
I'm looking into various webinar software - most of them seem to feature the ability to record the session, so i think that's a standard option that we could make available to all the participants. BTW, any techies out there who can make a good recommendation for webinar software that can stream video well?


I'm not a techie but I work in an educational technology office. I've asked our resident gurus for input. Will let you know what I hear back.
Posted by: Gary001

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/09/09 05:31 PM

I don't know anything about webinar software, but for simple live streaming have a look at ustream.tv. Viewers can ask questions/comment via text chat too.

Although you'd really need something else to handle switching between the live camera view and laptop screen view for the score. Never tried anything like that so I'm stumped smile
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 01:37 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Wow is that book still in print? I think I bought mine 25 years ago!
Jeez, you must be really long by now!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 07:10 AM

OK, maybe I spend too much time at the piano and work but I have never even heard of Webinar let alone know what it's used for. Help? The scary thing is what else is out there that I don't know about or heard of? It took me weeks to master my Zoom H2 and Audacity (with the help of others) is there any hope at all for me?
Thanks,
Woody
Posted by: Bunneh

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 07:47 AM

webinar is a word creation meaning Web seminar wink
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 08:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
OK, maybe I spend too much time at the piano and work but I have never even heard of Webinar let alone know what it's used for. Help? The scary thing is what else is out there that I don't know about or heard of? It took me weeks to master my Zoom H2 and Audacity (with the help of others) is there any hope at all for me?
Thanks,
Woody


That's ok, "webinar" is a pretty geeky term - i guess that says a lot about the time i spend in front of the computer keyboard instead of the piano one, eh? wink

A "Webinar" is a seminar held on the web - they can take on a lot of formats, but the type that I'm pursuing would be mainly a streaming video where folks could see and hear me live through their web browsers, and simultaneously post questions via text/chat in the same window. Kind of like an interactive TV show, but for viewing by registered attendees only (Thanks, Gary001 for that ustream.tv suggestions - that looks really promising!)
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 08:25 AM

Lesson #26: Measures 17-18 Pt. 3

Now we put the left hand notes together, with some challenging hand position changes that will become more comfortable as you get familiar with the "landscape" of the keyboard and the physical shape of the chords. We explore some alternate fingers, with an encouragement to experiment to find the ones most comfortable for your hand size and shape.

Please let me know if I go too fast through this measure! If necessary, I can develop some practice exercises, depending on requests from folks participating in this series. Great job for following along up to this point!

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 08:40 AM

Hugh,
Thanks for the explanation and depending on my work schedule, count me in also.
Woody
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 12:09 PM

Dear Hugh (and fellow lesson mates),

When are you planning to do the Webinar?
I will participate anyway, but just curious (and excited!!!).

Here are some check list to help you decide.

-Is it going to be about particular measures or phrases? Or the whole song?
-How is it going to be held?
-For how long would you say one Webinar session should be?
-Or are you going to ask us to help you decide?
-Is there anyone else as excited as I am? (Or more than I am?) just kidding!

In case you ask me, I will suggest this way- just my two cents, no pressure. You can tell me I suck if you think so.

First, any willing participants submit a video of her/his performance of selected portion of Clair de lune(or audio if one can't make a video) in this thread ahead of time (ideally a week ago or at least a couple of day ago to give enough time for everyone to observe), so that everybody including Hugh can see or hear it before the Webinar.
If the person has any specific problem or question, it can be addressed beforehand in the recording or through this thread.
This will give us a chance to get comments and possibly helpful suggestions from fellow mates as well as Hugh.

At actual Webinar, Hugh would address some highlights of problem measures or phrases from participants' video or audio.

This will help us focus on selected issues in limited space for live chat and limited time of the Webinar.
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 12:53 PM

I like this idea! It will make the webinar much more efficient because we can see what everyone's problems are ahead of time and get rid of the simple issues. The webinar should be reserved for problems that are too diffuclt to describe or solve without the help of realtime video or audio.

I've been busy (and a little hurt) so I havent really worked measures 15 on, but I'll try and clean it up in the next few days and get a recording out there too.

oh and Hugh: I'll look into that book next time I stop by a bookstore. The hand's feeling better though, as long as I dont try any tricky octave parts with my right hand.
Posted by: senam

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 03:16 PM

Haven't visited this forum in a while, then last week I saw a link to these lessons in Bluekeys blog. What a wonderful gift to the community you are giving Hugh! Clair de Lune is one of my all time favorites and always wanted to play it. I'm self-taught and my technical skills are so-so but with your excellent lessons and advice I'm sure we'll all come through.

Like the others I'll, let you know if I have any questions but so far the lessons are perfect!

On the webinar idea, I think it's a good idea but not a great one. You already take the time to answer all our questions here. Not sure it would be any different live. And since we all live in different time zones and have different schedules, you could probably only assemble a small subset of the group. Anyway, just my opinion.

Once again, a huge thank you far helping a dream come true!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/10/09 03:32 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Dear Hugh (and fellow lesson mates),

When are you planning to do the Webinar?
I will participate anyway, but just curious (and excited!!!).

Here are some check list to help you decide.

-Is it going to be about particular measures or phrases? Or the whole song?
-How is it going to be held?
-For how long would you say one Webinar session should be?
-Or are you going to ask us to help you decide?
-Is there anyone else as excited as I am? (Or more than I am?) just kidding!

In case you ask me, I will suggest this way- just my two cents, no pressure. You can tell me I suck if you think so.

First, any willing participants submit a video of her/his performance of selected portion of Clair de lune(or audio if one can't make a video) in this thread ahead of time (ideally a week ago or at least a couple of day ago to give enough time for everyone to observe), so that everybody including Hugh can see or hear it before the Webinar.
If the person has any specific problem or question, it can be addressed beforehand in the recording or through this thread.
This will give us a chance to get comments and possibly helpful suggestions from fellow mates as well as Hugh.

At actual Webinar, Hugh would address some highlights of problem measures or phrases from participants' video or audio.

This will help us focus on selected issues in limited space for live chat and limited time of the Webinar.



CoffeeLover, this is absolutely brilliant! Terrific ideas, and i think we can implement most of them pretty easily!

Now here's a big question for the group: what would be a reasonable fee to register for the Webinar? If we have enough material to cover with advance questions and video/audio contributions, I'm thinking of a 1, possibly 2 hour webinar - depending on the contributed content, i'm guessing around 75% devoted to advance material, and the remaining 25% for an open chat Question and Answer session.

I'd love to get everyone's feedback on a reasonable participation fee. Putting these lessons together has been an absolute joy, especially given the wonderful feedback and enthusiastic participation from folks all over the world! If there's enough interest in the Webinar and a reasonable return for the time invested in making these lesson videos, I could very well see myself doing this on a regular basis for everyone grin
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 12:14 AM

I would absolutely be willing to pay a reasonable price for the webinar, but only if I felt that I would be learning alot of stuff that I wouldn't catch without an actual teacher. Honestly, I feel like (contrary to my opinion when I began watching the lessons) that the lessons are very well designed as far as a complete newbie is concerned, but too slow for aspiring pianists that have some experience.

That being said, I think you're an excellent teacher who has done us a great favor by doing these lessons in the first place, and you deserve payment for that alone.

If we do the webinar though, I suggest that we wait until measures 27-30 have been covered, even if they have been covered out of place. This is because measures 15-26 seem to be largely played the same, and it looks like, IMHO, 27-30 are the hardest in the piece.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 06:07 AM

Originally Posted By: munkeegutz
I would absolutely be willing to pay a reasonable price for the webinar, but only if I felt that I would be learning alot of stuff that I wouldn't catch without an actual teacher. Honestly, I feel like (contrary to my opinion when I began watching the lessons) that the lessons are very well designed as far as a complete newbie is concerned, but too slow for aspiring pianists that have some experience.

That being said, I think you're an excellent teacher who has done us a great favor by doing these lessons in the first place, and you deserve payment for that alone.

If we do the webinar though, I suggest that we wait until measures 27-30 have been covered, even if they have been covered out of place. This is because measures 15-26 seem to be largely played the same, and it looks like, IMHO, 27-30 are the hardest in the piece.


Great suggestions, Munkeegutz! You raise a great point about the "speed" of the YouTube lessons, being primarily designed for folks who have never played the piano or read music before - being limited to 5-10 minutes of YouTube time per lesson, you can only cover so much beyond the very basics, which is why a more open-ended Webinar might provide more flexibility to cover intermediate and advanced topics.

Thanks to everyone who has PM'd me with great advice and offers of help - the webinar is another experimental idea, and i'm not sure if i've ever heard of anyone else putting something like this together for piano pedagogy (please let me know if anyone has!) I'm thinking that it might be a better idea to "work out the bugs first" to see if folks find this method of teaching effective and simply open the webinar up to everyone so that folks can get an idea of what's possible in this format.
Posted by: RobinL

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 06:28 AM

When you suggested the possibility of a online seminar I thought that a trial run might be the best way forward...that way if it works well the first time, after that people will know what they're getting so might be more inclined to pay a fee in advance. :-)

Back on the topic of the lessons:
I'm not a complete beginner but I'm finding the pace fine (I skip through some bits, but watch most of it). I'm doing something that others might find useful: prior to watching the video, have a go at finding the notes and working out a fingering yourself. Then watch how Hugh does it and correct any errors. That way you learn through your mistakes :-)

This is actually similar to the way I work with my piano teacher. To begin with he used to give me the fingering, but we've found it best for my progression if I have a go first, and then we go through together and correct errors and work out why I went wrong.
Posted by: R0B

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 06:34 AM

I could be wrong, but it looks to me, like ustream is a public streaming service, so not possible to restrict viewers, or charge subscription fee.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 06:42 AM

Originally Posted By: RobinL
When you suggested the possibility of a online seminar I thought that a trial run might be the best way forward...that way if it works well the first time, after that people will know what they're getting so might be more inclined to pay a fee in advance. :-)

Back on the topic of the lessons:
I'm not a complete beginner but I'm finding the pace fine (I skip through some bits, but watch most of it). I'm doing something that others might find useful: prior to watching the video, have a go at finding the notes and working out a fingering yourself. Then watch how Hugh does it and correct any errors. That way you learn through your mistakes :-)

This is actually similar to the way I work with my piano teacher. To begin with he used to give me the fingering, but we've found it best for my progression if I have a go first, and then we go through together and correct errors and work out why I went wrong.


That's terrific, RobinL! One thing I'm finding fascinating is the wide variance in view counts for the video lessons, and not necessarily in "chronological order". What you're doing is a great example of gleaning what you need in the order that suits you best.

The "trial run" is a great suggestion, and most likely the best first step to see if this can actually work for everyone participating. I'm going to go back to CoffeLover's checklist to start moving us along for scheduling. BTW, I did an experimental run last night on ustream.tv with a "live" multi-camera setup and screencast feature - still some bugs to work out, but the setup looks really promising!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 07:23 AM

Hugh,
I live in an area where piano teachers are few and far between - if they exist at all. I have never seen any advertising for piano lessons in any of the local papers for example. So the idea of being able to take lessons via the internet is intriguing to me and has potential.

The down side is I don't have a digital piano that can have it's output go directly into a computer nor do I have a video camera. I have an acoustic on it's last legs (and I tune myself since technicians are also few and far between) and a Zoom H2 which even after months of ownership I am still having problems making acceptable recordings. My work schedule is such that I don't know from one week to the next how many hours I will be required to work. On those weeks that I only work 20 - 30 hours there's plently on time for piano practice, tuning and recording experiments. On those weeks that I work over 80 hours - which right now is most of the time - I'm lucky to just get my MOYD 5 minutes of practice in every day.

So right now there is too little time for recording trials, mastery of Audacity, and transfer to Box let alone purchasing and experimenting with a video camera and H2 editing. Without seeing and hearing me play, how would the on-line instructor know what I need to work on?

I also think that there are several other inherent problems that would need to be ironed out prior to the exchange of money. First, how would the money be trasnferred? PayPal? Credit Card? How much is fair? Would I be a portion of a class that matches my current ability or would I require separate lessons?

Right now with "Clair" I too have to agree that I think the lessons are on the slow side for me. But are they? While the lesson break-down may make sense for true beginners if I were required to put my money where my mouth is - so to speak - I would want the pace to pick up a bit and cover only those areas that I need help on. Which means spending the time and money on video recording and sound and video mixing on top of the cost of the lessons. I enjoy playing and tuning my piano but I am not an "IT" type person and have little interest or have the time required to become one.

I have enjoyed doing the "Clair" lessons even if they are a bit too slow for me. With all of the other pieces I'm practicing the pace is OK and the price has been right.

I do understand the amount of work that goes into each of the lessons and I am grateful for the lessons I have enjoyed to date. I also agree that somehow compensation for your time should be part of the mix.

I look forward to reading what the other "Clair" classmates think or have to say.

Woody
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 07:55 AM

Originally Posted By: R0B
I could be wrong, but it looks to me, like ustream is a public streaming service, so not possible to restrict viewers, or charge subscription fee.


Ustream.tv actually has an option to apply a password to the broadcast for private viewing. The more i play around with it, the more i'm liking this as a broadcast option as opposed to web meeting programs/sites like WebEx or even DimDim.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 08:12 AM

Lesson #27, Measure 19

Before we get into the lesson, we look an interesting option for viewing music using a 23 inch LCD monitor for full sized two page views, or zoomed half page views - great for folks with vision difficulties! The program i'm using to view and annotate the music is called MusicReader. For more details, please visit http://airturn.com/musicreader/musicreader

Posted by: JeffBC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 08:45 AM

Quick comment about the monitor suggestion included above: Most 23" LCD these days have 1920x1080 (16x9 HDTV 1080P resolution). With a little hunting you can find ones with 1920x1200 (16x10 computer) resolution and the extra screen area, even though it doesn't look like much, is significant. Also the thin LCD screens when taken off their stand sit on many music rests quite well. I have one on the metal music rack built into the Kawai MP-5, and I've done similar setups for friends including a Steinway grand. If you like the idea of the monitor sitting on the piano/keyboard music rest directly be sure to pay attention to how the video and power wires plug in, you want something where the wires are recessed into the back, or the side to the screen can lay flat (without the wires poking out the back). Note there is a new 23"/24" resolution (2048x1152 single link DVI) that many older computers/videocards can't drive - so be aware. The fact that screens of this size/resolution/quality can be found for ~$200 amazes me (I must be getting old).
Posted by: R0B

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 09:47 AM

[quote=Hugh Sung
Ustream.tv actually has an option to apply a password to the broadcast for private viewing. [/quote]

Apologies. I stand corrected blush

I only had a quick look, and wrongly got that impression.

I am still looking forward to the day when Skype offers video conferencing. They advertise it, but then say it is not yet available.
Apart from that, I find Skype to be most reliable.

Slightly off topic, but I am interested, Hugh, in how you use multiple cameras?
I use two analog cameras with Skype, using a video switch box to flip between the two.
A more elegant solution, would be great.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 10:02 AM

I've only read part of this thread.

Is the main idea of the series to enable beginning students to be able to play a much more advanced and beautiful work then they would normally be able to do so they will become inspired and love to play/practice the piano? Or is this meant to be a method for learning every new piece? Or is the idea to have a video of measure by measure "pre instructions" so they can deal with a piece that they normally would find too difficult?

Or something else??

Thanks.
Posted by: jotur

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 11:35 AM

Hi, pianoloverus -

There's a discussion in the teachers forum in which much of this is addressed that you might find interesting:

Hugh Sung's Claire de Lune

It's really helpful to read the whole thread, because the comments from the people following along will shed some light on what the videos are addressing for them - I think there's been some of all of the above here. Hugh also responds with his thoughts on what he could offer differently. You might have some of your questions addressed before starting to have them duplicated here.

It might turn out it's not for you, but the other participants have some interesting insights. It might turn out that something similar might work for you, but not this particular set of videos. Dive in -


Cathy
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 02:40 PM

Woody-
I am no tech person either, but it took me one morning and a bit of the afternoon to figure out how to quickly make a video with what I already had which was web cam that came with my Toshiba laptop computer. You might find this thread helpful.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1263301

Cheers!
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 02:52 PM

Cathy,
Thanks for posting the link to the teachers' thread thumb. I've been busy watching AB thread, didn't know about it. Wow I just went there and started reading, it is very interesting. Good to see that other teachers adimire what Hugh has done. I agree that Hugh's teaching method is very unique and effective, not just about computer technology, but something like the Bell he used to demonstrate how you should hit the piano key made a deep impression on me. Keyboardklutz mentions it too in this teachers' thread.
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 06:57 PM

Just in case - Bump
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 10:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Just in case - Bump


Instead of bump may I suggest...bumble bee, buzing, buzing... laugh
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/11/09 10:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark...
Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Just in case - Bump


Instead of bump may I suggest...bumble bee, buzing, buzing... laugh


Ew! Great Big Dog Fur - Again! LOL!!
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 04:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung

Ew! Great Big Dog Fur - Again! LOL!!
That is smart.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 08:02 AM

Lesson #28, Measure 20

This is a relatively easy measure. We see how "reminder" flats are used even when technically not necessary. I show two different pedal options. We go back to measure 19 and go over the differing rhythms, moving between duples ("buzzing") and triplets ("bum-ble-bee"). The trickiest portion to practice will be the left hand jumping quickly to catch the triplet rhythm.

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 08:44 AM

Hugh,
I hope it's just my computer but I don't see the YouTube Link on your last post. The space is there but no link???
Woody
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 10:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Hugh,
I hope it's just my computer but I don't see the YouTube Link on your last post. The space is there but no link???
Woody

That's strange - i see the video myself. Is it still blank for you? If so, try going directly to the video on YouTube:

CDL Lesson #28 Measure 20
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 11:23 AM

Yes Hugh, still blank for me. I haven't seen any of the others yet so I don't know if it's my computer or what???? The link does work - thanks.
Woody
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 11:27 AM

It is working for me.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 11:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Yes Hugh, still blank for me. I haven't seen any of the others yet so I don't know if it's my computer or what???? The link does work - thanks.
Woody


If this is easier, here's the direct link to the full YouTube playlist for "Clair de lune from Scratch":

Clair de lune from Scratch YouTube Playlist
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 11:44 AM

Hugh,
Both of the links did work but I even tried re-booting my computer and still have a blank space in the posting. Carl said his is working so it must be something down here.
Woody
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 12:04 PM

Mine works, too.
Posted by: EJR

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 12:20 PM

Hi Pianoloverus,

You raised several very interesting points, and here are a few personal thoughts and comments:

<<Is the main idea of the series to enable beginning students to be able to play a much more advanced and beautiful work then they would normally be able to do so they will become inspired and love to play/practice the piano? >>

Yes!

Sometimes, the "advanced" element is largely in the notation and reading the score, rather than the physical movements required (such as in this piece where there's sections in either 4flats/4sharps and so on). It provides methods and strategies to catalyse/accelerate the learning process.

<<Or is this meant to be a method for learning every new piece?>>

Yes!

I am a poor music sight reader, I consider myself to be a "decypherer" (e.g. "C" ..."a"...."t" oh its "cat" and so forth). I've found that by applying Hugh's very detailed review process to the current piece that I'm working on and identifying all the notes, considering all the fingering and so on, that it seems to be getting into my fingers much faster than the pieces I've studied during the last 2 years. Whilst I have been breaking my pieces into sections and identifying the hard bars, I hadn't gone as far as clinically dissecting down to each and every note so thoroughly, (I let this evolve with time (wasting time)). So during this week I stopped all "regular practice" on my current piece until I'd completed this process which took several hours or more over a couple of days. I will certainly be approaching all my pieces like this from now on.


<<Or is the idea to have a video of measure by measure "pre instructions" so they can deal with a piece that they normally would find too difficult?>>

Yes!

Funnily enough, I'd written a bit about this on my Blog. If you were going to climb a mountain you'd read a guide book and take a map (even if it was just a day long hike). If it was an expedition lasting weeks, you'd probably have a Guide. We may spend weeks or months studying a piece. So I can definately see the need for this bar-by-bar dissection of a piece together with informed advice on fingering, pedalling and putting it all together as being potentially very useful (if it were commercially available and from a reputable source).

There appears to be a lot of the old carpenter's saying here of "Measure twice cut once" (or similar) as well. That is, plan what you are going to practice and figure it all out carefully, before learning to play the parts (and possibly hard-coding in weak points, stutters, misstakes and so on). Figuring out all the fingering and notes, up front, checking how one phrase flows into the next, slowly and carefully seems so obvious and very important to me now.

<<Or something else??>>

Get everything you can from these tutorials. Even the simple things like crossing out the tied notes seems to help make things easier for me.

I can see that it may also be possible, that by being so careful and clinical with the study of the score of new pieces that once this process becomes instinctive and habitual, that there could well be major benefits towards improved sight-reading.

Just a few thoughts....
Posted by: JeffBC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 05:42 PM

Hugh,
How much of what we're hearing in the lessons is your Cunningham and how much is PianoTeq3?
http://www.pianoteq.com/pianoteq/audio/Debussy-Clairdelune-HughSung-C3close.mp3 makes me wonder...
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 06:02 PM

Originally Posted By: JeffBC
Hugh,
How much of what we're hearing in the lessons is your Cunningham and how much is PianoTeq3?
http://www.pianoteq.com/pianoteq/audio/Debussy-Clairdelune-HughSung-C3close.mp3 makes me wonder...

Ah! Good question! What do you think? I'll reveal the answer after we get some responses wink
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/12/09 09:58 PM

Hugh, just wanted to say how much your instruction on the Grace Note helped me (I guess your fingering lessons did it)! I just got caught up today and I'm ready (after practicing, of course) for your next installment. I really feel like I now have TWO private teachers! grin

I also think the webinar would be great for alot of our "classmates". I'm not sure, for me, if it would work out since I don't have a webcam. But, it would be nice if the webinar could be accessed at any time. Just my 2cents. And, as always, many thank-yous for doing this!
CMohr
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/13/09 01:25 PM

Bumblebee buzz....

BTW, CMohr, a Webnar is supposed to be live. Something that can be accessed any time would be what Hugh Sung is doing now, here in this thread.

Cheers,
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/13/09 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Bumblebee buzz....

BTW, CMohr, a Webnar is supposed to be live. Something that can be accessed any time would be what Hugh Sung is doing now, here in this thread.

Cheers,

I think Cmohr is referring to recording the webinar so that people who couldn't be there live could at least watch it.
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/13/09 02:06 PM

Thank you munkeegutz! You beat me to a reply to Coffeelover.
I am definitely techno-NOT. Just thought if the webinar (like you pointed out) could be recorded ALSO, that those of us (I may be the only one-and in that case I guess I'm just out of luck frown ) who can't paricipate live could still glean some knowledge by watching when we could.
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/13/09 02:43 PM

Sorry about that---CMohr.

BTW, the reason you can't participate was because you don't have a web cam, right?
(Correct me if I am wrong.)

I am not sure if that's right. Maybe Hugh or other Techee people can correct me, but I don't think you'd need a web cam to participate in the Webinar. Only person that would need a camera during the Webinar is Hugh. I don't have any experience on Webinars, but my impression is that you just log in to the Webinar site and watch Hugh teaching live, and then there is a box you can type in your messages to participate. Humm, I am not doing this well. Can anyone with experience explain this in better way? I just hate to see someone missing out a possible good opportunity.

You do need a web cam or a video camera to record a video of your playing if you would like to post a video, before the Webinar takes place, to discuss where you have problems with.
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/13/09 03:15 PM

Coffeelover-
No offense. I'm sure you're right about the web cam. I still think that it would be nice if the webinar was recorded for viewing "non-live" - I think someone else had concerns about how people all over the world will be able to participate in a live webinar. I suppose some could be involved in the wee hours or during working hours, I don't know. And like I said, I'm certainly not one to chime in on technical advice - just thought it would be very cool to access extra in-depth instruction.
Cheers!
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/13/09 03:44 PM

OK - SO after rereading previous posts, I guess the whole webcam thing doesn't really come into play. blush So, depending on how all this webinar thing works out, I SHOULD be able to participate. The "when" would be the only thing that may be problematic. Sorry, I guess I've been beating a dead horse here. Oops!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/13/09 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: CMohr
Coffeelover-
No offense. I'm sure you're right about the web cam. I still think that it would be nice if the webinar was recorded for viewing "non-live" - I think someone else had concerns about how people all over the world will be able to participate in a live webinar. I suppose some could be involved in the wee hours or during working hours, I don't know. And like I said, I'm certainly not one to chime in on technical advice - just thought it would be very cool to access extra in-depth instruction.
Cheers!


Hi CMohr - you'll be happy to hear that I'm definitely planning on recording the Webinar and making it available for downloads after the event, so those who can't attend "live" will still be able to watch afterward.

As CoffeeLover mentioned, you'd only need a webcam if you want to contribute videos to the class. Folks can still submit questions by text, or by live chat during the Webinar itself.

I'm thinking of aiming for a Saturday Webinar, starting at 13:00 Eastern Standard Time (1 pm in the afternoon New York City time) - that would translate into 10 am California time, 18:00 UK time, and 19:00 Germany time, if i'm calculating this correctly. More details to follow - i'm going to work on a separate website to make sign ups and scheduling/posting details for the webinar easier.
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/13/09 04:53 PM

yippie
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 06:53 AM

Lesson #30, Measure 22

Once again, we look at using our hands and fingerings in a "cookie cutter" fashion. Fortunately, the chords in both hands are shaped to make movement much easier. We end up by comparing the duple to triple rhythms from the previous measure, as well as exploring two different pedaling options.

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 08:11 AM

Hugh,
Did you post lesson #29 here on Piano World? I went back through the previous posts and It's not there. BTW, I finally got lesson #28 (along with #30) after wiping all internet files, rebooting the computer and logging back into piano world. None of the previous lessons were able to be seen prior to the re-booting. What I haven't received is Lesson #29. I went onto your site in YouTube and was able to watch Lesson #29 there but there is nothing between lessons #28 & #30 on this thread.
Woody
Posted by: bluekeys

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 10:37 AM

Is there somewhere the lessons can be accessed in a single page? I've been truant for a while and it's sort of hard to dig though 25 pages of comments to go back to find old ones. Thanks!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 10:47 AM

Good Morning Bluekeys,
Yes, if you click on the "youtube" in the lower right hand corner, it will bring up Hugh's site with the current lesson. Once the You Tube site is opened click on Hugh's Other and it will open up everything on his site in cronological order starting with the latest date. He also has a link above in one of the postings. Hope this helps.
Woody
Posted by: bluekeys

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 11:43 AM

Thanks Woody. Got it.
Posted by: senam

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 04:14 PM

Woody, I also don't believe lesson #29 was posted here. I got it from YouTube too.

Weird thing is, I now realize the edition of the sheet music I've been following all along has quite a different set of notes for the left hand of measures 21, 22 and (looking ahead to another edition I found which is similar to what Hugh uses) 23. I have no idea why nor do I remember where I got it in the first place. I think I'll try both editions for these 3 measures and choose the one I prefer!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 04:47 PM

senam,
Thanks for confirming that I haven't lost my mind completely. The problems I was having yesterday were related to having too much information in my cashe files. Once they were dumped the problem went away. I was hoping this issue was just something new and exciting. If you experienced the same thing I feel a lot better.

Hugh provided the score he is currently using early in thread. I would say within the first 10 posts or so. My score follows the score he is using exactly. Unless you already have a whole bunch of notations (like I do) you may want to use that one instead of the one you are currently using. On the other hand, choosing the one You prefer may be the best solution.
Woody
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 06:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Hugh,
Did you post lesson #29 here on Piano World? I went back through the previous posts and It's not there. BTW, I finally got lesson #28 (along with #30) after wiping all internet files, rebooting the computer and logging back into piano world. None of the previous lessons were able to be seen prior to the re-booting. What I haven't received is Lesson #29. I went onto your site in YouTube and was able to watch Lesson #29 there but there is nothing between lessons #28 & #30 on this thread.
Woody


Woops! My bad - thanks for catching that, Woody! I'll post #29 here and then #30 once again to make sure the list stays relatively in order - sorry!!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 06:14 PM

Originally Posted By: bluekeys
Is there somewhere the lessons can be accessed in a single page? I've been truant for a while and it's sort of hard to dig though 25 pages of comments to go back to find old ones. Thanks!


I'm going to try to work on a dedicated website as a repository for all these (and future) lessons, to make it easier to scroll through. Thanks for your patience in the meantime!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 06:15 PM

Lesson #29, Measure 21

After mapping out the notes, I try to show how fingerings can be used to simultaneously mold the hand into comfortable shapes for different chords and serve as memory aids to find them faster. We also talk about using the pedal to connect notes, enabling you to keep your hands relaxed. I also draw a brief example of using shapes to distinguish note groupings (triangles for groups of 3, a square for even numbered groups of 2, etc.)
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/14/09 06:18 PM

Lesson #30, Measure 22

Once again, we look at using our hands and fingerings in a "cookie cutter" fashion. Fortunately, the chords in both hands are shaped to make movement much easier. We end up by comparing the duple to triple rhythms from the previous measure, as well as exploring two different pedaling options.

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 08:43 AM

Bum-ble bee, bum-ble bee, buzzing
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 08:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Bum-ble bee, bum-ble bee, buzzing


LOL!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 08:53 AM

Lesson #31, Measure 23

In this lesson, we talk a little about the geometry of chords and how they affect fingerings. We have a tricky left hand part with busy multiple thumb jumps - a real example of being "all thumbs" with your left hand! wink

Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 01:15 PM

Hugh and fellow lesson mates;

I hope you are making a good progress.
I wanted to share my thoughts and a request.

Since Hugh started these lessons I am more interested in this music, so I practice more. Eventhough I can play the piece to the end already, I practice the measure Hugh covers each time and make sure my fingerings work. Naturally, my playing is much better than before. Practice, practice!

On top of importance of practice, I can't say enough about good fingerings. It's very hard to believe that I didn't realize the importance of fingerings until fairly recently (months before Hugh's lessons when I became serious about Bach music) after all those 10 year's lessons I took as a kid and over three years' self study. I should say, in terms of accuracy, it is ALL about fingerings!
So, it is good that Hugh spends most of the video minutes on fingerings and mappings especially for beginners.

Combined with my Bach Inventions study, I've been trying to figure how to phrase a piece of music, and I try to relax my hands and arms as much as possible so that I can reach the level of softness that is close to Debussy's intention. This is something I have never paid attention untill recently. I try to imagine the softness of the moonlight in a peaceful night during my practice. Phrasing and soft hands are something I really need a teacher's help.

So, here is a request for Hugh.

Since I am a pretty good music reader (among very little piano skills at which I am good), I have been skipping the mapping part mostly except for a few areas that I thought your fingering/ peddaling suggestions worked better than my way.

Maybe after you finished mapping in every measure or each phrase, I am wondering if you could take a few minutes to show us how to play musically. Maybe you could add some demonstration on how that specific measure or phrase should be played musically. Maybe you could includ a good hand position and touch of the keys for the measure. Since there are repeated patterns like the recent measures, for example, you could do this just once at the end of these repeated patterns, i.e. measure 15-24? Or if you preffer, you could just do one lesson at the end of this whole piece.

Thanks and cheers!

p.s.
I plan to post a video here playing the whole piece as it is, to share with you, hoping that Hugh would give me a few suggestions to improve. Would that be something you guys might be interested to see? Or would that make you guys uncomfortable?




Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 03:44 PM

CoffeeLover,
I'm glad your happy with your progress and look forward to seeing your video. I am not progressing as rapidly as you are but I am still satisfied with the progress I have made. I am still at the "hands separate" stage at speed and hands together at a crawl - but it is coming along.

Unfortunately, this is one of my "busy" weeks at work with over 80 hours scheduled - so my practice time is somwhat limited. I am only getting in about an hour of practice each day and with the other pieces that I'm also working on - which are in different stages of completion/polishing - it leaves only about 30 minutes of "Clair" practice each day. I am hoping that on my next 4-day break (starting this coming Sunday) I can get to the point where I can record hands together and at speed through measure 26 - which Hugh will probably have covered by then.

I hope that others are progressing along to their satisfaction and that Hugh is still happy to provide the lessons. A big thanks again to Hugh!!!

Woody
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 03:48 PM

Quote:
I plan to post a video here playing the whole piece as it is, to share with you, hoping that Hugh would give me a few suggestions to improve. Would that be something you guys might be interested to see? Or would that make you guys uncomfortable?


I would like to see it, and would like to see Hugh comment. I sure we would all benefit.
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 04:01 PM

Woody-
Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you're making a good progress, considering that you have limited time for piano. I am lucky that I don't work at the moment, and have a full family support. I am very grateful indeed. I should have been more considerate for others who don't have this kind of luxuary. Sorry if I offended anyone! I surely didn't mean to.
I will also look forward to hearing your recording!

Sincerely,
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 04:19 PM

CoffeeLover,
I am sure there was no offense taken! We all share in your excitement and enthusiasim, it's why most of us play piano to begin with. It's all about the music.
Woody
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 04:24 PM

Woody and Carl,
Thanks. I was about to go bang my head against my kitchen wall.
Posted by: HeirborneGroupie

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/15/09 04:35 PM

I would like to see your video too.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 07:38 AM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Hugh and fellow lesson mates;

I hope you are making a good progress.
I wanted to share my thoughts and a request.

Since Hugh started these lessons I am more interested in this music, so I practice more. Eventhough I can play the piece to the end already, I practice the measure Hugh covers each time and make sure my fingerings work. Naturally, my playing is much better than before. Practice, practice!

On top of importance of practice, I can't say enough about good fingerings. It's very hard to believe that I didn't realize the importance of fingerings until fairly recently (months before Hugh's lessons when I became serious about Bach music) after all those 10 year's lessons I took as a kid and over three years' self study. I should say, in terms of accuracy, it is ALL about fingerings!
So, it is good that Hugh spends most of the video minutes on fingerings and mappings especially for beginners.

Combined with my Bach Inventions study, I've been trying to figure how to phrase a piece of music, and I try to relax my hands and arms as much as possible so that I can reach the level of softness that is close to Debussy's intention. This is something I have never paid attention untill recently. I try to imagine the softness of the moonlight in a peaceful night during my practice. Phrasing and soft hands are something I really need a teacher's help.

So, here is a request for Hugh.

Since I am a pretty good music reader (among very little piano skills at which I am good), I have been skipping the mapping part mostly except for a few areas that I thought your fingering/ peddaling suggestions worked better than my way.

Maybe after you finished mapping in every measure or each phrase, I am wondering if you could take a few minutes to show us how to play musically. Maybe you could add some demonstration on how that specific measure or phrase should be played musically. Maybe you could includ a good hand position and touch of the keys for the measure. Since there are repeated patterns like the recent measures, for example, you could do this just once at the end of these repeated patterns, i.e. measure 15-24? Or if you preffer, you could just do one lesson at the end of this whole piece.

Thanks and cheers!

p.s.
I plan to post a video here playing the whole piece as it is, to share with you, hoping that Hugh would give me a few suggestions to improve. Would that be something you guys might be interested to see? Or would that make you guys uncomfortable?


These are terrific suggestions, CoffeeLover! By all means, please post a video of your performance. We'd all certainly enjoy it, and if there's something I can help with we can use that as material for the proposed Webinar. The Webinar can be a great venue for exploring musical issues just like the ones you talk about, since we'll have more time beyond the YouTube 10-minute cutoff, and can be more dynamic in fielding questions live. At least, that's the thinking in my own head crazy

It's been a crazy week of recording sessions in NYC for Music Minus One and rehearsals at Curtis, on top of putting together a new website for the Piano from Scratch series, so thanks for all your patience while we work to set up the first Webinar date. I'd like to tentatively aim for Saturday, Sept. 26 1 pm EST - how does that sound for everyone here? I'll set up a signup page on the new site as soon as it's ready.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 08:19 AM

Lesson #32, Measure 24

Wow, we're approaching the home stretch of the second page! A little bit of finger waffling, but in the end I decide to recommend a simpler solution to avoid confusion (i hope...) The right hand keeps "cookie cutter" shapes for the most part, while the left hand has some slight chord fingering shifts, but all in all it shouldn't be too uncomfortable after a little practice. We end with another review of the rhythm starting from the previous measure and some pedaling recommendations.


Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 10:42 AM

Hugh-

Thanks for the hard work when you are so busy! How do you do it?
You must be really, really well organized!

I will be flying to France that exact time you suggested for Webinar, so I guess I will watch the recording while I am in France. I'm pretty positive that I will have internet access. No piano, though. I am coming home on Oct 12. I haven't told you about my travel plan because I was hoping that you would wait until you finish these lessons to the end before the Webinar. But hey, it's your choice. I don't mind watching the recording later at all. That will be almost the same as being there.

I shall practice Clair a bit more today and maybe this evening I will record and post a video.

Thanks everyone!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 11:11 AM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Hugh-

Thanks for the hard work when you are so busy! How do you do it?
You must be really, really well organized!

I will be flying to France that exact time you suggested for Webinar, so I guess I will watch the recording while I am in France. I'm pretty positive that I will have internet access. No piano, though. I am coming home on Oct 12. I haven't told you about my travel plan because I was hoping that you would wait until you finish these lessons to the end before the Webinar. But hey, it's your choice. I don't mind watching the recording later at all. That will be almost the same as being there.

I shall practice Clair a bit more today and maybe this evening I will record and post a video.

Thanks everyone!


We could certainly wait for you to get back so that you can participate "live", instead of just watching the recorded lesson afterwards - that might give other folks more time to submit video questions, as well as for me to finish setting up the Piano from Scratch website to better accommodate videos, comments, and webinar sign ups (i'll certainly keep posting the lessons here in PW!) By mid October we'll also have covered some of the hardest parts of the piece - i think someone else (Munkeegutz?) suggested that we cover the harder spots in the Webinar also.
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 11:53 AM

Thanks! If it works for you and everyone, by all means I would love to participate live.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Thanks! If it works for you and everyone, by all means I would love to participate live.

Maybe we could aim for Saturday Oct. 17 1 p.m. EST?
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 12:31 PM

Hugh,
Due to my work scehdule, I can't attend either proposed date. Last Saturday was the only Saturday I have off in the month of September. For Saturdays in October, I'm available on the 3rd and the 24th. So if those dates will work, count me in. Without video ability and with only a desk-top computer I'm not sure how active my participation would be anyway. I could be one of those best suited to a recording.
Woody
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Hugh,
Due to my work scehdule, I can't attend either proposed date. Last Saturday was the only Saturday I have off in the month of September. For Saturdays in October, I'm available on the 3rd and the 24th. So if those dates will work, count me in. Without video ability and with only a desk-top computer I'm not sure how active my participation would be anyway. I could be one of those best suited to a recording.
Woody

The 24th of October could work for me too - CoffeeLover, does that work for you as well?
Woody, you wouldn't need video recording capabilities to participate in the webinar; everyone will be watching a live video broadcast, and participation will be via text chat where folks can type in comments, questions, responses, and the like. I'll try to work up a little "how to" for the various forms of participation leading up to the webinar.
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 12:57 PM

Hugh,
If that's the case, count me in. The little "how to" would also be really helpful. Seriously, how do you find the time to do all this? You obviously enjoy it - but finding the time??? As bad as my work scehedule is, I bet it's nothing compared to yours!
Woody
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 01:28 PM

I'm good for the 24th.
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 03:24 PM

I think I don't have any party planned that day. I'll be there!
Posted by: cruiser

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 04:01 PM

I can also take part on Oct the 24th - looking forward to it very much!
Posted by: catchtwo2

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 04:32 PM

Hugh, I have been with you from the start of your Clair de lune lessons and I think you are doing a great job. I have been playing this piece form memory for some years now (mostly self taught)and I though I would follow along in order to check to see if any bad habits had "crept in" over the years. I was very surprised to see just how many times I took liberties with notes and timing. Thanks to you, I am getting back on track and my love for the piece has been renewed. Thanks for everything you do.
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 04:34 PM

Hugh and lesson mates-

I decided to go ahead and record because something came up for this evening. I need to get back to my Bach study, too.

Here is my first rough video.
I mean really ROUGH. I tried about 10 times and this is the best I can do. I don't think I can play mistake-free yet. I will have to know every note by heart to do that. I know that will come to me naturally once I've practiced enough.
Still, I am doing much much better than before. wow

You will have a laugh to see my "Music Reader" system.
I put each page in plastic pockets (those you use to file manuals and stuff...) and cellotaped them together. Behind the music is long flat wooden board to support this long score. You will see me sliding the score to my left to read the end of the score.

Hope you have a fun. Please feel free to comment.

Posted by: catchtwo2

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 04:42 PM

Bravo!! Coffeelover
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 04:46 PM

Great Job Coffeelover!!!
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 05:16 PM

HOLY COW!

CMohr
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 05:53 PM

blush 3hearts
Posted by: Gary001

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 06:25 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover

Hope you have a fun. Please feel free to comment.


I listened to the entire piece, which is pretty uncommon for me and youtube videos. Your "Music Reader" system made me laugh, but it looks a whole lot better than messing around with turning pages and that's the bit that counts right? smile
Posted by: Mati

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 06:29 PM

CoffeeLover, that was totally superb! I am learning this piece for few months now and can't play it that well.... wow, I'm stunned! Congrats!
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 06:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Gary001
Your "Music Reader" system made me laugh, but it looks a whole lot better than messing around with turning pages and that's the bit that counts right? smile


Should I patent my system?
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 06:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Mati
CoffeeLover, that was totally superb! I am learning this piece for few months now and can't play it that well.... wow, I'm stunned! Congrats!


Welcome to the thread, Mati-
O-Hazukashii~~

Good luck with your practice! (And me, too.)
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 10:20 PM

Hey all you Clair de luners and Hugh,

Has anyone heard from the player from Sweden lately? I just got to thinking, he was doing so well....I hope he didn't meander over to the Piano Teachers forum and read "Hugh Sung's Clair de lune" thread - he may have done so and thrown his piano out the window. A couple posters over there were pretty harsh - If they are teachers, I'm glad they are not mine. I am very glad that so many people came to the Sweden player's defense (Hugh included)- I just think some of the comments were rude. shocked
Now that we have some "classmates" posting progress videos, it would be nice to hear from him again.

I felt I needed to say this - we are not all aspiring to be concert pianists - we just want to play beautiful music, be it for friends, family or even just ourselves.
Rude comments to beginners trying their darnest to play a beautiful piece of music should have no place anywhere.

CMohr
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 11:43 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Hugh and lesson mates-

I decided to go ahead and record because something came up for this evening. I need to get back to my Bach study, too.

Here is my first rough video.
I mean really ROUGH. I tried about 10 times and this is the best I can do. I don't think I can play mistake-free yet. I will have to know every note by heart to do that. I know that will come to me naturally once I've practiced enough.
Still, I am doing much much better than before. wow

You will have a laugh to see my "Music Reader" system.
I put each page in plastic pockets (those you use to file manuals and stuff...) and cellotaped them together. Behind the music is long flat wooden board to support this long score. You will see me sliding the score to my left to read the end of the score.

Hope you have a fun. Please feel free to comment.



Beautiful, CoffeeLover! Really, really beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful performance! Believe me, I know how hard it is to record something, especially for video, and you did a magnificent job!

I can't tell you all how much fun I'm having putting these lessons together and connecting with so many wonderful people around the world! This is when music is at its most magical, when it brings people together. I can only hope everyone else is having as much fun as I am enjoying the beautiful sounds coming from our respective pianos and the wonderful combinations of notes crafted together by Monsieur Debussy!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/16/09 11:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Hugh and lesson mates-

I decided to go ahead and record because something came up for this evening. I need to get back to my Bach study, too.

Here is my first rough video.
I mean really ROUGH. I tried about 10 times and this is the best I can do. I don't think I can play mistake-free yet. I will have to know every note by heart to do that. I know that will come to me naturally once I've practiced enough.
Still, I am doing much much better than before. wow

You will have a laugh to see my "Music Reader" system.
I put each page in plastic pockets (those you use to file manuals and stuff...) and cellotaped them together. Behind the music is long flat wooden board to support this long score. You will see me sliding the score to my left to read the end of the score.

Hope you have a fun. Please feel free to comment.



Beautiful, CoffeeLover! Really, really beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful performance! Believe me, I know how hard it is to record something, especially for video, and you did a magnificent job!

I can't tell you all how much fun I'm having putting these lessons together and connecting with so many wonderful people around the world! This is when music is at its most magical, when it brings people together. I can only hope everyone else is having as much fun as I am enjoying the beautiful sounds coming from our respective pianos and the wonderful combinations of notes crafted together by Monsieur Debussy!


Oh, by the way - i'm going to work on getting your video and audio synchronized for the webinar. I downloaded the video file and will "remaster it" so that we can all better see your hands coordinated with the beautiful sounds they produce. Bravo again!
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 01:28 AM

Hugh-

I am very glad to hear that you are also enjoying these lessons so much.

Wow, you can remaster my recording? Cool! I was wondering why the picture and audio didn't synch, anyway. (Of course I couldn't do anything about it becuase only thing I did to make this video is just clicking on the "buttons" on YouTube Web Cam download page.) Compared to you, I feel like a cave woman...

Wait a minute, I didn't know you can download someone else's video file from YouTube??? Who am I kidding, I don't even know how to download my own video to my computer. Where should I look to learn how to do that?

Oh, thanks for taking time to watch my video, and for such kind words!
I am excited about the Webnar. Thanks again.
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 01:30 AM

hugh, out of curiosity, how do you do this? I would use youtube-downloader and a *.avi fps editor...
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 01:45 AM

Hi, lesson mates;

I thought it would be helpful to understand this poem if you haven't seen it yet. I found this article just now. The link to the original article is on the bottom of this message.

Paul Verlaine's "Clair de lune"

'Clair de lune’ (’Moonlight’) is from Verlaine’s early collection Fêtes galantes (Gallant Parties, 1869). It is presented here in the original French with a simple English translation below. Any inaccuracy or inelegance is my own. (Note: a “bergamasque”, or “bergamask”, is a rustic dance originating in Bergamo, Italy. Apparently.)

Clair de lune

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune,
Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

English translation;

Moonlight


Your soul is a select landscape
Where charming masqueraders and bergamaskers go
Playing the lute and dancing and almost
Sad beneath their fantastic disguises.

All sing in a minor key
Of victorious love and the opportune life,
They do not seem to believe in their happiness
And their song mingles with the moonlight,

With the still moonlight, sad and beautiful,
That sets the birds dreaming in the trees
And the fountains sobbing in ecstasy,
The tall slender fountains among marble statues.

Paul Verlaine, 1869

Reacting against realism and rhetoric, the Symbolists tried instead to evoke a mood, an essence, an Ideal. Just as the Moon takes its light from the Sun, they sought to illuminate seemingly inaccessible subjects indirectly, by creating reflections. Here we have masks and dancing, fantastic disguises, fountains sobbing in ecstasy, moonlight: a swirl of suggestive images that speaks volumes about the human soul without really saying anything. Rather like music, in fact. Both Ravel and Fauré composed pieces based on Verlaine’s poetry, and this poem inspired Claude Debussy to write his own ‘Clair de lune’, the third movement of his Suite bergamasque and the work for which he is now most famous. (A wonderful performance by David Oistrakh and Frida Bauer can be found here. “Sad and beautiful” doesn’t even get close.)

http://thereaderonline.co.uk/2009/03/featured-poem-3/
Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 01:55 AM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover

Wait a minute, I didn't know you can download someone else's video file from YouTube??? Who am I kidding, I don't even know how to download my own video to my computer. Where should I look to learn how to do that?

Here, you can use this nifty application to download Youtube videos:
http://deturl.com/www.youtube.com/watch
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 02:00 AM

Thanks, jazzyprof!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 06:54 AM

Lesson #33, Measure 25, Part 1

We get introduced to two new symbols: the 8va ("octava") symbol, and the "squiggly line", otherwise known as the "roll". After quickly mapping out the notes, we spend a good bit of time exploring various options for rolling the notes, from a simple unison roll, to a more complex "harp-like" note-by-note roll. Let your ears decide which effect you like best, and have fun experimenting!

Posted by: JeffBC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 08:48 AM


For anyone using the Safari web browser (Mac or PC): while you're watching the video stream, bring up the activity window (Cmd-Opt-a (Mac)), or (Ctrl-Opt-a (PC)) and in the list of all the items that make up the page you're viewing you'll see the video stream (it'll be the item that will be still loading - #KBs out of #MBs (and the KBs will be going up)). If you double-click that line, that item will be downloaded to whatever folder you've setup as your downloads folder. It'll be a flv (Adobe Flash Video) file. Any application that can play FLVs will play it. I have the entire CDL series (in HQ) in a folder on my hard drive, and can watch them wherever I am, Internet connection or not.
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 12:42 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Both Ravel and Fauré composed pieces based on Verlaine’s poetry, and this poem inspired Claude Debussy to write his own ‘Clair de lune’, the third movement of his Suite bergamasque and the work for which he is now most famous. (A wonderful performance by David Oistrakh and Frida Bauer can be found here. “Sad and beautiful” doesn’t even get close.)

http://thereaderonline.co.uk/2009/03/featured-poem-3/


Hugh-

I am curious about these pieces by Ravel and Fauré. What are the titles, if you don't mind? (If you know them already, I mean.) I'd like to search for the scores and recordings. It will be easier to search with titles. I will keep trying searching by myself without titles meanwhile.

Oh, btw I loved your last lesson on measure 25 with different options to play those squiggly notes! Keep it coming!!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 01:01 PM

Hugh,
I have noticed that I do have a problem with keeping the left hand softer than the right hand when playing moderate to pianissimo. It makes the chords sound cluncky. This is espically noticable in the early measures where the left hand and right hand harmony lead the right hand melody. Yes, my piano does need to be voiced, but I should be able to control it is there a way to tone it down?
Thanks,
Woody
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 01:09 PM

Okay, Ravel wrote Clairs de lune I - IV, and Fauré wrote Clair de lune! That was easier than I thought! Sorry. Ignore my previous post.
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/17/09 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Hugh,
I have noticed that I do have a problem with keeping the left hand softer than the right hand when playing moderate to pianissimo.


I have noticed the same with my left hand!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/18/09 08:49 AM

Bump-ble bee; bum-ple bee, buzz-ing
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/18/09 09:19 AM

Apologies! Yesterday's NYC recording session was pretty brain-draining, so I wasn't able to get around to editing the next lessons. I'll have some time this afternoon to catch up, so today's post will be later than usual. Hope the class can forgive the tardy teacher!
Posted by: cscl

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/18/09 09:31 AM

Originally Posted By: JeffBC

For anyone using the Safari web browser (Mac or PC): while you're watching the video stream, bring up the activity window (Cmd-Opt-a (Mac)), or (Ctrl-Opt-a (PC)) and in the list of all the items that make up the page you're viewing you'll see the video stream (it'll be the item that will be still loading - #KBs out of #MBs (and the KBs will be going up)). If you double-click that line, that item will be downloaded to whatever folder you've setup as your downloads folder. It'll be a flv (Adobe Flash Video) file. Any application that can play FLVs will play it. I have the entire CDL series (in HQ) in a folder on my hard drive, and can watch them wherever I am, Internet connection or not.


JeffBC, thanks a lot for this tip. I've known there was some way to do this for a long time, but didn't know where the secret lies.
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/18/09 09:59 AM

Hugh
Thank you for taking all of the time to prepare the lessons and reply to the posts. I didn't realize that there was a parallel thread on the piano teachers forum that you have been responding to as well. thumb
I've enjoyed the lessons and although we are first now coming to the part that I've had the most trouble with, the time to get to this point, has provided time to listen to others playing this piece on youtube and comparing thier interpretations, to help improve my own playing of the piece.
I applaude your patience and ability to respond to the posts of others in a positive constructive manner.
thanks again
Julius
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/18/09 10:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
Apologies! Yesterday's NYC recording session was pretty brain-draining, so I wasn't able to get around to editing the next lessons. I'll have some time this afternoon to catch up, so today's post will be later than usual. Hope the class can forgive the tardy teacher!


I demand a refund!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/18/09 12:01 PM

Hugh,

No matter what comes up or people say, take as much time as you need to prepare for the lessons. No explanation is necessary. We are the greatful ones. Work and family come first. We free loaders here can wait, maybe reluctantly, but we can wait.

Munkeegutz your outburst has not gone unnoticed - it's an extra 1/2 hour of "Clair" practice for you young man!

Woody
Posted by: bluespianofan

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/18/09 12:12 PM

My thoughts exactly. Never feel your incredibly generous time is an obligation!
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/18/09 03:48 PM

I second the previous posts. thumb

Please, Hugh don't feel you need to rush the lessons (at least on my account)! Measures 25 & 26 seem a little tricky to me and I know I'll need extra practice. As others have said, we all appreciate the tons of time and effort you are putting into these lessons, and I for one am still thrilled that you are! More giant thank-yous! 3hearts

CMohr
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/19/09 07:44 AM

Lesson #34, Measures 25-26

Rolls, rolls, and more rolls! In this lesson, we explore these delicious rolled chords, and I reveal a fingering "cheat" inspired by my old teacher Jorge Bolet, one of the greatest modern pianists who was a very pragmatic musician when it came to working out technical problems on the keyboard. This brings us to the end of the 2nd page and the start of the most difficult section of the piece in upcoming lessons.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/19/09 07:55 AM

Lesson #35, Review of Measures 19-26

Before tackling the next section of the piece, I thought it would be a good idea to review the musical "paragraph" we just worked on. We talk about some advanced pedaling techniques, where the fingers are held in a manner that mimics the sounds of them being held by the pedal - a technique my old teacher Jorge Bolet called, "pedalizing" - and how that technique can be used to effectively connect and clean the sound when used in conjunction with the foot on the damper pedal.

Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/19/09 12:43 PM

Hugh and lesson mates,

That cheating was a great suggestion! I have an idea to upgrade this cheating so that nobody can tell that you are cheating because this is going to sound exactly the same as non-cheating verson.

When you play those four notes with right hand, play them in following order, i.e., play them in the original order.

C-A-E-A (2-1-3-5)

Hope you like it.

Cheers
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/19/09 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By: CoffeeLover
Hugh and lesson mates,

That cheating was a great suggestion! I have an idea to upgrade this cheating so that nobody can tell that you are cheating because this is going to sound exactly the same as non-cheating verson.

When you play those four notes with right hand, play them in following order, i.e., play them in the original order.

C-A-E-A (2-1-3-5)

Hope you like it.

Cheers


Bravo, CoffeeLover! That's a terrific "cheat modification"! A bit more advanced for some people who may not be used to rolling, but certainly very do-able and easier to play than the original version! Thanks so much for that creative contribution!
Posted by: senam

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/19/09 06:55 PM

Wow, measures 25-26 are giving me backaches! I don't know if it's my posture or what, but practicing repeatedly these rolls, which means both hands are on the right side of my shoulders, end up hurting my back after a while. Normally if I played a piece where most of the notes are high, I would shift my position on the bench to the right. But this is only two measures and I fear that if I practice them by centering myself on the rolls, my hands will get confused when I take my normal bench position centered around C4 for the whole piece.

Yes, I do try to practice a set of rolls, then practice something else more central or on the left, then back to the rolls. But it still hurts a bit. Any suggestions? It's probably no big deal as I'll probably master the rolls shortly, but it often happens in pieces where a few measures are totally on one side of the body, and that always hurts me a bit.

On a side note, this is so cool! I'm having a great time learning to play CDL. I hope everyone is. Thanks again Hugh!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 03:33 AM

Bum(p)-ble Bee; Bum(p)-ble; Buzzing
Posted by: curt88

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 06:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
Originally Posted By: JeffBC
Hugh,
How much of what we're hearing in the lessons is your Cunningham and how much is PianoTeq3?
http://www.pianoteq.com/pianoteq/audio/Debussy-Clairdelune-HughSung-C3close.mp3 makes me wonder...

Ah! Good question! What do you think? I'll reveal the answer after we get some responses wink

No one seems to be registering their guesses on this so I'll start with mine...
All acoustic piano! NO Pianoteq.

I base this on the fact that you said you were using a Rode condenser mic on your piano and that you were using Pianoteq just to illustrate your damper pedal action. Since you've changed to a different app for pedal animation, you don't even have Pianoteq running anymore (it doesn't appear on the task bar on your PC). I hope I'm correct!

Oh, and I'm also following along with the lesson here. Which says something about the teacher. I, in all my life, have never taken the time to learn music from another composer - I always just work on my own compositions. But listening to Hugh and watching his teaching technique has me hooked... and possibly a bit spoiled. Now no other teacher will do for me!!!

Waiting for the appeggio measures...
Curt
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 07:13 AM

Lesson #36, Measure 27 Pt. 1

At last! We get to the "really hard stuff" with this next batch of lessons. This is the start of the passage where the notes sounds like they're "swimming in an ocean of sound". Following our modus operandi, we take things apart, starting with the left hand alone, but with a slight twist where instead of following the note pattern as written, I show you how to extract an easier way to play by staying with familiar octave shapes to start.

Posted by: cscl

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 10:49 AM

Dear Hugh,

I have a general piano writing/music theory question.

Page one has a certain style to the writing. Page two has it's own style, and so does page three to the end, but I don't really know how to describe them properly.

Page one seems fairly straightforward as a melody with harmonic accompaniment (although it's pretty thick as well), but for page two, is there a term to describe this kind of texture with lots of notes/chords? It seems more about harmonies than about the melody to me. Along these lines, I've been listening to a lot of Beethoven bagatelles lately and I've noticed that he often has some kind of figure/gesture/gimmick forming a more melodic section of the piece, then another section, where it's mostly chords and changing harmonies, then back to the melodic part. I'm thinking of examples in things like Für Elise or Bagatelle in D (Op. 119, No. 3). Is this a type of piano writing than can be identified or am I completely out of the ballpark on this one?

And for page 3 to the end, would we describe this as melody with arpeggiated harmonic accompaniment?

I'm big into terms, structure, and theory as well as learning to play so any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks for all these videos and for any feedback you may have on this question.
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 11:00 AM

Thanks for the lesson Hugh--I've been excited for this section for ages! If you, personally, were playing the piece, would you use the simplified fingering or the original form?

Oh and just thought I'd get a general opinion on this: I believe at this point everyone has mapping out notes handled...we could save a solid 45 seconds or a minute by just saying "these are D, A, B". Anyone still need this?
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 11:06 AM

And how about the single run through Clair with an overhead camera angle (so its easy to view fingerings/techniques)? Is that a good idea, or am I the only one who would use it? Man I feel like the annoying kid who just sits in the back asking questions all class.....
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 01:26 PM

munkeegutz,

Based on my personal experience (about 2 1/2 years returned)I have to agree with both of your posts above regarding the notes and overhead fingering - but only for me.

The reason I didn't say anything is that this is supposed to be for real beginners and not just people with a few years under their belt. Real beginners attending this class will need everything they can get from Hugh to use to their advantage.

Let me give you an example, fingering. I try Hugh's fingering several times to get a "feel" for the reason he's using the fingering he's providing. My personal span, although I have short fingers, is 12 notes - 13 in several cases. Do I need to use his fingerings? Somethimes yes because they can set me up for the next notes other times no because of my hand span. Would I benefit from his fingering looking overhead, yes, if only to watch his "flow".

I think what Hugh is attempting to do is provide the most basic instruction so that eveyone, including beginners, can learn by attending these lessons. I am sure there are a lot of people out there that are following these lessons who haven't posted on this thread for what ever the reason - just look at the hits this thread has had. People with more experience, like coffeelover, for example, use only what they need to make thier playing better. I do roughly the same but need considerably more help than she does based on listening to her play.

Finally, and the last of my two cents on this, the pace which Hugh is presenting the lessons gives this 62 year old the time to practice and learn what Hugh is teaching. No, I'm not as fast as I used to be at learning - just better!

Woody
Posted by: CoffeeLover

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 03:38 PM

I think there are more people watching these video lessons out there other than people in this thread if you look at YouTube video comments. And who knows how much piano playing experience those folks have. If I were Hugh, I wouldn't change the way of teaching at this point for those beginners who have been following these lessons faithfully, considering it gets harder and harder from now on.

But I do have an idea regarding what we, including Hugh, might want to consider in the future.

These lesson videos have been very successful in terms of catching a lot of attention. But has it been satisfactory for non-beginners like Woody and myself for example?
I have been enjoying these lessons but mostly skipping the detailed mapping directions that have been given for every measure. I am very thirsty for MORE but I have to wait for certain measures I need more work. Sometimes there is no time left for Hugh in one video other than just mapping like the last one! Hugh has made 36 videos but we have covered only less than a third of this piece. That means Hugh has to make, roughly, 75 to 80 more videos to finish this piece. Wow, that's a lot of work considering Hugh is doing this for free!

There should be a way to make this work and make everyone happy including Hugh.

So, Hugh, (-and other piano teachers if you are reading this-) what if you take a different piece of music next time and the video lessons are made for a group of people that are roughly in a certain level? And what if they are willing to pay for the access to the whole set of lessons? While Hugh or any piano teacher might be losing their puplis' business over "internet" techonology, I suggest this could be the way you might want to consider. Think about teaching people from all over the world on-line and make it work as business. I think you can do it with something like YouTube by making the lessons only for limited people who's given access. One more thing, with intermediate level pupils, you probably wouldn't need as many number of videos as you do for the beginners. If you decide to make a lesson for beginners only, that might work for those folks, too. But certainly I can't speak for them here. However, I do think that as your pupils become regular, there might be even other different options you can discuss with them, something like a small group or even individual lessons. I see this as a long term business idea for both teachers and pupils!

I do want to see how Hugh's trial version of Webinar works out, but for me I would prefer the way this thread has worked for me. I have been very comfortable with these video lessons and this thread discussions. It is actually pretty convenient form of learning piano music on-line in terms of timing of watching lesson videos and practicing on my own pace and asking questions.
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 04:32 PM

I agree, the fundamental problem seems to be the variety of skill levels watching these videos. I'm afraid that there may be no simple solution to the problem, as keeping the lessons as-is makes them too slow for intermediate/advanced pianists, while making them faster runs the potential risk of confusing beginner players. What if Hugh requests in his next video that the viewers post in comments or on this thread, advising him as to what is being covered too slowly as well as what is being glossed over but, in fact, is actually quite important. Considering the large number of people, someone might have ideas on how to restructure the lessons to be more time efficient. For example, I just thought of this:

What if we saved time by taking care of all the writing ahead of time? Hugh could start his lesson 36, for example, with the display shown at 7:15 instead of the blank screen at the beginning. This way, people could already have seen and be getting an idea of what notes are being played and what fingering will be used from the beginning. In addition, people reviewing the lessons can see his completed workspace at the beginning of the lesson instead of hunting through it.

Link to lesson 36

Woody, I think you might have misunderstood me when I said "single run through Clair...". I was refferencing a suggestion I proposed earlier, that Hugh (or anyone who has mastered the piece) should record themselves playing the entire song from start to finish, using all the fingering technique and musical style they would personally use if performing. Ideally, they would use a camera angle similar to Hugh's overhead view for this. That way, people could review the entire song as it should be played, as well as see fingerings, etc. This would not be a lesson in the Clair de Lune from Scratch series necessarily, but rather a supplementary aid.

I really like CoffeeLover's small group/individual lesson idea. That could be very profitable to not only the teacher and student, but the community as a whole!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 05:46 PM

munkeegutz,
Gotcha, I misunderstood - sorry I had thought you wanted it in addition to what Hugh was doing "Clair de Lune from Scratch" not supplemental to it. I agree, the biggest problem is the varied experience of the students and also how much time we each have for practicing.

I, too, liked coffeeLover's idea of small group/individual lesson idea. The teacher could always receive payment via PayPal or similar and allow access to the Webinar or somehow the YouTube Lessons. What does one pay a "world class" teacher like Hugh? Is it fair to discuss actual amounts here on an open forum? When you think of the time and effort he is putting into "Clair de Lune from Scratch" for free, it truly amazes me!!! You know he has to love teaching as much as playing piano!

I would think however to really utilize the full value of internet lessons (and feedback from the treacher) we would have to be able to record videos with decent sound. CoffeeLover appears to all set in that department but I am just now starting to make progress recording with my ZOOM H2 and using Audacity. I'm probably months away from recording video on top of that.

Just some thoughts.
Woody
Posted by: Gary001

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 08:28 PM

Quote:
Wow, that's a lot of work considering Hugh is doing this for free!

There should be a way to make this work and make everyone happy including Hugh.


First off, a donation link wouldn't go amiss. People may or may not use it, but at least there'd be the option...

I'd hope Hugh will keep doing the remainder of this piece for free if possible though, with so many people now hooked any other option probably wouldn't go down well.

However, once the basic piece is done. Why not then do more advanced sessions that cover specific sections of a piece and go into as much detail as you care to. For these videos you could actually charge a small amount. When you consider how many people may be viewing this thread and the youtube videos, if you get a good number of those to stump up a few quid for a set of advanced videos that may be a nice bit of payback smile

There's also then the option in the future of doing say 1/3 of a piece free and the remainder as paid lessons (just make sure you state it up front to avoid any issues). The first 1/3 would be more than sufficient for people to get a feel for how the lessons advance and decide if it's for them. Again, keeping prices cheap, dirt cheap if possible, may help get a lot of people to buy it along with the "advanced" videos and future pieces. I won't try suggesting actual prices as only Hugh knowns what value he places on his time and the amount of work involved in producing the videos, but my suggestion would be to keep the cost for the full piece low and hope for higher volume in sales.

Plus there's the "long tail" aspect of selling the the tutorial sets, once they're done sales should continue to trickle in as newcomers move onto newer pieces.

The key though would be the piece selection. Clair de lune is an incredibly popular piece amongst both those who listen to classical music but also those interested in the piano that heard the piece in a recent movie.

At the very least though, provide a donation option somewhere and keep posting. Even though I've yet to start this piece, your videos are great to watch.

Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/21/09 10:24 PM

Gary, your donation link idea is GREAT! Hugh should get on that right away. Discussing prices is indeed very hard, especially since people are in very different financial situations. I don't think its fair for me to voice my personal opinion in that matter...
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 04:06 AM

One of the problems with this piece (as Hugh explained earlier) is that the fingerings you use will often depend on the size and shape of your hands. It's very individual. Hugh has smallish hands like me and I would agree with a lot of the fingerings he suggests in the lessons. The ideal would be to tailor the fingerings to the pianist in a one to one lesson but that is impossible in this situation. Even if Hugh was to post a video of himself performing CDL from overhead it still wouldn't mean those fingerings were right for you. For the more advanced players I would suggest you buy a really good edition and check out the fingerings marked in it. The Henle urtext is nice but Hugh might know of a better one. What I like about the Helne is that the fingerings are geared towards producing a good legato and cantabile tone. What this does mean is that there are a lot of finger substitutions involved as well as bigger stretches which are more suited to the developed pianist. Hugh has pointed out that these would not be appropriate for these videos.

I'm interested to see how the whole cost and charging thing goes. Someone mentioned that there are likely to be around 75 lessons in total on this one piece. Each lesson must take well over an hour to produce (complete guess??) and Hugh should be worth up to $100 per hour for his expertise. Add to that the cost of the equipment he uses and I estimate you guys owe him around $10000 so far. wink

Now I'm getting out of here before I get lynched! eek
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 04:20 AM

Just another quickie (it's relatively safe for me at this time of day as most of you are sleeping)....

If you go back to the lesson overview you can see quite a lot of what Hugh does when he plays through the piece. I wonder if that overhead camera was running all the way through it? If so, Hugh might already have the footage??

Anyway, you can see what is happening with those finger substitutions right at the beginning. This is all about preparing and balancing the hand for good, even tone control and production. When we get to the measures described in lesson 36 Hugh uses the same fingerings he showed you where the LH spans an octave before RH takes over. It's more common to take the first four notes with LH as the score shows but you can see and hear that it works just fine. If you have larger hands (and you get the Henle) it's possible to connect all the notes of the melodic line by playing legato with the top fingers of the RH. Don't try this at home kids without adult supervision as you might end up snapping some tendons.

Uh oh....

I think I see CMohr coming with some rotten eggs!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 06:51 AM

Lesson #37, Measure 27, pt. 2

Having learned the left hand part, we now start looking at using the right hand to "scoop up" a portion of the left hand notes. I hope the "clef jumping" isn't too confusing; it's really easier to play than it may appear on "paper"! We're going to save the last set of right hand notes for the next lesson, as it's a bit trickier than the patterns we're working on here.

Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 01:35 PM

Ha-ha-ha! No rotten eggs here. laugh

Personally, I think your observations are spot on. It's nice to read another teacher's views on this forum. (And that is not my attempt at sarcasm or humor - honest)!

I also had figured Hugh's hours put into this project should have earned him a tidy fortune. I think that's one reason why we all feel indebted to him for all the time he has so graciously given us.

Cheers! CMohr
Posted by: tracy1

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 01:49 PM

Hi all, just joined the forum specifically for this thread. I guess I am ideal experimental material for these lessons smile . I bought a piano about one month ago with the specific aim of learning to play this piece.
I am in my forties and although I remember 'FACE' etc from school, I have no music sight reading capabilities and have had only two lessons from a lovely lady who began the first lesson by bouncing a toy frog up and down the keys to the rythm of Three Blind Mice! Although she made me smile, I decided she was not for me.
So last week I typed in my search box 'How long will it take a beginner to learn to play CDL' and to my delight I found this site.
I have read all the comments posted and I see that for some, Hugh's note finding makes things a bit slow for them, but at the risk of sounding selfish, I do hope the same pace of learning is kept as it is proving ideal for me.
If determination and the love of this music will enable me to play Claire De Lune, then surely I cannot fail ?? If someone offered me a million pounds or the ability to play this song reasonably well, I would not hesitate in declining the money (as long as my husband never found out LOL).
Thank you so much Hugh for giving me an opportunity to fulfill an ambition of twenty years standing, much gratitude and warmest wishes to you.
Now on with practicing those rolls arrrggggg.:))
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 02:27 PM

Welcome tracy1 - you've come to the right place. The Piano World Forums is benefical for anything piano - try out some of the other forums too! Enjoy.
Woody
Posted by: tracy1

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 03:19 PM

Thanks Woody, I will. Am a bit ( a lot really) obsessive with anything I can read about learning to play at the moment so this is great. Was exhausted getting up for work this morning as I stayed up late trying to master measure 15 without the breaks! Good job the neighbours are away !
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 03:33 PM

tracy1,
Trust me, the obsessions are just starting. Sounds like you play an acoustic or a digital through speakers. Let's hope the neighbors are away for a while or they love piano music. I'm hands together through the end of the page (finally) but not yet up to speed from measure 15 on so I understand where you're coming from. I only put about a 1/2 hour a day to CDL due to all my other Chopin and Pop music practice. again, welcome aboard.
Woody
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 04:17 PM

Welcome Tracy1!
As I have said earlier, when I first started back at the piano my husband said, "you have to learn Clair de Lune"! So I too feel very lucky in that Hugh is doing this.
Even tho I am a good sight reader and know all the notes, etc., I hope Hugh doesn't omit the note reading parts of his lessons either. I think it's very beneficial for those who need it and it doesn't bother me a bit that time is being used for the note reading. So good luck and I hope you enjoy all this as much as the rest of us!

Cheers! CMohr
Posted by: tracy1

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/22/09 04:49 PM

Many thanks to you too CMohr smile This is like Christmas time as a child to me ! Glad to hear from others who feel the same , sometimes it's a bit isolating learning on your own and I never dreamt that I would be chatting with other people from around the world giving out such encouragement.
I won't post anything again until I've got something musical to say as I don't want to hog the thread with my jabbering.
Anyway, thanks again and good wishes to you too :))
Posted by: bluekeys

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/23/09 09:20 AM

Coffee said:
I think there are more people watching these video lessons out there other than people in this thread if you look at YouTube video comments.

Woody said:
I only put about a 1/2 hour a day to CDL due to all my other Chopin and Pop music practice.

thumb to both. I haven't been participating in the discussion much, but I'm dutifully putting in 15 or 20 minutes a day to CDL, along with learning my first Chopin, my 3rd Bach Invention, and polishing a pop song for the next recital. I'm only starting the second page frown but I've said all along that for me this is a long term effort. Bet there are some others in a similar boat.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/23/09 10:00 AM

Lesson #38, Measure 27 Pt. 3

We now work on adding the melodic notes on top. The last beat involves a little bit of tricky right hand work, as we will need to stretch a bit wider than an octave to get the top note. Don't worry about holding the top notes too long if it strains your hand, as the pedal will help to connect everything.

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/23/09 02:04 PM

Bumble bee
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/23/09 05:49 PM

Sorry if I'm a bit late with a response to this

Munkeegutz said;
And how about the single run through Clair with an overhead camera angle (so its easy to view fingerings/techniques)? Is that a good idea, or am I the only one who would use it? Man I feel like the annoying kid who just sits in the back asking questions all class.....

Good idea. I also think this would be helpful, especially with the degree of difficulty of where we currently are in the music.

Julius
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/23/09 06:20 PM

Julius,

What I have been doing is going back through the YouTube lessons and reviewing the measures that I have been having problems with a measure at a time. It's the major advantage of doing these lessons over the internet. Yes, it's slow - one measure at a time - but so am I so I guess it's even.

I know that Hugh had mentioned early in the thread when munkeegutz first asked about the overheads that he would eventually post the overheads along with all of the notes he is generating but so far he hasn't. My guess is he is too busy at this time since he is only posting the lesson and not reviewing or at least commenting others posts. Hopefully we'll hear from Hugh in the near future and find out what's going on.

Woody
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/23/09 07:45 PM

ooh I didnt remember seeing him say that--my bad! Either way I have tons of patience now because I'm also learning Melodies of Life (thanks to Quagles for inspiring me!)
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/23/09 10:56 PM

My deepest apologies, Class! I've been such a negligent teacher in not responding promptly to so many great questions! Here's my litany of excuses: i've been busy working on a new website as a repository for these lessons, www.PianoFromScratch.com

The other item, of course, has been preparing for the live webinar on Oct. 24th. I'm pretty sure we'll use Ustream.tv - it looks like a really fun site that makes it relatively easy to broadcast, and even share the webcam with other users!

It's taken a good bit of research to find ways to incorporate multiple camera angles, as well as screenshots of the music, all in a live setting as opposed to something that can be edited/spliced together afterwards.

I'd like to share a VERY rough first run for feedback. Yes, I know the front camera angle is pretty grainy (the dreaded computer webcam); that's because I saved the "good" camera for the overhead angle, and the medium-good camera for a foot pedal shot to help answer that back pain roll question. Going forward, I'll probably ditch the webcam and use the medium camera for the front shot, but this question required an unusual 3 camera answer, so there you have it...

The audio also needs work, i think - the voice mic seems a bit low, and the piano might be too high; what does everyone else think?

So, here we go, warts and all, a first beta run-through of what "Clair de lune from Scratch" might look as a "live" show - keep in mind, we still have real time chats to play around with, so that's another layer to work with next time!

Piano from Scratch Webinar Test #1: Clair de lune

One nice thing about the webinar is that I wouldn't have the same 10 minute time constraint that YouTube imposes on their submitted clips, so we could really take our time to explain things and answer live questions - and possibly, if i can figure this out, even share the camera with participating members! Wouldn't that be fun?

Thanks in advance for your patience as I work out the bugs!
Posted by: tracy1

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/24/09 02:30 AM

Hugh , is there any chance you could do a few 'Bummble Bees' in actual time for these fast fingering measures, so I can see what speed I should be aiming for ? For example,how many notes should I have played by the time I have said 'Bummble'? smile
Many Thanks
Tracy
Posted by: bizonapage

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/24/09 02:59 AM

Wow, Hugh. Piano lessons by YouTube. That's cool. Now you're trying a webinar. The concept looks alright to me. I'm amazed at the total package let alone the lesson plan and the musical piece you have chosen. It would be interesting to find out what piano and music software you are using.
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/24/09 03:05 AM

Just watched the demo webinar - very cool, Hugh! The sound was good for me, the video a little less. On full screen the score was kind of blurry, but maybe that's me? I even posted a chat - a first for me! thumb

CMohr
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/24/09 05:20 AM

Hugh,

I too left comments on the Webinar. My only concern was the sound levels. The "talking" microphone was at a much lower level than the piano mic.

I didn't try to go to full screen since the main cameras was grainy, but the other cameras looked fine and could have been expanded. This really does have potential!!!

Woody
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/25/09 01:46 AM


wow

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HUGH!


Just noticed on the Birthday list - Congrats!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/25/09 05:25 AM

Happy Birthday, Hugh
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/25/09 07:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Happy Birthday, Hugh


Thanks for the birthday wishes! I'll try to get around to posting an extra lesson or two as soon as possible! laugh
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/25/09 08:14 AM

Lesson #39, Measure 28

We start off with a quick review of measure 27, then go into transitioning into measure 28. Rather than just focusing on where fingers go, we talk briefly about how movement at the piano is broken down from larger to smaller segments - from arms, to wrists and hands, then fingers - and that being able to coordinate between all the elements will make for more effective playing technique. I also re-emphasize how using "cookie cutter" hand shapes can make it much easier to jump around the piano with greater accuracy.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/26/09 10:41 AM

Lesson #40, Measure 29, Pt. 1

We start out by focusing on the right hand alone, using a fingering that might stretch smaller hands a bit. Don't be afraid to let you pedal cover over a "multitude of (legato) sins!" wink We also explore how differentiating between hand, wrist, and finger motions can help speed up jumps and transitions. We end the lesson by starting the first few notes of the left hand. We'll focus on the left hand part in the next lesson.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/26/09 04:38 PM

Lesson #41: Measure 29, Pt. 2

In this lesson, we just focus on the left hand notes. Rather than use "traditional" fingerings which require you to stretch your hand and flip over on top, I resort to smaller fingering groups that utilize more comfortable hand shapes. I try to show how to jump between the groups comfortably and end up with some additional practice strategies to make this beautiful passage flow more smoothly.

Posted by: senam

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/27/09 11:11 AM

I watched the webinar demo, and although the video quality appeared worse than the normal videos you post here (even when you switch to the "good" camera), it was still good enough and I thought the sound was very good.

Now about switching to the left foot when practicing the rolls to alleviate my back pains, that was quite a surprising suggestion. In the end, it doesn't work for me mostly because I'm even worse at pedalizing than doing rolls (humm, maybe the two are related and explain why I'm having trouble there...) Anyway, what did help was watching you play the whole thing. We could see your head move a lot from side to side while playing. I know some of it is "artistic" play, but it did remind me to not be afraid to move the whole body to comfortably reach the notes. You know, when you don't have a teacher, it's easy to get bad habits. Mine was being way too rigid, like a robot.

Since watching the webinar demo, I've allowed myself a lot more body (head/shoulders/arms) movement when playing and that made things infinetly more comfortable. I can now repeat the rolls almost a dozen times before feeling tension, at which time it's a good idea to switch to something else anyway. Before, I felt pain after the third roll practice.

I still have a hard time getting any velocity on these rolls, but I guess it will come with time.

A great thank you for taking time to answer my question in your webinar demo.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/28/09 09:46 AM

Today's lesson will be a little late, but in the meantime i thought the class would enjoy a little preview of the new Sony webcam that will be providing improved front camera quality to the upcoming webinars!

http://www.pianofromscratch.com/piano-from-scratch/piano-from-scratch
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/29/09 09:12 AM

Lesson #42, Measure 29, Pt. 3

Now we work on the right hand part, taking note of a special fingering at the end that helps to prepare the hand to move higher in the next measure. We then put both hands together, highlighting the specific notes where the right hand plays together with the left. Take your time, and with patience you'll be able to play through this challenging passage with ease.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/29/09 09:27 AM

Originally Posted By: senam
I watched the webinar demo, and although the video quality appeared worse than the normal videos you post here (even when you switch to the "good" camera), it was still good enough and I thought the sound was very good.

Now about switching to the left foot when practicing the rolls to alleviate my back pains, that was quite a surprising suggestion. In the end, it doesn't work for me mostly because I'm even worse at pedalizing than doing rolls (humm, maybe the two are related and explain why I'm having trouble there...) Anyway, what did help was watching you play the whole thing. We could see your head move a lot from side to side while playing. I know some of it is "artistic" play, but it did remind me to not be afraid to move the whole body to comfortably reach the notes. You know, when you don't have a teacher, it's easy to get bad habits. Mine was being way too rigid, like a robot.

Since watching the webinar demo, I've allowed myself a lot more body (head/shoulders/arms) movement when playing and that made things infinetly more comfortable. I can now repeat the rolls almost a dozen times before feeling tension, at which time it's a good idea to switch to something else anyway. Before, I felt pain after the third roll practice.

I still have a hard time getting any velocity on these rolls, but I guess it will come with time.

A great thank you for taking time to answer my question in your webinar demo.

I'm so glad you found that webinar demo helpful, even if the resulting help was a bit circuitous! wink By all means, please allow yourself to loosen up and move freely about the piano, as long as it doesn't disorient you from the keys and hurt yourself in any way. I sometimes find that if i'm accompanying a really boring piece of music, my back starts to hurt because i haven't been inspired to "sway with the music!" I used to move around way too much as a youngster, before I started to appreciate economy of motion and efficiency of expression.
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/30/09 05:16 AM

Fellow CDL Students,

It sure is quiet in here. Not much posting except for Hugh's lessons. I'm on the tail end of of a 7day - 12 hours per day shift at work so I haven't had nearly as much time to spend on CDL as I would like. Today is my Friday and I'm off for 4 days starting tomorrow. Yes, I'm really falling behind in my lessons due to lack of practice but I'm hoping a couple of 3 hours sessons will catch me up. How's everyone else doing?

Hugh, I really like the webinar format. The sound and video on the second one is much better than on the first. I'm still looking forward to the webinar session in October. Any idea yet on cost?

Woody
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/30/09 07:49 AM

Sorry, its just a bad time for me to worry about piano-- Church retreat over this past weekend, test back on tuesday, interview for an internship in 2 hours, big project due on thursday and a quiz on friday smile
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/30/09 09:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Fellow CDL Students,

It sure is quiet in here. Not much posting except for Hugh's lessons. I'm on the tail end of of a 7day - 12 hours per day shift at work so I haven't had nearly as much time to spend on CDL as I would like. Today is my Friday and I'm off for 4 days starting tomorrow. Yes, I'm really falling behind in my lessons due to lack of practice but I'm hoping a couple of 3 hours sessons will catch me up. How's everyone else doing?

Hugh, I really like the webinar format. The sound and video on the second one is much better than on the first. I'm still looking forward to the webinar session in October. Any idea yet on cost?

Woody


Hm! Sounds like "end-of-month-itis" - i know my own workload has really piled on these past two weeks, must be endemic!

Thanks for the feedback on the Webinar! I figured out how to stream at high quality, so that combined with the better webcam should make a huge difference. It's great to be able to work out these bugs ahead of time - great learning experience for me! As for cost, I'm planning on making this first one free so that everyone (myself included) can gauge how effective this format is for group learning. I may put up a separate post, but for now if folks interested in attending the webinar would be kind enough to sign up, that would really help me prepare for the party.

You can sign up for the webinar here by clicking the "Subscribe" button (feel free to invite others too!):
Clair de lune Webinar Signup Page
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 09/30/09 09:24 AM

Lesson #43, Measure 30, Pt. 1

Cheats galore! I show you a "swiss cheese" approach to the left hand, where we keep easy-to-find hand shapes for the fast passage, leaving out a few key notes for the right hand to "come to the rescue" in the next lesson. You'll see how this all works out in the end, it's a lot of fun untangling this otherwise tricky passage!

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/01/09 08:00 AM

Hugh,
As threatened yesterday, I'm back. I just registered for the webinar (a total of 4 of us registered) and got the confirmation email with the date and time. I assume that the 1 PM is eastern time zone which puts it at noontime here in the central timezone. Lacking a reply button on the confirmation notice I just wanted to confirm here.
Thanks,
Woody
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/01/09 09:28 AM

Just wanted to add a big thanks, this is incredibly generous of you Hugh but I'm sure these lessons will be a big help to many, many people all over the world. I'm pretty much a beginner but you've given me the confidence to have a crack at Clare de lune. I've got a lot of catching up to do though!

I've signed up for the webinar too smile
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/01/09 09:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Woody-Woodruff
Hugh,
As threatened yesterday, I'm back. I just registered for the webinar (a total of 4 of us registered) and got the confirmation email with the date and time. I assume that the 1 PM is eastern time zone which puts it at noontime here in the central timezone. Lacking a reply button on the confirmation notice I just wanted to confirm here.
Thanks,
Woody


That's right, we'll be starting at 1 PM EST (USA). Thanks for signing up, and be sure to post any questions you'd like to address at the webinar! I'll post a "show agenda" a few days before the webinar so everyone can see what we'll be covering.

BTW, you can invite your friends to attend this webinar - click on the "Invite People" link and you can add email addresses of friends that might be interested in participating. I'll be making the video recording of the webinar available to registered participants.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/01/09 09:45 AM

Lesson #44, Measure 30 Pt. 2

We add the heroic right hand with some fingering gymnastics to save the left hand. The reason I use these fingerings is to help keep both hands from stretching beyond comfortable shapes, making it easy to use each hand as a "measuring stick" for cleaner jumps and position changes. Let me know if you find these fingerings helpful - if not, I'd be happy to "redo" this measure and show the more "traditional" fingering as an alternative.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/01/09 09:46 AM

Originally Posted By: BazC
Just wanted to add a big thanks, this is incredibly generous of you Hugh but I'm sure these lessons will be a big help to many, many people all over the world. I'm pretty much a beginner but you've given me the confidence to have a crack at Clare de lune. I've got a lot of catching up to do though!

I've signed up for the webinar too smile


Welcome aboard! Take your time with these lessons and please don't feel pressured to get them all down before the webinar - I'll be taking questions from beginners to advanced players, so make yourself comfortable and have fun!
Posted by: joyjane1028

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/01/09 11:31 AM

Hugh cool , I am a new member to PW and I just discovered this thread yesterday.

I have to say, wow YOU ARE GREAT thumb thumb TWO THUMBS UP!!

I had so much fun watching your lessons yesterday afternoon. My name is Joy, but you surely have given me a lot of JOY!!!!

Thank you. Please keep up your good spirit. I really have benefited from your teaching.

BTW, will you talk about chord progressions one day? laugh


Oh Hugh, what is Webinar? Does it mean you won't post your lessons on Youtube any more?

Have a wonderful wonderful wonderful day!!! Big thanks again!!

Joy
Posted by: EJR

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/01/09 11:51 AM

Hi Hugh,

I am learning a lot from your tutorials and enjoying them very much. I'm trying to apply many of the techniques you describe to my current piece. I like to memorise the pieces I play and would like to ask a question about this.

At what stage should you memorise?

Should you memorise right away, up front, when initially learning each section or bar, or at a much later stage (when you can play the whole piece)?

In your experience, would either of these approaches lead to mastering a piece faster?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/01/09 11:54 AM

Originally Posted By: joyjane1028
Hugh cool , I am a new member to PW and I just discovered this thread yesterday.

I have to say, wow YOU ARE GREAT thumb thumb TWO THUMBS UP!!

I had so much fun watching your lessons yesterday afternoon. My name is Joy, but you surely have given me a lot of JOY!!!!

Thank you. Please keep up your good spirit. I really have benefited from your teaching.

BTW, will you talk about chord progressions one day? laugh


Oh Hugh, what is Webinar? Does it mean you won't post your lessons on Youtube any more?

Have a wonderful wonderful wonderful day!!! Big thanks again!!

Joy




Welcome aboard, Joy! I'm so glad you enjoy these lessons, and that they give you so much - er - happiness! wink

Great question about the Webinar - i'm sure a lot of other people are scratching their heads asking the same thing!

A Webinar is basically a live video and chat conference over the web. Similar to my YouTube videos, I will be using several camera angles and a special program that can broadcast my computer screen showing the music and the program that demonstrates my pedaling. The main difference is that this will be happening live, so I'll be able to answer questions in real time and interact with everyone participating more directly. If you have a webcam, you can even request to participate that way, so that I can better see what may best help you improve your playing.

Another big difference is that I won't be under a strict time limit, as I have to be with YouTube videos (10 minute limits with those). This will be great for intermediate and advanced players who want to go more in depth with technical and musical aspects, as well as for beginners who might need extra help beyond the YouTube lessons. Depending on the volume of questions submitted, I'm planning to broadcast for 1-2 hours. I'll also be recording the webinar and providing that for registered participants.

The good news about the webinar i'm putting together is that you won't need any special software to install on your computer! If you can watch YouTube videos, you can participate in the webinar right in your web browser!

This is actually new for me too, as I've never done anything like this before (does anyone know of any other musicians who've attempted this?) As I'm still trying to get comfortable with techniques for broadcasting live as opposed to edited video, I'm making this first webinar free so that everyone (myself included) can see how effective this format is for learning piano in a group setting.

I hope you can sign up and invite your friends to participate! We can certainly explore different webinar subjects in the future - chord progressions would be a terrific topic!

Once again, welcome aboard and feel free to participate in the ongoing discussions!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/01/09 11:59 AM

Originally Posted By: tracy1
Hi all, just joined the forum specifically for this thread. I guess I am ideal experimental material for these lessons smile . I bought a piano about one month ago with the specific aim of learning to play this piece.
I am in my forties and although I remember 'FACE' etc from school, I have no music sight reading capabilities and have had only two lessons from a lovely lady who began the first lesson by bouncing a toy frog up and down the keys to the rythm of Three Blind Mice! Although she made me smile, I decided she was not for me.
So last week I typed in my search box 'How long will it take a beginner to learn to play CDL' and to my delight I found this site.
I have read all the comments posted and I see that for some, Hugh's note finding makes things a bit slow for them, but at the risk of sounding selfish, I do hope the same pace of learning is kept as it is proving ideal for me.
If determination and the love of this music will enable me to play Claire De Lune, then surely I cannot fail ?? If someone offered me a million pounds or the ability to play this song reasonably well, I would not hesitate in declining the money (as long as my husband never found out LOL).
Thank you so much Hugh for giving me an opportunity to fulfill an ambition of twenty years standing, much gratitude and warmest wishes to you.
Now on with practicing those rolls arrrggggg.:))


Tracy1, please forgive me for being such an absent-minded host and neglecting to welcome you to this thread! I can't tell you how inspiring it is for me to hear your story of wanting to play "Clair de lune", and I hope these lessons (and upcoming webinars) help you discover the joy of making beautiful music for yourself!

I'll see if i can work on a lesson video to help you with those rolls if you'd like - otherwise, i'll try to make sure I include them as part of the upcoming webinar.

Once again, welcome aboard and feel free to post your thoughts and questions anytime!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/02/09 05:09 AM

Bump-le Bee
Posted by: joyjane1028

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/02/09 06:12 AM

Hi Hugh, smile

Good morning!

Hum....ah.....I am trying to ask... blush Huh...hummm...Hey huge, may I ask again:

Will you talk about chord progressions one day?

See, I am soooooo embarrassed... blush blush blush

Once again, enjoy your video lessons very very much.
thumb

Many thanks.
smile
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/02/09 09:00 AM

Originally Posted By: joyjane1028
Hi Hugh, smile

Good morning!

Hum....ah.....I am trying to ask... blush Huh...hummm...Hey huge, may I ask again:

Will you talk about chord progressions one day?

See, I am soooooo embarrassed... blush blush blush

Once again, enjoy your video lessons very very much.
thumb

Many thanks.
smile


Good morning, JoyJane1028
Don't be embarrassed! That's a great question, and I'll see what I can do to create some "chord progression" lesson videos. I did a little bit of YouTube research, and while there's a lot of videos on the subject, they might seem a bit daunting for beginners. I think I have some ideas that might make the subject a bit easier to grasp.

Thanks for the suggestion!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/02/09 09:01 AM

Lesson #45 Measure 31, Part 1

Whoa! Add some lights and what a difference it makes in video quality! Sorry for not doing this sooner, folks! Anyways back to the music. We start by taking apart the left hand notes, and realize we have to stretch our fingers and do some light hand-over-thumb gymnastics (no right hand to the rescue this time, unfortunately). With a little practice, you'll see that this isn't so bad after all.

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/02/09 02:56 PM

Buzzing, Buzzing!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/03/09 06:16 PM

Still Buzzing
Posted by: senam

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/03/09 10:48 PM

Hugh, you often ask if your suggested fingerings work for us. Well, I can't speak for everyone else, but so far all your suggestions work great for me. I may switch a finger here and there, but the idea of grouping notes together and "borrowing notes from the LH into the RH" all work as expected. It's coming along real nice for me in measures 29 and 30.

Just some feedback from an "advanced beginner".
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/05/09 02:17 AM

Hugh, I found this thread a few weeks ago after "dragging out" my Claire sheet music for another "go" at it. You lessons have made this attempt so much more fun and the progress is tremendous for me. I too like to map out notes and fingerings all over my score.

The calm way you explain things and positive comments and the way you "plan ahead" has caused me to go back and re work a few stumbling blocks on other pieces that I love to play.

I have been following right along but got a little anxious and began on measure 31 and 32 a few days before you posted.

Here's my reason for writing.....

On my music score, and yours, the fourth note, g has a flat sign next to it. There is already a flat sign in the key signature so it is "obvious" to me that e, g,a,b and d are flat. Because they put the flat sign there I was thinking that it is a g flat, and the flat sign makes it an f. The F seems to sound better to me than the G flat, so I have been playing it that way. I assume I am wrong as your video now shows you playing it as a g flat. Why does the music have that flat sign next to the g? There seems to be no logical reason and on my score the g in the right hand has a flat notation next to it also.

Again, words cannot express my appreciation for all the time you are taking and the knowledge you are sharing with us.
Posted by: Tawny

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/05/09 02:52 AM

I started taking lessons 3 months ago,, so i am gonna stick with the plan given to me. Maybe a year down the road,, i will take a closer look at this.

But this is spectacular, amazing. Hugh, most definate kind soul.
Posted by: Bob Griffin

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/05/09 10:05 AM

As I went to bed I guess I figured out my own answer. In the previous two measures the g had a natural and I guess it's just a reminder to flat it again. For some reason I was reading more into it.

LOL it does sound good as an f though.

Bob
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/05/09 11:31 AM

Lesson #46, Measure 31, pt 2

This lesson actually covers both measures 31 and 32, since they're essentially identical. We now add the right hand notes, taking note of how the top melody line needs to hold past the pedal break. I give a few suggested fingerings, and encourage you to use whatever feels more comfortable, as everyone's hand is different in size and shape. I also give a suggestion for practicing to connect both measures 31 and 32 more smoothly.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/05/09 11:34 AM

Originally Posted By: senam
Hugh, you often ask if your suggested fingerings work for us. Well, I can't speak for everyone else, but so far all your suggestions work great for me. I may switch a finger here and there, but the idea of grouping notes together and "borrowing notes from the LH into the RH" all work as expected. It's coming along real nice for me in measures 29 and 30.

Just some feedback from an "advanced beginner".


I'm so glad you find these fingerings helpful! Thanks so much for the feedback - it's always nice to hear when things "work"! wink
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/05/09 11:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Bob Griffin
As I went to bed I guess I figured out my own answer. In the previous two measures the g had a natural and I guess it's just a reminder to flat it again. For some reason I was reading more into it.

LOL it does sound good as an f though.

Bob


Good deductive work, Bob! Yes, we call those "courtesy accidentals" as reminders. Glad to hear you're enjoying the lessons!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/05/09 11:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Tawny
I started taking lessons 3 months ago,, so i am gonna stick with the plan given to me. Maybe a year down the road,, i will take a closer look at this.

But this is spectacular, amazing. Hugh, most definate kind soul.


Thanks for the kind words, Tawny! Good luck with your current lessons!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/06/09 09:27 AM

Lesson #47, Measure 33 pt. 1

After starting from the previous measure to connect into measure 33, we tackle the first portion of the measure. The left hand has a challenging run - there are several fingering options, but I try to find a comfortable one that's broken into an octave pattern, a jump, and a finger-over-thumb motion. Once again, specific fingers can be used as measuring tools, particularly when the hand is jumping. We finish by working on a repeated note technique and adding some pedaling to this portion of the measure.

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/07/09 12:25 PM

Lesson # 48, Measure 33, pt. 2

Now we work on learning the rest of measure 33. The notes with stems going up in the right hand represent the melody notes, which should be held longer than the lower notes if possible. We then talk about some pedaling options for the measure, from simple, to more complex if you prefer a "cleaner" sound.

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/08/09 01:50 PM

Bum-ble bee
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/08/09 06:31 PM

Lesson #49, Measure 34

We start off by connecting the second half of measure 33 into measure 34. As we normally do, we carefully map out the notes in both hands and add in suggested fingerings. Watch out for the repeated notes shared by the thumbs in both hands - the left hand will need to get out of the way quickly. I also show how to keep a melody note connected even when it's repeated as an accompaniment note.

Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/11/09 07:44 PM

Hugh,
Did we loose everyone else? No one else is posting. If it's just me here, I'm still trying to catch up due to work. My recommendation, if it's just the two os us, put your feet up, and enjoy the next week or so with the family while I catch up to where you are now. If there are no new entries, I'll know you're taking my recommendation. I'll keep the thread on the first page - no problem.
Woody
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/11/09 08:03 PM

Woody - you're not the only one - I was out of town for 10 days. I'm trying to catch up so haven't posted. So don't feel alone - I kinda thought the same as you, but I'm here and working on it! laugh
CMohr

I almost forgot blush Wow! Hugh, how VERY generous of you to do this first webinar for free! I'm forever in your debt! Thank you yet again.
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/11/09 08:13 PM

Please don't slow down. eek
JK
Posted by: Liber_Ouchy

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/11/09 09:00 PM

I'm wayyyyyyy behind but I'm still here.
Posted by: senam

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/11/09 09:03 PM

And I'm here as well. Although I'm ready for the next lesson, I probably wouldn't be able to keep up with one lesson per day. About 5 per week is perfect for me. Even though not many post here, according to the YouTube view counts, even the recent lessons have been watched well over 100 times.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/12/09 06:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Liber_Ouchy
I'm wayyyyyyy behind but I'm still here.


LOL! Same here smile Don't think that because no-one is posting that no-one is watching! Once I've learned a chunk I'll try and post a recording but I'm only up to bar 6 at the moment frown
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/12/09 10:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Liber_Ouchy
I'm wayyyyyyy behind but I'm still here.


Ditto
Posted by: catchtwo2

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/12/09 11:39 AM

Hugh,
I am relearning the piece so I can move along at any pace you set. This is a very valuable experience for me and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your efforts. Thanks for everything!!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/12/09 01:38 PM

Thanks, everyone, for pitching in with your words of encouragement and participation! It's been another one of those hectic weeks, but I'm turning over a new leaf that hopefully helps me to stop turning into a "data potato" and spend more quality time away from the computer! I'm rendering the next lesson, and it should be posted by the end of the day. Many thanks for your patience and persistence! laugh
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/12/09 03:09 PM

Lesson #50, Measures 35 & 36

The good news is that measures 35 & 36 are virtually the same as measures 27 and 28, with the exception of some extra notes in the left hand and some different "spellings" of the notes which look different, but sound (and play) the same. Notes that are spelled differently but sound the same are called "enharmonics". We also spend some time talking about sharps, which are the opposite of flats in that they raise the pitch of the note (moving the written note slightly to the right on the keboard).

If you're interested in exploring more of the theory of "Clair de lune" in depth or other musical subjects, I'd like to invite you to sign up for one of my live webinars at http://pianofromscratch.com/webinars

Posted by: tracy1

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/12/09 05:44 PM

Hi All ,
Thanks for the welcome Hugh ! I'm still here :))) Believe it or not I'm up to measure 30 ! My husband thinks I sound great ( I don't lol). Having trouble moving on because I keep playing the first part I've learnt over and over again. I think that's because it's been such an effort for me to get this far that starting another difficult measure is going to take a big push ! Still can't believe the progress I've made with your help smile Onwards and upwards !
Hope everyone is well!
Tracy
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/13/09 11:34 AM

Lesson #51, Measure 37 Pt. 1

We start off going more in depth about how to read sharps, and in particular how to interpret the new key signature coming up that is made up of sharps. I then talk about the "traditional" fingering for this measure, and why it might be a problem for those with smaller or less flexible hands. Feel free to use this fingering if you feel comfortable with it (I actually use it myself), but in the next lesson I will show a special fingering designed for smaller hands (this is in response to a blogger who complained about difficulties with this and the following measures due to the small size of her own hands). Hope these next few lessons help!

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/13/09 01:53 PM

Double-header today! Couldn't leave folks hanging at the end of that last lesson, so enjoy today's bonus lesson!

Lesson #52, Measure 37 Pt. 2

The traditional fingerings rely on octaves in both hands to help find the notes easily. The problem is that the way the notes are positioned in the left hand makes things very difficult for the 4th and 5th fingers, particularly for smaller hands and those with less flexibility in those normally weaker fingers. As an alternative, I offer a creative fingering that uses the right hand to once again "come to the rescue" by sharing some of the left hand notes, leaving the left hand with a smaller, more comfortable note grouping. Try both of these fingerings and be sure to let me know which one you prefer. Everyone will have different preferences depending on their hand size/shape, so don't feel obligated to follow someone else's personal preference!

Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/15/09 11:23 AM

Lesson #53, Measure 38

We've been running into an awful lot of notes with ledger lines, so I thought I'd make up a new set of mnemonics to make it easier to quickly identify those notes. By the way, in case I forgot to mention, the "regular" lines that contain the clefs and most of the notes are called "staff lines", and the ledger lines (or "ladder lines" as I sometimes call them) are notes that are written above the staff lines.

Using our new mnemonics, we quickly map out the right hand notes, and in mapping the left hand notes we see how to play an E-sharp. I close by offering some alternate left hand fingerings and a suggested pedaling. If you can hold the right hand melody, that will help to distinguish it from the running accompaniment notes below.

Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/15/09 07:15 PM

Hugh,

It has been a real privilege to learn this piece with your help. I started learning it on my own and amazingly it seems you started these lessons at about the same time. Obviously you are a gifted pianist and teacher, as my playing has progressed greatly with your help. I am having some trouble with measure 37. Normally when I play measures at a slower pace I can still hear how it is supposed to sound at speed. With measure 37 though it just sounds like random notes to me. Is there something I am missing? Is it just that it doesn't work unless it is played at the proper speed? Perhaps I am not bringing out the melody properly, maybe some accents added to the score would help. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks for all your help and generosity.

Chris
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/15/09 09:40 PM

Hi Chris - this is an excellent question, and I'd like to address this in the upcoming webinar on Oct. 24th. Measure 37 is a transitional measure - it's function is basically to move us from the "flat" harmony to "sharp" harmony, if that makes sense. Don't worry about bringing out the melody too much - every note is actually part of one single chord, being modulated upwards in different positions. I'll try to illustrate that in the webinar to help you understand what's going on. In the meantime, try playing measure 37 and actually keep the pedal down for the entire time - hopefully you'll see that everything can actually blend together quite nicely.

Hope this helps!
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/17/09 05:27 AM

Buzzing
Posted by: one of many

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/17/09 09:18 PM

Wow Hugh, this is fantastic! I am just now finding out about what you're doing. I'm 28 years old and a beginner taking my first piano lessons ever, something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I love Debussy but thought it would be ages, if ever, that I could play something of his. I am only on your third lesson but almost weeped with joy at hearing myself play the first measure! I know it's going to be a long haul but am looking forward to getting through it with you as my guide!! Many thanks!
And great insights like what it would sound like in the white keys, i guess that would be the key of C?...
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/19/09 07:48 PM

I finally got all caught up on the lessons! yippie I have registered for the webinar and am looking forward to it. I do have a question for the webinar. Do I post it now on the webinar page or wait until we're under way? (Just trying to think ahead a little).

CMohr
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/20/09 11:01 AM

Originally Posted By: one of many
Wow Hugh, this is fantastic! I am just now finding out about what you're doing. I'm 28 years old and a beginner taking my first piano lessons ever, something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I love Debussy but thought it would be ages, if ever, that I could play something of his. I am only on your third lesson but almost weeped with joy at hearing myself play the first measure! I know it's going to be a long haul but am looking forward to getting through it with you as my guide!! Many thanks!
And great insights like what it would sound like in the white keys, i guess that would be the key of C?...

Welcome aboard! I'm so glad you find these lessons helpful - it's been tremendously rewarding to hear stories like yours from folks who have dreamed of playing this piece! And yes, you're right - that was an example of what the piece might've sounded like if it was written in the key of C major!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/20/09 11:03 AM

Originally Posted By: CMohr
I finally got all caught up on the lessons! yippie I have registered for the webinar and am looking forward to it. I do have a question for the webinar. Do I post it now on the webinar page or wait until we're under way? (Just trying to think ahead a little).

CMohr

Yay! Congrats, CMohr! More lessons are on the way, btw (it's been a very, very busy weekend for me!)

Feel free to post your questions now if you'd like. I'm going to be collecting some of the best ones from this forum, as well as from the scattered YouTube comments and emails to present at the Webinar this Saturday. We can also take questions "live", which is part of the fun of putting this webinar together: the ability to interact in real time with questions and comments!

See you on Saturday at 1 pm EST!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/20/09 11:04 AM

Lesson #54, Measure 39

Options, options! I do some waffling and decide on a specific fingering for the left hand in the previous measure leading into measure 39, mainly because I don't like relying on a weak pinkie to move to multiple notes. In the right hand, we find that the ledger lines actually climb a bit higher, so we extend the mnemonics a bit higher to help find the higher notes more easily ("But Don't Fall"). I give another set of options to use fingerings to find higher notes, using the octave hand again as a "measuring stick" as one of the options. I also give an interesting option in the end of the measure to use the thumb to jump down more securely than jumping with the "traditional" pinkie.

Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/20/09 05:21 PM

Hugh,

I have a question about the timing in measure 33. After looking and playing more closely, (btw my score doesn't show dotted eigths in the melody line or base line) I figured it could be counted bum-ble-bee, bum-ble-bee, buzz-ing, buzz-ing with the sixteenth notes.

Correct me if I'm wrong, please!

I know that in the second half of the measure RH is NOT playing triplets.(I did think they were awhile ago). But they would be played a little faster than regular sixteenth notes. Question?

I hope I've expressed this question so you can figure out what I'm talking about. Thanks!

CMohr
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/21/09 09:01 AM

Originally Posted By: CMohr
Hugh,

I have a question about the timing in measure 33. After looking and playing more closely, (btw my score doesn't show dotted eigths in the melody line or base line) I figured it could be counted bum-ble-bee, bum-ble-bee, buzz-ing, buzz-ing with the sixteenth notes.

Correct me if I'm wrong, please!

I know that in the second half of the measure RH is NOT playing triplets.(I did think they were awhile ago). But they would be played a little faster than regular sixteenth notes. Question?

I hope I've expressed this question so you can figure out what I'm talking about. Thanks!

CMohr


Great question, CMohr! We can definitely use this one for the webinar - here's the answer in the meantime, but it'll make more sense when I can play it for you and explain what's going on.

The 16th notes stay exactly the same, they don't get played any faster - what actually happens is that the beat groupings in the melody shift from sets of three to sets of two - it's an amazing effect that gives the feeling of being "displaced" in time!

If you're using the "bum-ble-bee buz-ing" to represent eighth notes for each syllable (remember, there would be 2 16ths for each eighth), then the melody line could be represented as "Bum-ble-bee / (buz)-ing Buz-ing" (the () represents the note that's tied over)

Does that make sense? Let me know if this helps - or just tune in to the webinar and we can hash it out in more detail "live"! smile
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/21/09 09:03 AM

Lesson #55, Measure 40

(Woops...just realized that a bunch of these videos were missing the "Clair de lune" title at the beginning! Silly me...)

Before I forget, I'd like to invite you to sign up for an upcoming live webinar class lesson at http://pianofromscratch.com/webinars - these webinars will give me a chance to go much more in depth with the music, and we'll be able to have live interaction via chat and shared webcams.

In this lesson, I offer two sets of fingerings: a "traditional" one that is better for connecting the melody notes, and an unusual one that relies on the pedal to connect the notes, but might be easier to use for some folks who may have difficulties jumping around the keyboard.

Posted by: Bee Dee

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/21/09 12:15 PM

Hugh,

I just ran across this (where, oh where have I been?) and I'm definitely looking forward to working on this. Claire de Lune was one of the first pieces I attempted when I re-started piano lessons some years ago, but I only got through the first 28 or so measures before I got frustrated and burnt out with it. This looks like it will get me back on track with this.

Thanks for taking your time to help us poor struggling pianists!
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/21/09 12:53 PM

Hey Hugh, this a bit cheeky (hope you don't mind!) but I thought I'd make a couple of suggestions for other pieces just in case you were intending any follow up "from scratch" courses!

Anything by Bach!
Satie - Gymnopédie No.1
Chopin Waltz No 19 in A minor

I appreciate that this has been a tremendous amount of work for you and understand completely if this is a one off!
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/21/09 08:02 PM

Hugh, Thanks for the answer. Yes, it does make sense. No need to re-respond - I will wait for the webinar to hear how it's supposed to sound, etc. smile

CMOHR
Posted by: JimF

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/22/09 05:56 PM

Hi Hugh,
What a great set of lessons and great piece to work on. You really had me hooked explaining the wonderful story as backgroud. I'm a rank beginner working through Alfred AIO book #2 and had thought it would be a long while before I could tackle such beautiful music. Now I can't wait to get home from the office and start on the first 3 measures. Thanks so much for your efforts.
Posted by: senam

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/24/09 01:17 PM

Hugh, I don't know if you're watching this forum *during* the webinar, but we're all in the ustream chat. And by the way, something is off with the sound because the piano sounds like and electric guitar. Your voice is fine though.
Posted by: munkeegutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/24/09 01:25 PM

yeah, if you open a streaming page, ie click that link on the bottom of your pages, you'll get OUR chat applet which works.

oh and I have the same 76 key keyboard: I just drop the lower e_flat
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/24/09 01:56 PM

I can't get to chat on ustream, so will use the forum for now. But, I'm here.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/24/09 04:11 PM

Many thanks to everyone who participated in today's Webinar! Sorry about the early glitches with the audio levels, the goofy camera focus and the buggy chat applets; this was definitely a learning experience for me, but I hope that everyone had fun nonetheless!

The recorded video from today's webinar is already up on the www.PianofromScratch.com website. Again, many thanks for all the terrific questions, and I look forward to "seeing" everyone at the next webinar!
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/24/09 05:14 PM

I just wanted to thank Hugh for the fantastic webinar! (even tho I couldn't get in on the chat).
The whole set-up and ideas behind the webcast worked out great! I completely enjoyed being able to take part although just as an observer!
Thanks again, I think you've got a great thing going, Hugh. thumb thumb

Cheers!
CMOHR
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/24/09 09:07 PM

Originally Posted By: CMohr
I just wanted to thank Hugh for the fantastic webinar! (even tho I couldn't get in on the chat).
The whole set-up and ideas behind the webcast worked out great! I completely enjoyed being able to take part although just as an observer!
Thanks again, I think you've got a great thing going, Hugh. thumb thumb

Cheers!
CMOHR


Thanks, CMohr! I was a little frazzled with the initial bugs, and more nervous than waiting backstage at Carnegie Hall! I do think this format has a LOT of potential - there's something utterly amazing about being able to teach class piano live with students dotted all over the globe at once! I thought the questions from that chat participants were really, really terrific - I just hope my answers were clear enough and helpful wink

Can't wait to do this again - hopefully sometime early November! And next time, I'd love to have you participate in the chat room!
Posted by: Bee Dee

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/25/09 06:45 PM

Hugh, I'd also like to thank you for the webinar. Although I didn't register for it (and in fact, I stumbled across it early into it) I did enjoy it, and did in fact get a lot out of it. Now I need to get caught up, but that will happen. Hopefully, I can make an useful comment during the next one! And don't worry about the glitches, Hugh... everyone gets opening-night jitters!
Posted by: joyjane1028

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/25/09 11:50 PM

Hugh, thumb thank you very much for your very insightful lesson on Saturday @ webinar. Those are very valuable lesson. I surely have learned a lot from you. Can't wait for the next lesson. Thanks again.
thumb

Joy (joyjane1028) laugh
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 06:52 AM

Glad to hear it went reasonably well, sorry I couldn't join you as planned. I had a quick look at the recording but couldn't get them to play smoothly, is there any way to download them?

I have to agree the piano sounded terrible, too much gain maybe?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 09:10 AM

Originally Posted By: BazC
Glad to hear it went reasonably well, sorry I couldn't join you as planned. I had a quick look at the recording but couldn't get them to play smoothly, is there any way to download them?

I have to agree the piano sounded terrible, too much gain maybe?

I accidentally had the piano and voice mics switched on my mixer, but didn't realize it until the chat applet finally kicked in (around 40 minutes in - i think it was my own browser's fault) and was able to read everyone's frantic texts telling me about the piano sound! LOL!
I was able to fix up the sound levels for the rest of the webinar. Definitely one to chalk up for the learning curve!
Once the chat was up and running properly, it was so cool to be able to react in real time to everyone's questions and comments!
I'm in the process of downloading the video file from the webinar (I might edit and chop it up to remove the first 40 minutes of offensive piano levels) and will make it available soon on my websites for download and viewing.

I'll be scheduling more webinars very soon. This looks to be an exciting and fun way to enjoy group lessons in realtime over the internet! Hope to see you at the next one, BazC!
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 09:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
I'm in the process of downloading the video file from the webinar (I might edit and chop it up to remove the first 40 minutes of offensive piano levels) and will make it available soon on my websites for download and viewing.


Excellent - thanks Hugh!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 11:04 AM

Lesson #56, m. 41 & 42 Overview

We're just about to start one of the most difficult portions of the entire piece. I explain what makes this part so hard, between the twisting left hand runs and the challenging double-notes in the right hand, then give a preview of a creative solution to make it much easier to play (essentially, using the right hand to once again come to the "rescue" of the left hand). In the next lessons, I'll break down this creative fingering bit by bit, so don't worry - with a little patience and some careful practice, I think you'll be surprised at how well you'll be able to tackle this yourself!

Posted by: Gabe

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 01:39 PM

Isn't this way too difficult for beginners to even contemplate?
Posted by: JimF

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 02:36 PM

Originally Posted By: gabeh98
Isn't this way too difficult for beginners to even contemplate?


gabeh98: I am a beginner (5 months with a cheapo keyboard, recently finished Alfred bk#1, never played any instrument before, no teacher) and over the past weekend have managed to get through the first 12 lessons and can manage the first 10 measures without major pauses. At several points I tried to "cheat" and jump a bar ahead of whatever last lesson I had viewed. Each time I was quite intimidated and had trouble working out exactly what was required. Each time when I then viewed the appropriate lesson for that measure, it all came together readily, if not with ease. Measure 10 in particular was such a mystery to me when I first read it that I was sure I would not be playing it for quite some time. After viewing the lesson and an hour of practice, however, I seem to have it down reasonably well.

Hugh: You cannot believe the excitement and childlike joy that I'm experiencing playing a bar like #10 when I thought it was totally beyond my reach just a few hours earlier. Thank you so much. At least through the first dozen or so, the lessons seem perfectly paced to me. One thing about bars 9 and 10 is that they practically beg you to play another measure, so I can't wait for my next session on #11. thumb
Posted by: catchtwo2

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 02:44 PM

Hugh, I was unable to listen to your Webinar so I watched the replay and found it to be very informative. I wish I had learned some of your fingering suggestions before I tackled the piece some years ago. Most of my fingering has been "learned in" and may be difficult to change now but I did get many other suggestions, such as posture at the piano, which I will work on. I hope to watch the next Webinar live and, once again, thank you for all you do.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 04:56 PM

Hey, can anyone join in here?

I'm finding all this activity truly inspirational and I totally take my hat off to anyone who has been playing for 5 months and attempts a piece like this. smile

I've also been learning Claire (although not from Hugh's wonderful lessons). I've been practicing the tricky semi-quavery bit in the middle and made this recording. It's slow and without sustain (all the better to show up the problems):

http://www.box.net/shared/u9iocbv8u6

I'm happy for any kind of critique/comments - really, I am! thumb

I want to get this right before speeding up. There is one obvious mistake toward the end where my LH falls on the wrong note, but apart from that I'm not aware of mistakes, so if anyone hears anything, please let me know.
Posted by: Bee Dee

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 05:47 PM

Hugh,

I fully understand your approach to Claire de Lune on these lessons... you need to go slowly and deliberately in order to convey the knowledge of the piece to us. BUT... I've seen and heard your playing of this for PianoDisc (the background video was posted earlier) and, of course, it's different. Here's my question... when you prepare for playing this expressively, how do you approach your interpretation? Any suggestions for us (of course, you have to learn to crawl before you attempt a 4-minute mile...) that can help us when we finally get the whole thing in our fingers? If you want to wait to address this until the lessons are completed, that's fine... we'll get there eventually!
Posted by: joyjane1028

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/26/09 06:53 PM

Originally Posted By: JimF
[quote=gabeh98]Isn't this way too difficult for beginners to even contemplate?


gabeh98:
JimF. said,"... I am a beginner (5 months with a cheapo keyboard, recently finished Alfred bk#1, never played any instrument before, no teacher) and over the past weekend have managed to get through the first 12 lessons and can manage the first 10 measures without major pause.....Each time I was quite intimidated and had trouble working out exactly what was required. Each time when I then viewed the appropriate lesson for that measure, it all came together readily, if not with ease....After viewing the lesson and an hour of practice, however, I seem to have it down reasonably well."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
wow JimF. wow I am at a loss for words. I am a beginner too, JimF smile - you have just inspired me.
Joy
Posted by: JimF

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/27/09 02:37 PM

Hugh is the one who should get credit for any inspirations around here. Its not just the content of the lessons. His entire manner conveys confidence in his students ability to master the material. I don't think this is accidental. If it is, he has been blessed with a natural teaching ability.
Posted by: joyjane1028

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/27/09 03:15 PM

Originally Posted By: JimF
Hugh is the one who should get credit for any inspirations around here. Its not just the content of the lessons. His entire manner conveys confidence in his students ability to master the material. I don't think this is accidental. If it is, he has been blessed with a natural teaching ability.


Beautifully said. Totally agree.

Thank you for your teaching, Hugh.
thumb
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/28/09 06:53 AM

Hugh
It seems like the worst (most difficult) part is over. grin Presuming I practice to perfection, what level would this be considered?
I missed the Webinar, but saw the first half on your site. Thanks so much for the tips on posture and not sitting on the edge of the seat.
(guilty as charged eek)
Julius
Posted by: Bee Dee

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/28/09 11:58 AM

My understanding is that Claire de Lune is considered an upper-intermediate level piece. Not that that is a bad thing... not all classical piano pieces are virtuoso level (for example, see Debussy's L'Isle Joyeuse), nor need they be. But I would suggest that the difference between a good player and a great player is how each approaches and interprets an individual piece without regard to it's complexity...
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/28/09 02:55 PM

"Clair de lune" piano lessons with Hugh Sung at Ashbury Music Hall

For those of you who would like to pursue a personalized and in-depth study of "Clair de lune", I'd like to invite you to sign up for a special 12- week course at my new virtual classroom at Ashbury Music Hall. Ashbury Music Hall is a new online music school that provides some terrific, easy-to- use tools for recording audio and video right on their site, making it a breeze to share homework assignments and post questions as text, audio, or video clips. I'll be able to respond in kind and help you make real progress learning "Clair de lune".

Please let me know if you have any questions about this new online classroom format. Hope to see you at the next lesson! laugh

Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/31/09 01:41 AM

BOO!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/31/09 10:09 PM

Originally Posted By: CMohr
BOO!

"Boo" for Halloween, or for offering personalized lessons online?
Posted by: Canonie

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/01/09 12:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
Originally Posted By: CMohr
BOO!

"Boo" for Halloween, or for offering personalized lessons online?

I think it was an accidental clicking of the submit button before post was completed, which should have read *

BOOKS, even those especially catering to the adult beginner pianist, don't come close to the EXCITING, engaging and REVOLUTIONARY approach of the People's Pedagogue Hugh SUNG grin

*for more information see thread entitled '1'
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/01/09 01:34 AM

Yes, Boo! for halloween or Boo! for Bump. laugh

You're right, I didn't even think it would be taken as a Bah, Boo. Oops!

CMOHR
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/03/09 03:12 PM

Hello? Anybody here? I've had a couple of weeks of work hell and find eveyone has gone? Are we now on another site? Last lesson I saw was from over a week ago.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/03/09 03:29 PM

Woody, I'm here. I've not been following the lessons, but I've been working hard on Clair de Lune. Only in the last day have I thought it might actually be possible to play it. It is utterly beautiful. 3hearts
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/03/09 03:56 PM

Hello tlt,
I'm glad your making progress with CdL. With less than 15 minutes of practice a day due to my work schedule lately, I'm still only up to measure #25. Yes, the measure before the hard stuff starts. Hugh's lessons seem to have stopped at Lesson 56 or so over a week or two ago. While it will take me a couple of months to catch up I would be interested to know if we will continue past lesson 56.
Posted by: JimF

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/03/09 03:58 PM

Woody and Tlt, I'm here too. Have the first 15 measures down now although 13, 14, 15 need to be a lot smoother. It is starting to sound like real music, which is very exciting.

It looks like Hugh has found a way to monetize his efforts, and he certainly deserves it. I would follow him to the private/interactive site but am not presently set up for it with the right electronics. Expect I may be in the near future and will consider it at that time. Until then there's still plenty of bars/lessons to go through just to get up to the last one posted.

It is captivating. I have two versions on my ipod that are getting a lot of airtime. smile
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/03/09 04:08 PM

I have been busy trying to get my fall ABF recital done, which I just submitted this past weekend. I am now working on measures 15-24. Have the left hand pretty good but not quite ready to mix in the right hand- except for the intro chord.

I think we will have to sign up for the 12 week course if we want to finish with Hugh. Which I don't mind, after all he gave us over 50 freebies. I am just not sure whether to continue with these as posted or go ahead and sign up. I guess I will go check it out.
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/03/09 04:27 PM

All,
Yes, I checked out Ashbury Music Hall and it looks like that's the only way we'll be able to finish. I didn't see any start date but it is a 12-week course for a very reasonable amount of money. I certainly wish Hugh the best and I am very grateful for the time he spent with us here.

For me, I think I'll wait until I get up to lesson 56 before going over. While I have the ability to record with my H2, given the time I can spend on the piano limits me to as much practice as can get in and not set up and recording down-load time for the H2. It's just a matter of priorities.

Woody
Posted by: senam

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/03/09 06:23 PM

Well, it'd be nice if Hugh could give us a sign here to know what's going on. I assumed the long delay since the last lesson was because of the time it took to setup the webinar and then his new course at Ashbury. But I never thought he would leave us high and dry in the middle of the piece like that. I mean, I have only praise for all the efforts he's put into these lessons, but as a principle when you start something you should always finish it. I know I'm eager to finish this piece now that we're in the middle of it and it is going so well. I still think he's just taking some time off to do some work for Ashbury and Curtis, as he should, but that we'll see lesson 57 here soon...
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/03/09 09:28 PM

Nice to know everyone didn't fall off the face of the earth! grin
Its seems like there is a wide range for how far everyone has gotten so far. For myself, I'm current, but need a lot of practice to get the last page smooth. It seems like there has been enough information in the previous lessons to be able to keep going to the finish, even if the lessons end.
I just need the ability to record, so that I can find out if what I hear while I play it, is what I will hear when I play it back. wink
Oh well, Xmas is coming.
Julius
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/03/09 11:40 PM

I'm happy that most of us seem to still be here and waiting on the next lesson also. I guess I just thought that Hugh was really busy after the webinar and everything - I didn't take his last post as meaning the lessons here on the ABF were going to end - but maybe I misread? I for one hope they haven't stopped.
At least a bunch of us are still hanging in there!
I have the first part of Clair de lune to tempo, but getting meas. 27 to where we stopped is still slow going - it's getting better though.

CMOHR
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/04/09 07:18 AM

senam,
I hope I have it wrong and you're right about Lesson #57 being posted in the near future. I also glad to see I'm not the only one hanging around waiting. CMohr, I too, thought I had missed something in Hugh's posts.

Hopefully Hugh will have a chance to read all the recent posts and at least comment on what's going on with the thread, when the Ashbury site is active, etc.
Woody
Posted by: theatrium

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/04/09 09:28 AM

I´ve got a random question regarding beginners and this piece:

How long should it take the average beginner (1 to 2 years learning piano) to complete this piece from scratch, with proper interpretation and all?
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/04/09 11:18 AM

I've been wondering the same thing, but I think the difficult thing to establish is, is the end point "flawless" meaning no mistakes? or a few, but not blaring mistakes (meaning most people wouldn't even notice them as mistakes) And is it the first time you achieve that or when you have consistancy?
Is that being too technical? crazy
Julius
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/04/09 12:31 PM

theatrium & knightplayer,
I'll take a stab at an answer. It is solely depnedant on what you want to get out of playing the piano. Want perfection? It could take years, literally. If you just want to get through it without any or many mistakes it will take a lot less time. I've been back to piano for 2 1/2 years now with 5 or 6 years as a kid on the piano and organ and depending on my work schedule can practice up to 3 hours per day. Most days it's less than 1/2 that now. I memorized the Chopin B-minor Waltz (much easier than CdL) in about 4 - 5 months. Right now, about a year later my playing of it is acceptable to my ear. Ah, but to play it like it should be played, and I've heard it played, will take the rest of my life to perfect. So it all boils down to - How well do YOU want to play it? I hope this helps.
Woody
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/04/09 02:17 PM

I'm still plodding away too, hit a bit of a wall trying to get bars 10-12 smooth. Slowly getting there though!
Posted by: ll

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/04/09 04:55 PM

Hi HughSung,

This is my first post here, and I've only watched videos 1 and 2 thus far, but I have to say I love the way you describe everything and also review over and over, from the overview to things like the direction of the sound.

I'm very excited to try out your method to learning this song - I just wanted to stop by and say that because when a teacher calls something "magical" in music, I'm pretty much obligated to leave a compliment!

-II

PS: Sorry for the edit, but I was also wondering: is this the full version of the song in the original?

Thanks smile
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/05/09 12:41 PM

II
If you see keyboardklutz's post at the bottom of page one, you will hear it played slightly differently. If you double click the picture it will take you to youtube where you can find more people playing it the same way (same length) (check out pennehk) I think its full length.
If you get past page 3 & 4, page 5 is easier and page 6 is a snap thumb
The tunnel may seem long, but there is definately a light at the end.
Julius
Posted by: ll

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/05/09 03:53 PM

Thanks Julies!

I just wanted to make sure, as I am a stickler and purchase Urtext only (conditioning from years as a percussionist... I am a supremest when it comes to sheet music, ha!). Simply wanted to make sure that the sheet music I follow along with is correct.

Finished lesson five, still going strong thumb
Posted by: Bee Dee

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/05/09 07:35 PM

Oh, that isn't a problem... all of the versions of the music I've seen were correct as far as the notes go... Urtext versions don't show fingering and pedaling suggestions (Debussy didn't supply them, figuring that players would find their own solutions). The best versions I've seen are from Alfred, and the fingering and pedaling suggestions (which pretty much follow Hugh's suggestions) are printed in light grey. But there are other versions out there as well, which would work equally well for teaching purposes. As I suggested earlier, it isn't that expensive to buy several copies, mark one up as you work your way through, and keep another for playing from once you get the whole piece in your fingers.
Posted by: ll

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/05/09 08:10 PM

In the same fashion, buy the urtext and copy the sheet music (since it's for personal use, that would still be legal, right?)?
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/05/09 08:32 PM

I have the Alfred edition that I don't mark up so much.

I downloaded from IMSLP another copy that I can do with what I want so it doesn't detract from my "good" copy.

I do go back and forth, but it is really nice to play the sections that I don't need all the extra memos for using a clean copy.

I like the Alfred's also for the fingering suggestions (which are very very close to Hugh's, except for some of his unusual suggestions). Alfred's pedaling marks also follow Hugh's suggestions.

So I'm pretty happy with my set-up anyway.

Good luck! smile

Cheers!
CMOHR
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/09/09 05:07 PM

Where'd everybody go? Is anybody still working on this? (I am) grin Pages 3 & 4 might take a few months.crazy
Is anyone having Clare de lune withdrawl? The last post was last Thursday, but it seems like weeks ago.
Julius
Posted by: JimF

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/09/09 05:29 PM

Still here, Julius. Working away at meas. 15-18. But you are right, you can hear the crickets in this thread. confused
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/09/09 08:02 PM

Still here. Worked on 15 - 25 today and still reviewing the videos. I think it works well to review the video, practice and then review the video again. I get a very positive practice that way. Now if I could just get the fingers to work together.
Measures 15 - 18 are now hands together and coming along nicely. I will work the left hand into measures 19 - 25 over the next week.

I think measures 17 & 18 have been the hardest for me so far.
Partly, because I keep changing the fingering for the left hand. Stop it!
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/09/09 09:07 PM

I have been following Hugh's lessons from the beginning, only posted once, more of a lurker. Anyway I sure hope that he continues the lessons till the end, as they are very helpful. This break has been good for me as it has given me time to get much better, but I am ready to move on. If he doesn't however, I think he has given us enough tools regarding fingerings, pedaling, practicing, etc., that most people will be able to work through the rest without his lessons, of course it will take longer and be much harder, but it is possible. If you work through it, you can find the fingerings that suit you the best, and you can use Hugh's techniques like the cookie cutter hand pattern, recognizing octaves, and others to come up with ways to play this masterpiece. I think it also helps to listen to a professional play it while reading the music many times (I am partial to Leon Fleisher's recent recording from his Two Hands cd). Also take a look at the russian pdf that someone posted early on in this topic. It has fingerings that may help some, or it might give you ideas on working out your own fingerings. That being said, I still would love Hugh's lessons to return for the second half of the piece.
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/10/09 05:12 AM

I'm still here also. Still working on 15 - 25 like your are Carl but it is definately going slow - both in time and speed.

Tiemco, I don't think that Hugh will be back. It's been a few weeks now since he has posted here and the last one didn't include a lesson. From what I've seen on his other sites on the internet,he now has financial backers and he may have been working that aspect instead of the free-bees given here. It sure was nice while it lasted.

Woody
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/10/09 07:17 AM

I've made it to the end! smile
I now play it all the way thru. First 2 pages fairly well, next 2 pages better than 2 weeks ago(but still a long way to go), and last 2 pages are getting there since there is a fair amount that is similar to the first parts.
Tiemco is absolutely right. The needed information is there. Apply it to the parts after the last lesson.
Would this be easier with lessons all the way thru? you bet. But its doable with what's there.
I hope to be able to record after Christmas (with or without Santa). This will be the first piece I post. That gives me a month and a half to get it flawless laugh (hahahaha!). Nothing like a deadline to help push harder.
Julius
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/10/09 09:22 AM

Congratulations Julius! Looking forward to hearing your recording. Hope Santa is paying attention!
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/10/09 09:57 AM

Congrats Julius, that's quite an achievement!
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/10/09 10:27 AM

Well if he isn't coming back it was nice having lessons from a professional pianist of his caliber. I am still hopeful, and if you listen to his language from his last lesson (before the video of him describing the private lessons) it certainly sounds like he intends on continuing till the end. I totally understand if he is unable to continue the free lessons, as they must be very time consuming, but I think Hugh would have let us know if he was in fact not going to finish the piece, and I would be content with just a short note on this thread. I would be much happier with a note and a pdf of the score with the fingerings, both the traditional and his easier fingerings.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/10/09 10:00 PM

My apologies to the class! Between setting up my new online studio at Ashbury Music Hall and the increasing workload at Curtis (the semester is in full swing at this point!), I've been quite frankly overloaded to my eyeballs and beyond!

I'm not sure if I'll be able to update new lessons on a daily basis, but I'll try to do the best I can to plow through to the end. Many thanks for those of you who have used this "hiatus" to catch up and keep up with your study of "Clair de lune". I really appreciate all the words of support that have been expressed both here in this forum and via email/private messages. Let's do our collective best to cross the finish line together!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/10/09 10:01 PM

Lesson #57, m. 41, Part 1

We start with a portion of the right hand, including the extra notes that will be "scooped" from the left hand part. To make things a bit easier, I redraw the left hand notes on the same staff lines with the right hand part. When playing thirds (two notes at a time in one hand), try to lift the non-playing fingers out of the way for better connections.

Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/10/09 10:53 PM

yippie

"Hugh" made my day!

CMOHR
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/10/09 11:06 PM

Yeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! laugh
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 12:02 AM

Hugh, great to have you back. Don't worry about not posting daily, you have enough real work to take care of before this little project. I think it gives most people time to work out the newer sections, without worrying about falling behind. It has certainly given me time to work out the harder measures. I hope it is helping you in some way regarding your teachings.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 04:59 AM

Excellent! Thanks a lot Hugh smile
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 05:35 AM

Hugh,
Please, take whatever time you need on the lessons. They are certainly appreciated! I'm certainly glad I was wrong about you coming back.
Woody
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 11:34 AM

Hugh, you missed a trick there, these guys were willing to pay you for all this! cool

Now I've been lurking a little, and I'd just like to say, for better or for worse, I've recorded Clair and submitted it for the ABF recital. It's the first classical thing I've done for ages, and I don't play it nearly so well as Hugh.

There's plenty of mistakes, but I managed to get through it without collapsing (and the phone didn't ring like the first time I tried), so I've decided it's good enough.

So thanks to Hugh and all you guys here for the inspiration to see it through to the finish line! smile
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 12:09 PM

As a reminder there is a donation avenue on Hugh's website.

Piano from Scratch

I have in the past and just again- thanked Hugh with a contribution. If you have gained a benefit from these lessons, I encourage you to do whatever you can as well.

Also, there is a new 4 week intro class that I am considering.


Hugh,

Do you know if the zoom 2 will work as a external mike?
Also, I have been considering the Zoom Q3 which will do video and sound. Will this work for your online instruction?


Edit: After looking at all of the connections ... I am pretty sure the Zoom 2 will not work as an external mike for my computer. Probably means the Zoom Q3 won't work in a live feed situation either.
Guess I will go shopping.
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 12:41 PM

Wow, I didn't even know about that site or the donation function. I am sure a lot of people aren't aware of it. I just sent Hugh a little something for all his time and effort. Thanks Carl.
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 05:29 PM

I was working on measures 25 & 26 today and it did not go well. I guess I have never tried (5) notes over an octave in my left hand. I did not get close to making the roll sound good. My 4th finger seem to be giving me the most trouble. Maybe I will try 4 notes for now and gradually work in the fifth note.
Anyone else struggle with this?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 08:05 PM

Thank you, everyone for your kind donations! They're really, really appreciated smile
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 08:07 PM

Lesson #58, m. 41, Part 2

Now we'll take a look at the left hand portion. Since we have so many ledger lines coming down below the G clef staff for the left hand, I make a new set of mnemonics to help find those lower notes more quickly. I then cut out cookie cutter portions of the left hand to better show how to distribute your hand position across the run. Remember, we're using our right hand to "rescue" two of the top notes. We'll continue working on the last portion of the notes going down in the next lesson, as it will involve a slightly tricky fingering.

Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 11:16 PM

Hey Carl, yes those rolling 5 finger chords can be tricky. I had a lot of trouble with the second chord, but after much practice I have it in the hand now. For me it helped turning my hand a bit to the right so the fingers are not parallel to the keys (I have a smallish hand) and focused on relaxing the fingers so that it fits the chord better. To play it, for me, it's a combination of rotating the wrist and pressing down just a bit on the keys with my fingers. Also I like to practice things I have trouble with slowly with good form right before bed. This seems to transfer it better to the brain, and the next day it isn't quite as hard.
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/11/09 11:26 PM

Tiemco

I practiced them again tonight very slowly- one note at a time. And yes, relaxing my hand seem to make a big difference. I think I will be able to bring the rolls up to speed in a couple of days.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/12/09 10:41 AM

Lesson #59, m. 41, Part 3

We start off by finishing the previous lesson on playing the left hand part, with a focus on a new technique called "thumb under". This enables you to reposition your hand with a smooth connection. We then work on putting both hands together. I try to show how the right hand aligns with the running left hand passage, as the right hand notes have differing time values. We finish by adding the pedal - the simplest way would be to just keep it down all the way, but you also have the option to change once in the measure if you prefer a cleaner sound.

Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/13/09 09:55 AM

Much better on he rolls last night.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/13/09 06:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Carl Mc
Much better on he rolls last night.
Hurrah! Great fun to see results from practicing, isn't it?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/13/09 06:32 PM

Lesson #60, m. 42, Part 1

We start off with cutting apart the right hand line, and I show a unique fingering to accommodate the double notes and the low note at the bottom. The trick will be to transition smoothly between the different hand positions.

Posted by: TrishJ

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/16/09 07:36 PM

Hi there! I am new to this site. I love playing the piano although I took a lot of time off while having kids and with life in general. A little background, I began playing at age 5 and played until about 16 or 17. I still sit down and play occasionally, but not like I used to. After a break of about 11 years I decided to get back into it. Ironically the piece that inspired me is Debussy's Clair de Lune. As I would not consider myself a total beginner I'm not sure the best way to approach this. I have looked at a few of the tutorials and am very excited to look at the rest. I can play the first page fairly well, but then I start to fall apart and get frustrated. Any tips on where I should start the tutorials at? Thank you so much for the time you have spent on these tutorials!

Sincerely,

Tricia
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/16/09 11:04 PM

Originally Posted By: TrishJ
Hi there! I am new to this site. I love playing the piano although I took a lot of time off while having kids and with life in general. A little background, I began playing at age 5 and played until about 16 or 17. I still sit down and play occasionally, but not like I used to. After a break of about 11 years I decided to get back into it. Ironically the piece that inspired me is Debussy's Clair de Lune. As I would not consider myself a total beginner I'm not sure the best way to approach this. I have looked at a few of the tutorials and am very excited to look at the rest. I can play the first page fairly well, but then I start to fall apart and get frustrated. Any tips on where I should start the tutorials at? Thank you so much for the time you have spent on these tutorials!

Sincerely,

Tricia


Welcome, TrishJ! You may want to view the lessons on my site at www.PianofromScratch.com, where you can find the lessons listed by measure number - if you can identify the measure where things start to fall apart, then you can start with that corresponding video or just a bit before. So far, I'm only up to measure 42, but that brings us pretty well through some of the most difficult portions of the piece (still need to get around to filming the remaining measures...how to squeeze time from a rocky schedule! sigh!!)
Hope this helps!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/16/09 11:05 PM

Lesson #61, m. 42, Part 2

As we did previously, we cut apart the left hand passage into smaller portions following the hand groupings. I think you'll see that once you break down the passage this way, it won't be as difficult to grasp (both figuratively and literally!)

Posted by: TrishJ

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/17/09 12:24 AM

Thank you very much for the response! I look forward to working at learning this piece!
Posted by: Liber_Ouchy

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/20/09 02:11 PM

Hugh, I need to take you back to measure 21 (also measures 11 and 13 apply to my question). My question is, in measure 21, the first note (D flat) is a quarter note, and the following notes are eighths. Shouldn't the D flat be struck first and held thru the G and A octaves, and then the G Flat (also a quarter note) struck and held thru the end of the measure?

I have been playing measures 11 and 13 this way and like the "sound" it provides when played that way. However, I'd just like to know if this is correct or not. Thanks for your response in advance. Appreciate all your doing on this forum.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/21/09 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Liber_Ouchy
Hugh, I need to take you back to measure 21 (also measures 11 and 13 apply to my question). My question is, in measure 21, the first note (D flat) is a quarter note, and the following notes are eighths. Shouldn't the D flat be struck first and held thru the G and A octaves, and then the G Flat (also a quarter note) struck and held thru the end of the measure?

I have been playing measures 11 and 13 this way and like the "sound" it provides when played that way. However, I'd just like to know if this is correct or not. Thanks for your response in advance. Appreciate all your doing on this forum.

Sorry for the delayed response, Liber Ouchy. Great question! The dotted quarter note D-flat should be played simultaneously with the eighth note octave - it's just written a little off kilter to make it easier to see the voicing. Technically, it's actually impossible to hold the D-flat (or the G-flat) for their full values, as they get cut off with identical eighth notes before they officially end, but the implication is that the sound continues through. You can certainly hold the dotted and regular quarter note as long as you can, but the pedal can just as easily sustain it through. If you're enjoying the sound of the suspension the way you're doing it, then that's great! Hope this helps.
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/25/09 08:15 AM

Bump
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/25/09 03:31 PM

Bump?
Bump what? Bump who? I must be too old to get it. confused
If you haven't seen the tread "Music as a Release", in one of the posts, Morodiene has a link to Claude Debussy playing Clare de Lune. Its worth a listen. I think I've listened to Clare de lune about 6 times a day for the last 3 months. This may run contrary to popular opinion, but I think he plays it too fast and parts sound choppy. 3 minutes 40 seconds. I'll take the version at the bottom of page 1. About 4 minutes 43 seconds. Much smoother. Much more beautiful. smile
Happy Thanksgiving
Julius
Posted by: Studio Joe

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/25/09 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: knightplayer
Bump?
Bump what? Bump who? I must be too old to get it.


Bump:

In message board terms, to move a post to the top of the forum with a pointless reply.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/26/09 09:56 AM

Originally Posted By: knightplayer
Bump?
Bump what? Bump who? I must be too old to get it. confused
If you haven't seen the tread "Music as a Release", in one of the posts, Morodiene has a link to Claude Debussy playing Clare de Lune. Its worth a listen. I think I've listened to Clare de lune about 6 times a day for the last 3 months. This may run contrary to popular opinion, but I think he plays it too fast and parts sound choppy. 3 minutes 40 seconds. I'll take the version at the bottom of page 1. About 4 minutes 43 seconds. Much smoother. Much more beautiful. smile
Happy Thanksgiving
Julius

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
You bring up an interesting observation, Julius - some of the old piano roll recordings of Debussy reveal a much "fresher" take of his own music than the collective "traditions" that generally tend to weigh things down over time. I remember hearing an old recording of Gershwin playing his own version of "Rhapsody in Blue" with a big band accompaniment as opposed to a full orchestra, and man, did that piece zip through!
Making music is so much like working with clay - infinitely malleable and wonderfully expressive!
Posted by: JimF

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/27/09 03:45 PM

Thanks Hugh, and same to you.

Is there a second pdf file with the Clair notes available (the first file stops with measure 16)?

If I've missed it, I sure would appreciate a link to it here.

By the way, when I returned to working on a few of the pieces more appropriate for my level of skill, the tools and tricks absorbed in your lessons (cookie cutters, isolating the hardest transitions for practice, tai chi landings, etc.) all worked wonders in speeding up my learning process. Even if I never finish Clair de lune I will have profited greatly from your lessons. Thanks again.

Jim
Posted by: joyjane1028

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 11/30/09 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


*************************************************************************************************************************
Happy Thanksgiving, Hugh.
Rec'd the Thanksgiving eCard I sent you? I hope you & David like the card. How was your turkey? smile
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/01/09 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: joyjane1028
Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


*************************************************************************************************************************
Happy Thanksgiving, Hugh.
Rec'd the Thanksgiving eCard I sent you? I hope you & David like the card. How was your turkey? smile

Thank you so much for the lovely Thanksgiving eCard! I overcooked my turkey, but still had a wonderful time with my family! The next day, we had vegetarian guests over, so I prepared my first-ever Tofurkey - a tofu ball with stuffing inside, complimented with mushroom gravy and apple/cranberry potato dumplings! It was AWESOME!
Hope you had as wonderful a holiday as we did - take care!
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/12/09 04:11 PM

Fallen back to page 5.
Is anyone still working on this and how far are you?
I'm all the way thru, but have been spending the last few weeks trying to get faster, smoother and softer with the left hand. eek
My Zoom H4n arrived. Hearing myself play this convinced me that I have a long long way to go. My foot is on the peddle too much, my timing is off, and every hesitation can be clearly heard. Oh well, I'm not giving up! smile
I will still post as soon as I can get a decent one or by Christmas whichever comes first. At this point, I've given up on flawless. frown
Julius
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/12/09 05:02 PM

I am, I am! I am 2 measures beyond Hugh's last lesson, anxiously awaiting the next one. I am in the same position as you are. I have all the notes down, it's just a matter of playing it cleanly at the proper speed. It's pretty frustrating, as I can play it perfectly at half speed, but once I get up to full speed the last 10 or so measures are just not up to snuff, especially at the key change. I guess this is pretty much with every piece though, I could probably play a lot of pieces perfectly at a very slow pace, but they will fall apart as the speed increases.
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/12/09 08:05 PM

This one will be a long project for me. I am still working the first 26 measures and will not move on until I have them complete(getting close). I will then bite off the next 3rd and do the same. I have a couple of other projects that are more pressing so CDL may take a year to complete.
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/12/09 09:36 PM


I've read a lot of posts that say the best way to improve is to keep playing thru a piece slowly and before you realize it you will be playing it faster.
This is the only difficult piece I'm working on since I wanted to have it down before resuming with a teacher in January (after 36 years).
The one thing that I've found is that I can play it over and over for a couple of hours a day and not get tired of it. Sooner or later things will fall into place. smile
Julius
Posted by: Motorama

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/14/09 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Hugh Sung
Lesson #3: The First Measure

Now we get started learning the very first notes of Debussy's "Clair de lune". Using the G clefs in both hands, we can easily map out where to find the notes, keeping in mind the special rules governed by the Key Signature that changes most of the notes to flats. We also learn about ties and how they're used to extend the length of notes. I also show how I'm using a special program to better illustrate how I'm using the damper pedal (far right) to control how notes are sustained and released.




Thanks a lot for doing this.
You're a great person and a great person with so much depth and I think your attitude and your life philosophy are great.

I have a question: why in the first measure the left and the right hand are connected by that strange vertical beam?
Posted by: Motorama

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/15/09 02:46 AM

Hugh, I'm not a total beginner, but let me tell you that I wish I had a teacher like you when I started learning piano. Just by watching these videos I would've learned easily in a week what I learned in six months, never really understanding what was going on. Your explanations of duplets, clefs, holding notes, tied notes are brilliant and so clear. I had a teacher that expected me to figure out those things or my own or refused to explain them always claiming they were for later lessons, go figure.

You make piano playing look easier and more logical and just watching you dissecting each bar like that helps me to feel less intimidated about approaching a sheet full of notes and blackness. You elevate piano teaching to a new level of understanding and depth and give it a boost with the use of modern technology; my piano teacher was a traditionalist hidebound.

So thank you, thank you, thank you!
Posted by: flat13sharp11

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/18/09 07:56 AM

Well I've been doing this beautiful piece for a month now and the hardest two measures so far are definitely measures 29 and 30. My left hand isn't quick enough to get that "ocean of sound" but these lessons have been great and I will keep persevering by taking it slowly.

What a great piece of music!
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/19/09 03:58 PM

I don't know if this helps, but I have long fingers and found the fingering easier by not playing the base clef notes at the top of the run with the right and playing 4 notes before crossing over. I play ( M29 d flat) 5, 3, 2, 1(f), 3, 2, 1(f), 2, 1(f), 2, 3, 1(f), 3, 1(f), 2, 3, 2, 3. That has thumb under on all the f's. I do the same for measure 30 e flat 5, 3, 2, 1(g), 3, 2, 1(g), 2, 3, 1(g), 2, 3, 5(e flat), 3, 2, 1(g), 2, 3. 30 has thumb under on all the g's. smile
I tried to play CDL all the way thru for my piano tuner last week and froze. The positive outcome was I learned how to use the Zoom H4n that Santa brought early so I could post it and send her the link. The 152 page manual wasn't as bad as it first looked.
In August my wife loved Clare de lune. At this point she's had enough. smile Oh well.
Julius
Posted by: flat13sharp11

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/19/09 04:09 PM

Many thanks for that tip, my hand can reach a tenth, so those larger jumps shouldn't be too hard and should hopefully make it easier. My family is like that with CDL and I've only been playing it a month!! I love it though.
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/27/09 10:12 AM

Back on 12-12-09 I said I'd post by Christmas or if I got a decent recording. This is the link to what I have so far. Not flawless. Not the latest (I seem to have entered a phase of revolving mistakes. frown Parts that were played well find new places to have a mistake).
I suppose I'll call this decent but far from flawless. smile

http://www.box.net/shared/bc8mbaf36a

Julius
PS for some reason, when I try to play it from the box player it comes out fine on my lap top, but garbled on my home PC. It plays fine on the home PC downloaded. I've encountered the same problem with some of the other posts to box.net
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/27/09 12:58 PM

Bravo Julius!
I think that is a very decent performance. I certainly would be happy with your progress. I feel there are some areas where you could let the music breathe and evolve a bit more slowly, but other areas you are spot on. Very good job!


Quote:
Not the latest (I seem to have entered a phase of revolving mistakes. Parts that were played well find new places to have a mistake).


I have found this to be the usual with longer pieces. I find re-working and breaking it down into different parts, helps to solidify the piece.
Posted by: JimF

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/28/09 04:01 PM

Well Done Julius. And thanks for posting it.
Posted by: CMohr

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/28/09 04:26 PM

Julius, good job on the whole piece! I agree with Carl's comments, and you just need some fine tuning to get it really good!

I'm way behind, with all the holiday hoopla, so getting caught up and trying to get to a point where I can maybe post my progress. So, I haven't given up on this, just lagging.
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/28/09 05:18 PM

Carl Mc, JimF, & CMohr
Thanks for the response. smile
I'm back to practicing parts slowly and getting the kinks out. The version I posted was from 12-18-09. I'm getting the hang of the H4n, but I still get the jitters when I try to record. Have to keep 3 dogs quiet and turn off the chime of the grandfather's clock. Not as bad as trying to play for others, but I'm still concious of the fact that others will be listening at some point. I've read a lot of posts that discuss recital jitters. I still haven't figured out whether I want to try to work towards getting over the jitters or just play for myself.
No rush to figure that one out.
Now that I've posted, the pressure is off. grin
Next on my list is my favorite, The Warsaw Concerto. Probably above my level, but I don't really care. Where there is sufficient will, there is a way (and I'm not in a hurry). smile
Julius
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/28/09 10:42 PM

Quote:
I'm getting the hang of the H4n, but I still get the jitters when I try to record.


Record everything for a while, even practice, and then you won't even notice it is there.
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/29/09 06:53 AM

Good idea smile
Thanks
Julius
Posted by: Woody-Woodruff

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/30/09 08:00 PM

All,
It's good to see that there are still some people visiting the thread and that the work started still goes on. Work has been hell this past month or so but it's started to ease back. I'm looking forward to working on CDL once again. Good job Julius and thank you all for keeping the thread alive.
Woody
Posted by: joyjane1028

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 01/20/10 08:48 PM

Hugh, How are you?
Haven't heard from you for a while. Last December, I sent you a X'mas eCard which I personally designed for you. If you haven't received it, please let me know, I will re-send it.

(It was so kind for the doctors at the hospital to finally let me go home on time to enjoy the holidays with family. However, I was not feeling well on the X'mas day, so I spent the whole morning to design that particular eCard for you. I really hope you will see my design and enjoy it as much as I do.)

I also send a private email to David asking about you. He hasn't responded to me yet. Hope to hear from you soon. I really hope every thing is well with you.

Sincerely,
Joy
Posted by: hiker54

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 01/23/10 03:03 PM

Hello,

I have been quietly following the lessons for the last several months. Am now current with the last lesson and can play CDL reasonably well up to that point. I sure hope that Hugh will return to finish this piece in the near future????

Regards,

Bob
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 01/26/10 10:17 AM

Bob,

I too am anxiously awaiting the next lesson from Hugh. I have started to teach myself the rest, but I just can't get the two measures two measures after where he stopped to work right. Anyway Hugh started this project in the summer, when he had a lot more free time. Since his teaching duties at Curtis started he has had a lot less time to continue on this generous free project. I am fairly sure he will finish, but in the mean time, I am using his principles and lessons to get a leg up on the rest. If you break it down like he does, and try some different fingerings that best fit your hand I think you will be able to get most of it down on your own. Good luck.

Chris
Posted by: DancinDigits

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 01/26/10 03:44 PM

Hello Hugh and everyone in the class!

I am pretty new to the forums, so I am a very late starter to this class. Better late than never, eh?

I am enjoying reading through this thread and have picked up a number of tips/pointers that I have added to my TBPT (Tool Box of Piano Techniques). I have a music theory tool box as well. Good things to have. wink

Thanks ever so much to Hugh! This is a major undertaking, and the time and care you are putting into this effort is a very generous thing! I am very impressed with your interpretation of Clair de Lune as posted on youtube. It transports me to that beautiful world where time stands still.

I must admit that this intermission in instruction is something that serves me well - it gives me time to catch up with the class!

Back to practicing. . . .
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 02/19/10 04:23 PM

Well I just couldn't wait any longer, so I went ahead and finished it myself. The remainder of the piece is pretty straightforward. The two measures after the last lesson are pretty easy, the next two are tricky, and here I had to use what I learned from Hugh to get a handle on the fingering. After that it's mostly arpeggio's and most of it is similar to earlier measures, which seemed to go pretty quickly. So as of now I have it all memorized, and can play it through at 3/4 speed well with few mistakes. Hopefully after some good practice I can have it at the speed I want. For all of you who are waiting I suggest you give it a try by yourself, it's a great feeling when you have it finished.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 02/20/10 02:57 AM

Maybe it's time you folks started posting videos?
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 02/20/10 07:23 PM

I will post a video when I have the piece sounding the way I want. As I mentioned above, I have it memorized, but I can't play it at the speed I want, so once I get there I will record it.
Posted by: Mattyg

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 02/21/10 04:02 PM

Just found this thread.
I'm a beginner and find hugh very good a getting things across

Ive worked through the star wars intro videos and am chuffed with the outcome. Just waiting for Hugh to do the rest of the score.(hint hint)

I'm going to start on clair de lune if for no other reason than to get to know the keyboard and how to move from key to key learning to actually play it would be a bonus.

Thanks Hugh

Matt
Posted by: Pseybert

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/08/10 08:54 PM

Hello all! I have just finished measure 33 and am about to start 34! Thank you SO much Hugh. I just bought a new Casio PX 130, upgraded from my Casio WK-3000. Now I'm practicing with weighted keys.

Hugh, no joke, you have inspired me to take piano playing more seriously.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/10/10 09:31 AM

For those students who are working on digital pianos to learn "Clair de lune", you might find this video interesting. It's an overview of Pianoteq, a virtual modeled piano program that runs within a computer and controlled via MIDI from your keyboard. The expressive range is quite remarkable compared to regular digital pianos, and I demonstrate with a performance of "Clair de lune". I'd love to hear what you think!

Posted by: Studio Joe

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/10/10 10:53 AM

Hugh, that was beautiful. I don't think I've ever heard it played any better or with more expression.
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/10/10 10:56 AM

Fabulous! Really beautiful sound there Hugh, I'm already a big fan of Pianoteq though!
Posted by: Heras

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/10/10 03:26 PM

I already bought Pianoteq based on your recomandation and am very satisfied with it.
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/10/10 09:44 PM

Hugh,

I am a fan of Pianoteq. I currently play on an acoustical grand piano, but recently have been thinking of buying a digital piano for my vacation home. Do you have a recommendation for a digital piano that works well with Pianoteq?
Thxs,
Carl
Posted by: Pseybert

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/10/10 10:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Strings & Wood
Hugh,

I am a fan of Pianoteq. I currently play on an acoustical grand piano, but recently have been thinking of buying a digital piano for my vacation home. Do you have a recommendation for a digital piano that works well with Pianoteq?
Thxs,
Carl


I'm very new to piano playing scene, but I assume that any model would work well, because the sound will come from the pianoteq software and not from the piano. So, choose a digital piano with MIDI capabilities that feels good to you.

I just bought a PX-130. I wish I would have had the cash for the 330 so I could've gotten MIDI. My old WK-3000 has MIDI but does not have weighted keys.
Posted by: Studio Joe

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/11/10 01:48 AM

Px-130 does have MIDI, the interface MIDI/USB is built in.

Copied & pasted from Musicians Friend page

"It's easy to connect the PX-130 to your computer with its built-in USB/MIDI interface."
Posted by: Pseybert

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/14/10 12:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Studio Joe
Px-130 does have MIDI, the interface MIDI/USB is built in.

Copied & pasted from Musicians Friend page

"It's easy to connect the PX-130 to your computer with its built-in USB/MIDI interface."


But my older casio has MIDI in / out ports. What's the benefit of those over just standard MIDI?
Posted by: BazC

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/14/10 07:08 AM

Midi in/out is standard midi. The USB style is useful for connecting to a computer because you don't need an additional midi interface. The standard midi in out is more versatile though because you can plug straight into any other midi device.
Posted by: Mattyg

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/16/10 07:19 PM

I'm Loving this.

Hugh now feels like a friend.

I'm on lesson 9 measure 7. And whilst I'm a beginner its helping me to recognize notes and understand all the other little symbols/accents etc.

I'm finding my way around the keyboard sooo much better now and my touch is improving no end.

I need to take more rests mind as my mrs came to say hello today as i had been sat tinkering away for 5 hrs wow

One problem i am having is that when the lessons start it takes me a bit to catch up. I end up playing the piece through from the beginning, which is not a problem as its more practice.

It would be nice if Hugh ever does another one of these tutorials that a catch up from start to where the lesson is. although i understand spending 3-4 mins playing through wont leave much time for the actual lesson.

It's prob because I'm a beginner and I'll find it easier to find my way with more experience. I also find that Hugh sometimes misses out notes or moves on a little quick. Which whilst not on purpose is great as it stops me being lazy and just following directions, It makes me double check the measure and helps me follow along.


Thanks Hugh


Posted by: Pseybert

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/20/10 12:46 AM

After powering through some of the previous measures, I finally got stuck again, measure 37. I am having quite a difficult time with this. I think I finally got the fingering down, just trying to connect it with 36 and get it up to speed.

Also, Huge, for measure 35 and 36, I eliminated, for now, the double fingers for fingers 4 and 5. For some reason I have trouble getting them, and when I do, they end up sound much louder than the rest of it. I have trouble playing two fingers on the left hand softly. I think I may go back and add them as I move on.

I'm going to venture ahead into 38, I think it will motivate me to practice 37 more and get it to speed. Perhaps I will post an update video if anyone is interested.
Posted by: flat13sharp11

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/30/10 05:45 AM

Does anyone know what to do on measures 44-45 or measures 3-4 of the Calmato section? Looking at the notation, it looks as if the left hand crosses into where the right hand is playing, or is there an easier way to do it?

Thanks
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 03/31/10 11:12 AM

Yes flat13, it does, and I had a lot of trouble with this myself. If you watch Hugh play it, he does play all the notes with the left hand, but let's face it, most of us don't have his skill and god given talent. While it probably sounds a little more fluid to play it that way, and you can work through it if you like, but I found it easier to play the E flat with the right hand. This means you might have to alter your fingering for the measure a bit, but at speed I think most people would be hard pressed to hear the difference.
Posted by: IndoCanadian

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 04/14/10 03:58 PM

Your tutorials are very helpful and inspiring! I just got started on this tutorial and I am totally hooked. I hope to see more tutorials like this!
Posted by: Motorama

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/21/10 10:56 PM

Will there be new lessons to complete the piece or that's it?
Posted by: Tiemco

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/23/10 12:53 AM

Well I can't speak for Hugh, but since the last lesson was in November of 2009, I don't think there will be any more. I think he started this project to show some of the new technology he was using while he was off from teaching at Curtis. I can only imagine how busy he must be with school in session, plus his concertizing, practice, and his family. He was extremely generous with his time and I don't fault him for not being able to take it all the way to the end. If you use his teaching techniques and tools you can finish the rest yourself. I did and I think it was easier to learn the rest since I had to come up with my own fingerings. Plus it has helped me take on some new pieces.
Posted by: Mattyg

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/12/10 05:38 PM

I know I'm dragging up an old thread but i'm still working on it.

I'm having difficulties with measures 20 21 22. I cant seem to get my hands working together. This Section has had be stuck for a week now. Any Ideas how to break through it.
Posted by: knightplayer

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 12/27/10 03:14 PM

Mattyg
Nice to see that at least one other is still working on this. Since your post was from December 12, I presume you have 20 to 22 resolved. There were parts that took me a month to be able to play at proper speed. I just kept playing it over and over and over...
I've been playing this piece all year trying to get it "perfect" eek Its certainly better than last December, but not yet where I want it to be. For those who play advanced pieces like this, I have a question. Once you can play a piece like this all the way thru, how long does it take you to play it, the way you want it to be heard?
Posted by: joanneswim

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/26/11 09:41 AM

Hi Hugh. I am new to this website. How I found you-- my mom recently passed away, and I came home with a stack of her music. she was a pretty good pianist. I have been taking lessons for a number of year(call myself an intermediate player), and I set to retire end of month. I took out a piece of mom's music- I said to myself- for a summer project I am GOING TO LEARN to play Clair de Lune!. A real challange! But I remember my mom playing it, and I set the goal.

My piano teacher was excited about me attempting to play it.

Well, I went on utube to hear it, and discover you! I am so grateful. I am on this pedaling lesson right now.

I have mom's original music (with her teacher's penciled in notations on fingering etc), and also the Alfred Publishing arrangement (with their suggestions on fingering and pedaling).

Question- in the Alfred music book, there are cap marks showing when to raise and lower pedal. The question is, do I quickly raise and lower BEFORE I hit the notes, or at the same time as I hit the notes, or slightly after?

I am mixed up on that. Thanks.
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/26/11 10:02 AM

Hi joanneswim, welcome to the ABF.
This thread is pretty old and Hugh has not been around here for a while. So I doubt you will get a direct answer. He does have his on website which is buried in this thread somewhere.


Quote:
Question- in the Alfred music book, there are cap marks showing when to raise and lower pedal. The question is, do I quickly raise and lower BEFORE I hit the notes, or at the same time as I hit the notes, or slightly after?


In regards to your question of the pedal, I think there are times when you will use it between notes and then there are times you will want to play the note and then immediately depress the pedal. Hugh goes over that in different parts of the lessons and in most cases gives different possibilities on how and when to pedal. There seems to be player discretion on the pedal. The one thing I have found is that your ears will tell you when you absolutely have it wrong.
Posted by: joanneswim

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/26/11 11:05 PM

Hi. Actually, that's the way I play the pedal, I feel when it's right to press/lift the pedal. And every player has different ideas on when you should press pedal/lift.

which means-it is my personal interpretation.

For example, I had my piano lesson this week (where I set my goal), and my teacher played through the piece for me. In certain sections I thought, darn, I would have pressed/released more times than he did.

so, even in a structured piece (with all the guidelines), it is personal.

I have one more day in the federal workforce (May 31) before I retire, and I will be workong on this piece to honor my mom!
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/27/11 08:28 AM

Originally Posted By: joanneswim
Hi. Actually, that's the way I play the pedal, I feel when it's right to press/lift the pedal. And every player has different ideas on when you should press pedal/lift.

which means-it is my personal interpretation.

For example, I had my piano lesson this week (where I set my goal), and my teacher played through the piece for me. In certain sections I thought, darn, I would have pressed/released more times than he did.

so, even in a structured piece (with all the guidelines), it is personal.

I have one more day in the federal workforce (May 31) before I retire, and I will be workong on this piece to honor my mom!


Congratulations on retirement! Lots of practice time now. I set this one aside last year. I wasn't ready for the second half of the piece. I do want to finish it sometime in the future as it is a beautiful piece. It will make a lovely tribute to your Mom.
Join us in the ABF quarterly recitals. Next one is in Aug.
Posted by: apple*

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/27/11 08:33 AM

http://www.hughsung.com/blog/

oddly, Hugh came to my house for dinner this week, thanks to a suggestion from Rich Gallassini..

he talked about this video. he is an incredibly gifted pianist.
Posted by: joanneswim

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 06/05/11 04:39 PM

Thanks for the information on pedaling. I understand what you say about "player discretion". My teacher played this piece for me last week, and I thought he held the pedal down too much. But then when I looked at the suggested pedaling in the Alfred "Introduction to His Piano Music", he pretty much followed those markings. I also saw Hugh's recommendations in his videos. I'm up to measures 29 and 30 Lesson (43). Maybe if I get through these two measures, I will be near the top of the mountain in regards to difficulty. I don't much mind switching the key to E (I had watched a utube on a student performing the piece, and the wrong notes were mainly in this section, probably because the changed key signature).
It will take hours and hours of practice to get through this! Now I know why the melody is so familiar from my mom's playing the piece- because she practiced for hours and hours on it!.
I really can't see how a person who isn't at least intermediate level could ever attempt this!
Did you accomplish it?
I noticed that with each of Hugh's new lessons, there were fewer "hits" (people watching the videos), meaning many probably many gave up!
One lesson I have taken away from listening to Hugh's lessons, is that you have to go at it measure by measure. I want to go too fast, and what happens is that I perpetuate my fingering mistakes. So, I'm trying to slow it down and approach it as Hugh did in his videos.
One other observation from the videos-, on the timing.. I listened to a few utubes on performers, and noticed so many were not following the timing. What I do in practice is to play my metronome. That's the sure way of knowing I am getting the timing (since so many double and triples). I also count mentally differently. I do the 1 2 3 count, and for doubles, I hit the second note at the 2+.
Also on the fingering, I like what Hugh recommended in measure 29. It will be interesting to see what my teacher says! I figure he'll want me to do the "aerobatic" way that Hugh was trying to make easlier on us. Hugh does explain nicely how fingering is a personal choice. I feel most comfortable starting the piece- right hand with a 4 and 5!!
Enjoying Clar de Lune and Hugh's lessons. Would like him to know I appreciate the hints and encouragement. It's like a real challenge for me.. but being retired and all.. I'm making a go for it!
Posted by: pnewcomb

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 08/01/11 02:23 PM

Does anybody know some decent fingerings for measures 43 to the end?

The youtube videos only go up to measure 42 and the DVDs only cover measures 1-27 unfortunately. I'm kinda stuck now...
Posted by: Gorm Laben

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 10/24/11 12:52 PM

Fantastic teaching series! Thanks so much for putting this together - perfect pace for me, a second year newbie.
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 02/17/12 05:38 PM

Just when you thought this thread was dead - I'm baaaack! Muhahahaha!

The reason for my serendipitous return? One of the viewers of my "Clair de lune from Scratch" video lessons alerted me to the fact that Jim Parsons from "The Big Bang Theory" tv show has apparently been learning "Clair de lune" with the help of - you guessed it - my video lessons! How wild is that?

Here's a link to the G4TV interview - go to 5:10 to jump to the part where Jim talks about buying a piano and learning how to play after an 18 year hiatus from lessons:

G4TV interview with Jim Parsons



As for the future of "Clair de lune from Scratch"? Let's just say that there *might* be some interesting plans in the works! I'll be sure to post back when I learn more smile

Have fun making music!!
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 02/17/12 09:47 PM

Yea! Looking forward to the next edition.
Posted by: Shanman150

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 02/18/12 05:45 PM

Would you believe that I caught up with these lessons only 3 days ago? I knew that they ended at some point, but I followed them along 2 and a half years after they were made. I hit the end of the line and decided that I was going to stick with the piece, and learn the rest on my own. Imagine my surprise when only TWO DAYS LATER, there's a hint that it might be resumed! I'm really pretty excited about the whole thing.

It's one thing to follow a ghost thread and watch lessons that the majority saw over two years ago. It's quite another to be able to wait and watch and comment in the present!
Posted by: R_B

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 04/28/12 04:00 PM

I started to read these yesterday, seeing 19 pages I just HAD TO skip to the last one.

I am also a Ba_Zinger man fan.

Back to lesson #4

EDIT:
In following a link to Hugh's web site I saw that these lessons are available on DVDs for ~$60, which seems more than fair.

Has anyone here bought those (I think we should) and do they go all the way to the end ?

I will probably buy them anyway a) to support Hugh's effort b) so I can run through them when away from this forum.
:END EDIT
Posted by: NovellPrize

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/10/12 10:20 AM

Hugh,

Like with all great DVDs, I anxiously await the release of the Blu-Ray version of the Claire De Lune from scratch lesson series... You could probably pack all of the lessons into one B.R, disc... Remember, you do have eager customers! And this really is a impressive body of work. Great confidence builder for beginner players! This series is well worth any price.

-NovellPrize
Posted by: R_B

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/15/12 06:10 AM

This is the closest score I could find to the one that Hugh uses in the Videos.
It is EXACTLY the same, at least up to where I have got so far.
http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=608

Hugh's neat little copy/paste tricks had me intrigued - that isn't easy to do with .pdf files and I don't have (musicscore ?, I think that is what he uses).
However I found Inkscape, which seems even more useful.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/inkscape
Open source, runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.

Here is an excerpt from the readme;
"Inkscape is an open source drawing tool with capabilities similar to
Illustrator, Freehand, and CorelDraw that uses the W3C standard scalable
vector graphics format (SVG). Some supported SVG features include
basic shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms,
gradients, and grouping. In addition, Inkscape supports Creative Commons
meta-data, node-editing, layers, complex path operations, text-on-path,
and SVG XML editing. It also imports several formats like EPS, Postscript,
JPEG, PNG, BMP, and TIFF and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based
formats.

Inkscape's main motivation is to provide the Open Source community
with a fully W3C compliant XML, SVG, and CSS2 drawing tool."

It is easy to learn and from what I have seen so far such tasks as joining the last measure from one line to the first measure of the next line would be simple/quick/easy, though perhaps distracting in a video by the time you did all the ties, etc.
Posted by: R_B

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/15/12 06:19 AM

Hmmm, to quote Hugh;
"Let's just say that there *might* be some interesting plans in the works!"

Could we have a lesson featuring Sheldon ?,
with Leonerd, Howard, Raj, et al "supporting" him ?
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/16/12 08:11 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B
This is the closest score I could find to the one that Hugh uses in the Videos.
It is EXACTLY the same, at least up to where I have got so far.
http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=608

Hugh's neat little copy/paste tricks had me intrigued - that isn't easy to do with .pdf files and I don't have (musicscore ?, I think that is what he uses).
However I found Inkscape, which seems even more useful.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/inkscape
Open source, runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.

Here is an excerpt from the readme;
"Inkscape is an open source drawing tool with capabilities similar to
Illustrator, Freehand, and CorelDraw that uses the W3C standard scalable
vector graphics format (SVG). Some supported SVG features include
basic shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms,
gradients, and grouping. In addition, Inkscape supports Creative Commons
meta-data, node-editing, layers, complex path operations, text-on-path,
and SVG XML editing. It also imports several formats like EPS, Postscript,
JPEG, PNG, BMP, and TIFF and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based
formats.

Inkscape's main motivation is to provide the Open Source community
with a fully W3C compliant XML, SVG, and CSS2 drawing tool."

It is easy to learn and from what I have seen so far such tasks as joining the last measure from one line to the first measure of the next line would be simple/quick/easy, though perhaps distracting in a video by the time you did all the ties, etc.


In Windows Vista & Windows 7, you can use a neat free application called Snipping. That's what I was using to cut and paste portions of the music.

For Mac computers, you can use CMD+Shift+4 and it will pull up a little cross hairs on the screen - move the cross hairs then click & drag to create a screenshot box that will automatically save the captured picture to your desktop.

The software used to view the music is called MusicReader:

MusicReader PDF 4

Hope this helps!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/16/12 08:12 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B
Hmmm, to quote Hugh;
"Let's just say that there *might* be some interesting plans in the works!"

Could we have a lesson featuring Sheldon ?,
with Leonerd, Howard, Raj, et al "supporting" him ?



Boy, now THAT would be fun!! Hahaha!
Posted by: Hugh Sung

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/16/12 08:14 AM

Originally Posted By: R_B


EDIT:
In following a link to Hugh's web site I saw that these lessons are available on DVDs for ~$60, which seems more than fair.

Has anyone here bought those (I think we should) and do they go all the way to the end ?

I will probably buy them anyway a) to support Hugh's effort b) so I can run through them when away from this forum.
:END EDIT


My apologies, the DVDs only go halfway through the piece - I haven't finished the rest of the lessons yet, I've had too much on my plate lately, but I do hope to revisit this someday. Thanks for your support and encouragement!
Posted by: NovellPrize

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 05/04/13 05:35 PM

Well... I for one am hoping the rest of the lessons will be produced. I'm noticing the last message in here is from a year ago.. Anyway, on an interesting side note someone had brought up a question regarding Claire De Lune being appropriate for beginners.. While learning Claire I wanted to try to practice on a different piece. I wanted to begin learning "Comptine d'Un Autre Été". Oh boy! Did I learn something new! The Right Hand (RH) and Left Hand (LH)notes were very easy to locate and play on each hand, but were very challenging to actually play the RH and LH simultaneously. Claire De Lune is easy to get through in this respect because the LH & RH movements are fairly sequential throughout the piece. So definitely yes! Claire is actually a good choice for beginners. You can get through the 1st couple of pages of music before the page 3 challenge.... Anyway... Thank you again Hugh for the series... It's been extremely life changing. There is a very nice baby grand piano in the lobby of the Radisson Blu Resort & Marina on the island of St. Martin. I played Claire on it late one evening. Only a few people at the bar heard me play it, but I know they thoroughly enjoyed it because I didn't have to buy another drink for the rest of the night. wink It's moments just like those that I do cherish!

With kind regards,
-M²
Posted by: Follow Your Bliss

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 07/01/13 06:34 AM

Very well done! I played this piece so much that my wife called me "Claire".
Posted by: Andy Platt

Re: Clair de lune from Scratch - YouTube Piano Lessons - 07/01/13 07:47 AM

Originally Posted By: NovellPrize
Claire is actually a good choice for beginners.


Uh, no it's not! wink

Depending on your definition, it's either late intermediate or early advanced piano literature.