Piano Lesson 6: What Is a Pickup? (Trace: It’s Not a Truck or a Flirtation)

In music there are stronger beats and weaker beats. In 4/4 time (4 beats per measure), beat 1 is usually the strongest beat and beat 3 is the second strongest. This level is nicely illustrated in this video. When conductor Gustavo Dudamel turns round to face the viewers you’ll be able to see him pulsing his left hand on beats 1 and three, and the viewers is clapping on beats 1 and three. Beats 2 and 4 are counted in between, however not felt as strongly.

Generally music doesn’t begin on the sturdy beat 1! The Godfather theme Communicate Softly Love begins with what we name a “pickup” – it begins with beats 2-3-4 (“Communicate soft-ly”) adopted by beat 1 (“love”), the sturdy beat. Count along with this performance of Speak Softly Love beginning with “2-3-4, 1-2-3-4” and so forth.

As we speak you’ll find out about pickups as we work by p.27 in Higher Fingers Piano, BOOK 1.

[NOTE: If you are just joining us for the first time, you will find the list of my previous Sixty and Me Free Piano Lessons at the bottom of this post.]

Pickups are incomplete measures that don’t begin with beat 1. When a chunk has an incomplete measure firstly, the lacking beat(s) have to be within the final measure of the piece; the variety of beats within the first measure plus the variety of beats within the final measure added collectively equal the highest variety of the time signature.

For instance, if a chunk is in 3/4 time, with a one beat pickup, the lacking two beats will probably be within the last measure. Watch the video under for extra details about pickups!

French composer Claude Debussy famously stated that music is within the silence between the notes. Now we have symbols for these silences, and they’re referred to as rests! On p.27 you see {that a} QUARTER REST is equal in size to a QUARTER NOTE; it signifies 1 beat of silence.

After you watch video 6.2, attempt the MUSICAL MATH train. You’ll rely a QUARTER REST the identical as a QUARTER NOTE: 1 beat. The primary musical math downside reveals 1 / 4 relaxation plus 1 / 4 word. That’s 1 + 1 = 2. To verify your solutions, go to my web site: UpperHandsPiano.com, click on on ANSWERS on the prime, then click on on p.27 underneath “BOOK 1 ANSWERS.”

As I demonstrated When the Saints Go Marching In on p.28, I counted “1-2-3-4, 1” then I began enjoying on beat 2. That’s as a result of the music has a pickup that begins on beat 2. Discover that there’s a QUARTER REST within the final measure of the music. This 1-beat relaxation plus the three beats within the first (incomplete) measure collectively equal 4 beats. All measures in 4/4 time should comprise 4 beats, except for the primary and final measures, which collectively should add as much as 4 beats if the primary measure comprises a pickup.

Eighth Notes are just a little tough. 2 eighth notes are equal in time size to 1 quarter word. So now, as a substitute of counting a chunk “1-2-3-4,” we rely “1 and a pair of and three and 4 and” in order that we could be certain of enjoying the eighth notes precisely twice as quick as quarter notes.

On this video I clarify extra about eighth notes, and I display the train on the prime of p.29, twice. Within the second demonstration I’m utilizing a metronome. You might have a cool outdated metronome from years previous, however at the moment most individuals simply use a metronome app on their telephone or pill. There are lots of free metronome apps accessible, simply select one that appears good to you, and it is possible for you to to make use of it after a brief obtain to your gadget.

Press and maintain the middle knob pushing it as much as make it slower and right down to make it quicker. I set mine to 58 (beats per minute or BPM). I don’t use metronomes on a regular basis, however they’re useful when you find yourself first studying a brand new rhythm. They maintain you trustworthy whenever you begin to veer from the beat. If enjoying with the metronome confuses you an excessive amount of, don’t fear about it. You may attempt utilizing it once more later in your research.

Rests are quite common in music, so I introduce a HALF REST on the backside of p.29. A HALF REST signifies 2 beats of silence and is equal in size to a HALF NOTE. Within the second measure of Hallelujah, you see a HALF REST. That measure due to this fact comprises 2 notes and a pair of beats of silence.

Right here’s find out how to keep in mind what a HALF REST appears like. That is essential as a result of they appear so much like a WHOLE REST which you’ll find out about on p.37. “A HALF REST sits like a HAT on a desk” is the little saying we used to make use of once I was first studying to play the piano.

On this video I display Oranges and Lemons on p.30. Make sure that your EIGHTH NOTES are precisely twice as quick as your QUARTER NOTES. College students are inclined to rush them, pondering that they’re very quick, however they’re precisely 2 for 1; 2 EIGHTH NOTES performed evenly within the time of 1 QUARTER NOTE.

OK! I’ve introduced many new musical ideas in Classes 5 and 6! That is what we name music principle, and it may be a bit tough when you find yourself first studying it. Within the coming weeks we are going to focus extra on the songs and fewer on introducing new terminology and rhythms. I’ve simply needed to present you numerous to get you began, so persist with me and I promise you should have enjoyable in Lesson 7! Listed below are our previous classes:


LESSON 2: Studying and Taking part in Our First Notes

LESSON 3: Well being Points and Taking part in the Piano

LESSON 4: Really feel the Beat

LESSON 5: Bass G

Do you discover that it’s simpler to play songs and items that you’ve got heard earlier than? In that case, you most likely have a superb ear that helps you play the notes and rhythms extra simply. Have you ever been training constantly? Attempt to schedule your follow 3-5 days per week in your calendar for regular progress. What have been your best obstacles in studying to play the piano? What have been your triumphs?