In this lesson we have some really cool new stuff to learn. Watch me first and then we'll talk about the details. First, I'm sure that you noticed that I played some parts loud and some parts soft. There are signs that tell me to do that in music. And this fancy P which stands for the word piano means play softly. The way that we play softly at the piano is by imagining that the arm weighs very little like a feather.
So if I imagined that my arm was like a feather, it's gonna go down pretty softly. Try that with me. Pick any note you want. Put your thumb on it. Lift your wrist. Let your hand be relaxed and gently like your way almost Nothing plays some notes.
It may not be easy at first, but like everything else at the piano practice will definitely make it more familiar and in time will make it very easy. Now the opposite of piano is forte, represented by this fancy F. And of course, that means play loud. The way we play loud in piano is not by hitting and it's not by pushing. Okay, those are both really not good things to do to your body, they will lead to pain and worse. So the way to play loud at the piano is to imagine that your arm weighs a ton, maybe like an elephant leg or something, I don't know. So whatever is heavy for you, and just let it drop.
Imagine you're standing on, I don't know the second floor of a building and you're dropping a large rock How would it fall let your arms falling That. So to play loudly, we fall heavily. We have a heavy arm. Yeah, this is all in your head. Obviously your arm weighs whatever ways but the way that you think of your arm is going to make a difference in how you play. So let's try piano.
So imagine that you weigh like a feather. And let's do 40 you weigh like a rock a big rock being dropped. Notice that in both cases, my wrist is always moving. I am never applying my entire arm whether I want to play quiet or loud. This is not the way to do it. The way to do it is to lift the weight of your forearm.
Let your hand hang which means that your wrist has to be loose and just let it drop softly, very lightly, or heavy. You might need to pause here and practice that a little bit. Will it happen to you immediately know, I can guarantee it, it won't. It'll feel awkward. But again, the more you do it, the better it works. Let's try it with the left hand.
So same thing. Imagine that your left hand weighs nothing like a feather, and you're dropping it. How will it fall? Join me, feather arm. Remember to keep your wrist flexible. Now imagine that your arm weighs like a giant rock and you're dropping it from a tall building.
How will it fall? Okay, try that. All right, practice that. Always actually, when you're playing From now on, if you open up a piece of sheet music and you see the piano or the Forte sign, it's a really great opportunity to practice playing heavy or light. The other thing that you might have Notice here it was the pedal. Sounds kind of blurred together.
Here it is without the pedal. It's what we call a dry sound, not blurry. Here it is the pedal. And you already have learned a little bit about the pedal because you've watched the pedaling tutorial video. And notice here that the signs underneath the music tell us when to put down the pedal, when to lift it and put it back down again called changing the pedal or clearing the pedal and then went to lift it up for good. So in most piano music, you will not see that sometimes in beginning piano pieces you will when I make an easy piano arrangement, I always put in the pedaling to help out my readers.
And pedaling is another big topic and it's best studied with a teacher or through trial and error. But for now, I will show you where to change the pedal and you develop it, the more that you use the pedal, you develop your sense of where to change, where to play, and so on. Now, here's something brand new with rhythm. Notice I have a quarter note with a dot next to it, and then an eighth note and then I repeat that pattern, a quarter note with a dot and an eighth note. This is a very, very common rhythmic grouping and music. And if I had two quarter notes, if this E and this F sharp or two quarter notes, it would sound like this one and to end right.
But if I take away half of a beat from the F sharp and add it to the E, now my E is half a bit longer, and my F sharp is half a bit shorter so it sounds like this one and to end. Same thing with the G and the A if they were both quarter notes Unlike this, three and four, and but I take away half of the beat from the a and add it to the G in the form of the dot. And it sounds like this, three, and four. So all together that measure goes like this, one, and two, and three, and four. So the dot next to the note adds some value to it. In this case, it's half of a beat.
In this lesson, we learned how to make loud and soft sounds at the piano. We call these forte and piano I prefer to use the terms heavy and light because I want to feel a sense of falling heavily into the keys when I want to forte sound are falling very lightly into the keys when I want a piano sound. There are other levels of sound to like louder than forte softer than piano and everything in between. These signs have different names, and you can find a list of them and an explanation. In the supplemental materials section of this course we call all these levels of sound dynamics. So piano and forte are both in the family of dynamics dynamics are very important because they add meaning and emotion to the music much as your tone of voice is important in communicating meaning and emotion.