3

I'm not sure how to better word the title of this question. I'm trying to learn the following song:

In here the arpeggio (left hand) seems to be more like a rhythm that is independent from right hand. In the past I have learned songs like Rivers Flows in you, but in those songs it's clear when to begin the arpeggio it's mostly when you press some key on right hand that it starts.

How would I go learn the song I linked, when I try to learn it, I become confused, it's difficult to completely separate left hand, without using right hand as reference (like in Rivers Flows In you).

I have tried to play the arpeggio for 2 days with my left hand, and melody with my right hand. But when bringing in those together without a reference it's very difficult. I hope this question makes sense.

  • Edit -

I think that I am somewhat getting it, it’s playing 1 left hand note for every second right hand note. Here a part I can play now after practicing for a few days.

https://voca.ro/16Gwmal78N3m

I am seeing some answers saying that I should count, but right now I only listen to the music very carefully (also slowly getting the hang of it now so I don’t have to listen that carefully) so I know when to play the right and left hand accordingly, is this same as counting?

2
  • 1
    Maybe the piece is too advanced for you at the moment.
    – PiedPiper
    Mar 31, 2022 at 14:55
  • 1
    Probably problematic due to the changing time signature with a lot of bars. Yu need the music to help count.
    – Tim
    Mar 31, 2022 at 15:25

2 Answers 2

5

The left hand and right hand line up just fine - the left hand starts off with a constant pulse, and the right hand plays two notes for each left-hand note - so the title is a bit misleading, but I'm not sure what to suggest instead, since I'm not entirely sure what the real problem is.

Are you asking how to learn to play the song using that video, or are you trying to learn using the sheet music and you've linked the video so we can hear what it sounds like? Because the sheet music will contain a lot of crucial metrical information (time signatures, bar lines, beaming patterns) that a piano-roll-style video like that is missing. Especially for a piece like this, where the time signature is changing fairly often.

Most of the guidance I know for learning pieces involves breaking it down using that structure - practice a bar at a time, or two bars at a time, or one beat at a time, things like that - which is harder to do when none of that information is there to see.

In terms of your question about "bringing the hands together without a reference", though, I can offer some thoughts. Most importantly, you should never be "without a reference", because the music has an underlying pulse and both hands should play relative to that. If you don't have a sense for the underlying beat of the music yet, then use a metronome app (or similar) to generate that pulse, and count along to it as you play each hand: 1-and-2-and-, and so on (either counting out loud, or in your head, whatever works better for you).

Figure out where the bars are so you know when to reset your count to "one" again; if you're not sure how to identify the bars then that would be worth asking as a separate question if it hasn't already been asked. (There isn't necessarily a single unique "right" answer for how the music is divided into bars, but there are definitely wrong ones.)

Practice each hand separately while you're counting the bars, and learn how to play each hand relative to the underlying beat that you're counting. Make sure you line the hands up correctly with the beat; it will be harder to 'undo' the practice if you do it wrong. At least for the opening section, the left hand arpeggio always begins on the beat; the right hand sometimes doesn't.

In case this is the source of the difficulty, I'll try and say that again a bit differently: you are trying to count along with the underlying beat of the piece, not to count along with the notes you play, even if a lot of the time the notes do happen on the beat. The first left hand note will come on a count of "one", because the first left hand note is on the beat; the first right hand note will not come on a count of "one", because the first right hand note is not on the beat.

(If you practice the right-hand alone counting the first note as "one", then you will struggle to put the hands together, but the issue isn't really with the hands-together part - the issue is that you aren't playing the right hand correctly.)

Once you can play both hands relative to the underlying beat, then you can put the hands together slowly (while still counting along) and they should line up correctly.

3
  • Listened to the video - a metronome app will be shockingly poor at determining its tempo because the piece slows down too often.
    – Dekkadeci
    Apr 1, 2022 at 12:19
  • I wasn't intending "use a metronome app on the video to figure out how fast it is" - I just meant "use something to generate a sequence of regular beeps or ticks that you can use to practice along to". Apr 1, 2022 at 13:08
  • I am currently learning it via Synthesia, it makes it easy for me to focus on parts of the song. I then practice the (chord / arpeggio and melody notes) without it for a few days. I use Synthesia to test myself to see if I really got it. I know probably that this is not the best way to learn it. However next year I plan on getting real piano lessons, then I will learn sheet music as well. Right now I mostly look at other pianists playing the same song if I feel the fingering is wrong. I feel that videos on scales and chords also help with the fingers part.
    – lunisolar
    Apr 3, 2022 at 23:57
0

One way to approach a passage like this one is to modify the arpeggio (or melody) so that the two hands do line up. The starting point is to play each arpeggio note with the melody note that comes closest to it. You can then modify the note alignments, if necessary, to produce a timing that sounds satisfying to you.

This is a common approach teachers use when their students begin to play Chopin. Chopin often writes passages with unusual numbers of notes (11, 19, etc.) played against a different number of notes. Creating a good-sounding alignment makes it easier to play while still maintaining the overall feel.

2
  • I feel the problem is more to do with irregular timing of bars and when that's sorted, the syncronisation will be straightforward.
    – Tim
    Mar 31, 2022 at 16:17
  • Yes. I think the notes line up OK. But the melody always starts with a 5/4 bar and its repeat ends with a 7/4 bar (maybe written as 2+5), as does that of the 'counter-subject'. A little counting is needed. It sounds a little like the Theme from Love Story. Or Michel Legrand noodling. Mar 31, 2022 at 19:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.