Focus: Rhythm, New Chord Positions and Legato Pedaling
Week six delves straight into rhythm, taking you further into a series of concepts only touched on in previous lessons. You'll be introduced to eighth notes -- what they look like, their note value, how they're played -- and shown how they work within a piece of music. Duane explains upbeat and downbeat before going on to discuss quarter notes and how to count measures while you're playing. You'll also be introduced to dotted notes, such as dotted quarters and dotted eighths, and taught how to count them in a similar manner to that of eighth notes. The following songs and exercises, including "Auld Lang Syne" and last week's "Home on the Range," provide you with solid counting and rhythm practice.
The next section focuses on new chord positions for the bass clef. Duane again explains the principles of inversions and shows you the first inversion of the C chord, as well as alternate positions for G7, F and D7. You'll learn the benefits of inversions to complicated, multi-chord songs, and given a series of supplementary pieces to acclimate your hands to the new (and, in some cases, easier) fingerings.
Duane then picks up last week's discussion of pedaling, providing a crash course in all the pedals and how they can be used to achieve a variety of effects before moving on to the legato pedaling technique. After a brief refresher in the damper pedal's workings, you'll learn the finer points of this technique and put the skill to practice in an exercise designed to get you accustomed to legato pedaling and its written notation.
The lesson ends with a close-up showing in detail the new rhythms, chord positions and pedaling techniques.
Review by Mollie Wells