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Fur Elise Piano Tutorial for Beginners. Part 2.

ludwig van Beethoven painted by christian horneman, 1803.

Welcome to Fur Elise Piano Tutorial for Beginners

Thanks for joining me in Fur Elise Piano Tutorial for Beginners Part 2 of this 3- Part blog on How To Play Fur Elise.

If you haven't already looked at How To Play Fur Elise: Part 1, I suggest you do, as this will give you lots of ear training practice in Phrasing, Articulation, Dynamics and Pedalling Techniques.

Part- 2 blog is for students who...

  • Want to learn Fur Elise from the very beginning.
  • Cannot read music.
  • Can read music but would like to check their playing technique.
  • Have already learnt it, but would like to double-check their playing technique.

Part- 2 will cover the most popular section of Fur Elise, the A section. Since Part -1 goes through Phrasing, Articulation, Dynamics and Pedalling Techniques, this blog will teach you how to play section A with the correct technique and correct fingering, using a series of technical videos taken directly from The Complete Classical Piano Course. By learning the correct playing technique, you'll have the skill to include Phrasing, Articulation, Dynamics and Pedalling Techniques in your music, bringing you closer to becoming a professional sounding player.  

Let's get started. 

 

TECHNIQUE

Part -1 spoke of the importance of having good Technique in your playing to add  Phrasing, Articulation, Dynamics to the music. The following video lessons will show you just how to play the notes using the correct fingering and hand positions.

Here are some quick tips on improving your playing technique.

  1. Always keep the thumbs and smallest fingers over the keyboard at all times.
  2. Keep both hands as straight as possible.
  3. Keep your wrists and hands in a horizontal position.
  4. Keep your fingers curled and play on your fingertips.
  5. Sit up straight.

Using these playing tips all the time will make you look like a professional player!

Moving on. 

    If you haven't already done so, download the sheet music for Für Elise here.  

    Even if you've never sightread music before, it's worth downloading the music and following the music with your finger. Before long it won't seem difficult to read. This will help you when watching the videos as it will indicate bar numbers in each video. Where it says 5, 11, 17 and 23, on the left-hand side, these are the bar numbers.

    NOTE: When working through a piece of music, always work through it hands separately first before trying to play it hands together, giving yourself at least a week on each hand to get used to the notes. 

    Let's begin with the opening line.

    RIGHT HAND

    Bars 1-8

    There are five things to notice.

    1. The correct use of fingering, i.e., which finger plays each note.
    2. The fingers are always curled.
    3. When playing the black notes, the fingers are close to the edge.
    4. Notice how the hand stretches across the keyboard to reach the higher E note.
    5. When moving to middle C, where the red dot is located, the arm moves across the keys.

    MEMBERS VIDEOS: 'Für Elise Bars 1-8 R.H.' 

     

     

     

    Start slowly, checking your technique before trying to add the timing in. Once you're confident at playing the opening line, set the metronome to 70, gradually increasing the tempo to 100. 

    Bars 9-13

    1. The stretch between notes G-F, F-E and E-D. The hand remains horizontal.
    2. Fingers are curled when playing the notes.
    3. Are you still sitting up with a straight back?

    MEMBERS VIDEOS: 'Für Elise Bars 9-13 R.H.' 

     

     

     

    Bars 12-17

    1. The stretch between notes E-E. This is an octave stretch.  Octave stretches are used a lot, especially in the left hand. Not just in Classical piano but it's also used in Jazz, Blues, Pop and Rock music
    2. The way the hand gets 'squeezed' together when repeating the high E.
    3. All other playing techniques (curled fingers, hand and wrist up etc.)

    MEMBERS VIDEOS: 'Für Elise Bars 12-17 R.H.' 

     

     

     

    Work through the right hand for at least one week, until you can play it in time with the metronome. At this stage there's no point in rushing through it, otherwise, you'll play the music just like an amateur.

    LEFT HAND

    Bars 2-8

    1. Double-check the fingering. Most players use strange fingering for this part. 
    2. When crossing over the thumb, all the fingers stay over the keyboard.
    3. When playing octaves, i.e., E-E, the middle fingers will be less curled. Just remember to bring the fingers down into a curled position again after playing octaves.
    4. All other playing techniques (curled fingers, hand and wrist up etc.)

    MEMBERS VIDEOS: 'Für Elise Bars 2-8 L.H.' 

     

     

     

    Bars 10-13

    1. As the fingers stretch across the octave, the hand and wrist remain horizontal.
    2. The index finger crosses over the thumb. Most people use the middle finger, making it longer to reach the note.
    3. When moving to E, the hand is already in an octave position, ready to hit the higher E with the thumb.
    4. Still sitting up straight?

    MEMBERS VIDEOS: 'Für Elise Bars 10-13 L.H.' 

     

     

     

    Just like the right hand, practice the left hand for a week until you are confident that your technique and timing are correct before playing hands together.

    HANDS TOGETHER

    Bars 1-8

    1. Double-check your fingering. Most people will change the fingering when playing hands together.
    2. When one hand is playing, the other hand remains over the keyboard.
    3. Don't hold any notes too long otherwise they will overlap other notes.

    MEMBERS VIDEOS: 'Für Elise Bars 1-8 H.T. 

     

      

     

    Bars 7-14

    1. When the left-hand moves it keeps the octave hand position.
    2. Minimal movement from the arm.
    3. No overlapping of the notes.

    MEMBERS VIDEOS: 'Für Elise Bars 7-14 H.T. 

     

     

     

    This part gets a little squashed at the end of the line.

    Bars 11-17

    1. When the left-hand goes into the treble clef, past middle C, watch how both hands remain over the keyboard. 
    2. Notice when the hands are close together, the change in fingers in the right hand from the index finger to the ring finger.
    3. When the right-hand plays, the left hand is moving into position.

    MEMBERS VIDEOS: 'Für Elise Bars 11-17 H.T. 

     

     

     

    For those who can read well, Bars 11-17 hands together are covered in more detail in Part- 3

    Enjoy!

     

    If you're up for the challenge, why not try finishing off the other two sections in the final part of this 3- part blog on Fur Elise. There are more technical videos and audio tracks with detailed explanations to help you complete Fur Elise. Click here How To Play Fur Elise: Part 3

     

    If you liked this tutorial on how to play Für Elise, please, leave a comment below!

    And don't forget to bookmark the page! 

    Get even more training in Piano Technique, Sight-reading, Ear Training, Theory, Practising, and a whole lot more when you purchase The Complete Classical Piano Course. Use the discount code CCPC50%Off and receive the complete course for only £148.50! with free worldwide shipping!

     

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