Tag Archives: D minor

White Whale


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This may seem difficult at first, but it’s really not that hard (except maybe the ending.) It’s a fast, driving song in D-minor. The articulations (accents, staccatos, etc.) help give the piece it’s character. As always, don’t try to learn the song at “performance speed.” Slow down the tempo, get the notes learned, and then gradually speed it up. I’d love to see some performances of this, so post a YouTube video of you playing it and send me the link.

Some People


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This is a jazz tune in the key of D-minor. There’s one flat in the key signature and the eighth notes should be swung. The intro has a low bass line that descends underneath syncopated right hand chords. The main melody is introduced at measure 9. The left hand triads should be played with a light, staccato touch. We go to the key of G-minor temporarily at measure 25 with tight chords in the right hand and what’s known as a pedal bass. Things continue on in a similar way until measure 49. This last section should have some punch, so play things a little louder here. Starting at measure 52, you should gradually slow things down and fade out.

Port And Starboard


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The left hand  has simple chords for measure 1-17, so focus more on the right hand. Notice how sometimes the left hand chord falls on the same beat as a right hand note, and other times the right hand plays a note a moment before the left hand chord comes in. Pay attention to the accent marks in measure 52-67. The right hand has an accent mark every time the left hand plays a chord so emphasize those beats. Measure 68-71 is the same as before, just up an octave, and everything is played staccato, or short.

You Turn


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This song has one flat in the key signature. That means we need to change every B into a B-flat. You won’t see a big flat sign in front of every B note, you just have to remember.

The first few times I tried to play measures 23-24, my right hand fingers got all twisted up. When you get to this part, take a second and figure out a way to play it that is comfortable for you. There’s no “correct” fingers to use, just find something that feels good and then stick with it.

The sustain pedal is your friend for measures 25-32. It makes this section much easier to play. Reset the sustain pedal at the beginning of every measure. If you want to make this section even easier, leave out the “upper notes” of the left hand part and just play the lowest, single bass notes.

Going Nowhere


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This song has one flat in the key signature. That means we need to change every B into a B-flat. You won’t see a big flat sign in front of every B note, you just have to remember.

Practice the right hand by itself for measures 9-16. The left hand is simple, so leave that part out at first. Just focus in on that right hand and slow the tempo down. Once you can play the right hand part a few times without mistakes, add the left hand.

The right hand in measures 33-36 has a simple rhythm, but the left hand makes this part tricky. Again, practice the hands separately, and then put them together at a slow tempo.

Measures 89-96 is the same as measures 81-88, except that everything has been moved up an octave. As far as sustain pedal for this song, you don’t need much for sections like measures 17-32. Use it a little bit more in sections like measures 33-44. And use it a lot for sections like measures 9-16.