Number 13, unlucky for some! Today’s lesson comes directly from a question I’ve been asked from my good friend Narayan. We will cover song rhythm, what interlude music is and how to play some, and also a little bit on Raga’s.
Song rhythm may seem complicated at first, but is fairly simple once broken down. Simply, we need to look at the ‘time signature’ to figure out how many beats are in a bar and then look at the length of each note. I have previously done a lesson time signatures in detail here:
However, a simple explanation is of a time signature is how many beats you should count in your head or aloud as you play. For example “one, two, three four, one two three four”.
Now, onto rhythm. A simple shortcut here is to listen to the music you are trying to play being played by someone else on YouTube or online. I like to do this as it gives me an idea of how to play the song correctly. Failing this, simply remember that a crotchet is worth one beat, quaver is half and a minim is worth two beats. See below;
Interlude music is often played as ‘filler’ between two stanzas or verses within a song. They allow the singer to catch their breathe and relax and also gives you the opportunity to SHINE on the piano!
Usually I would only recommend complex interlude sections when you become a little more confident and experienced on the piano as it’s quite easy to become quite lost. However, if you like a challenge you should follow the previous chord progression in the left hand and then improvise with the right hand. As I said, this can be fairly tricky but I like to teach my students to simply play the individual keys of the chord.
There’s a great lesson on this type of thing here:
The Raga. Well, from my limited knowledge on Indian music, a raga is a scale or predetermined set of notes that are used in improvisation on many Indian instruments; including the Sitar. Although, saying this, the piano can be a beautiful accompaniment to this and you can either decide to play an accompaniment (often chords) or the actual raga to compliment your fellow musicians.
- Sa = C
- Re = D
- Ga = E
- Ma = F
- Pa = G
- Dha = A
- Ni = B
Above, I have included a couple of Raga’s for you to practice and learn. Some of these may be more familiar to some of you than others, but these are my personal favourites! They are BEAUTIFUL! Also, learning Raga’s gives you the opportunity to learn your piano keys a little bit more. Exploring where the keys are will improve your playing ability and skill dramatically.
(Remember, if you're struggling with reading music to visit lesson 2)
As ever, please comment and like the lesson to give me feedback and tell me how to improve in future lesson! Please carry on asking me questions using the email symbol at the bottom of this page.