Piano Lessons for the 3rd Movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

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This question comes from a viewer and while this is a very specific example, the solution is something that will help you with a wide range of music. The problem with negotiating this example is that from measure 21 to measure 40, there are a lot of fast notes in the left hand that needs to be played quietly. This can be a huge challenge because it’s extremely difficult playing fast and light on the piano. So how do you overcome this challenge?

Utilizing the weight of the arms and the position of your fingers right above the keys is the way to play this section with fluidity. For this specific piece, there are a lot of broken chords in the left hand and I have a suggestion for you on how to practice this effectively. Start with the first two notes of the section and play them together. They are written separately but for now, play them together. You want to achieve the same level of volume with your pinky and your thumb. This is a great challenge because the thumb is so much stronger than your pinky, but you must achieve a balance in the sound between the two notes. Once you have them equal in volume go ahead and break those notes ever so slightly like playing the bottom note as a grace note. Once you feel comfortable with this, add another note and continue adding notes in this manner.

Every time you start a new group of notes you should approach it as a separate passage. Prepare yourself mentally for each section and practice each section individually. Don’t consider this one long passage of notes. Instead, break it down into digestible chunks you can play in a relaxed manner. Then work on connecting these groups of notes.

This lesson really boils down to keeping your body and arms at the proper position to achieve power with the correct hand positions and finger patterns. These are all lessons I’ve taught in the past that are relevant to so many pieces of music.

If you have any more questions please contact me directly: Robert@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729