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I use Leopold Mozart's Burlesque (the original is in the key of G) with all of my piano students as a tool for developing technique and keyboard awareness. It is a simple piece, and it uses the basic chords of the cadence (I, IV, & V7). It is the "B" of the S.A.C.B (Scale, Arpeggios, Cadence, Burlesque) workout that all of my students use as a daily warmup at the beginning of each practice session. This combination of "exercises" is incredibly effective for developing an overall feel and understanding of the piano keyboard, as well as a vehicle for learning basic music theory.
The scale, arpeggios, and cadence provide the pianist with a thorough lesson in getting to know the important components of any specific key. This tune then offers a simple and practical application of those components to an actual piece of music. By learning to play S.A.C.B in all 12 major keys, a piano player can become a master of the piano keyboard, both physically and mentally.
The best way to master the piece is to learn it first with just the solid chords in the left hand, then with alberti bass, then with "walking octaves". (Once my students have learned to play it with the alberti bass pattern, they drop the simple chord version.) As a part of the S.A.C.B. workout, I have my students play only the first phrase of the tune to save time. Playing S.A.C.B. in at least 6 keys is the goal for the daily practice routine, and playing the entire piece each time would multiply the amount of time unnecessarily. The first phrase alone is sufficient.
(A complete explanation of just how important S.A.C.B. is to your piano-playing foundation can be found in chapter 5 of the e-book Piano Player... You)
For a more complete understanding of how to build your piano-playing foundation, read
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The first thing you should do is print out the music. Click here for the written music.
In this video, you will learn how to play the melody in the right hand while playing solid chords in the left hand. It is the very first step towards learning the piece for all other purposes.
In this video, you will learn to put the right hand melody, which you should already know, with a pattern in the left hand.
In this video, you will see how to play the melody in the right hand and "walking octaves" in the left hand.
For more about Burlesque, click here.
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