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Fur Elise Pt. 1 (Guitar Lesson)


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Matt Brown

Fur Elise Pt. 1

Matt teaches the classic tune "Fur Elise" in a two part series. For Part 1, Matt demonstrates the melody section.

Taught by Matt Brown in Reading Music and Rhythm seriesLength: 24:03Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:21) Performance Matt Brown performs the right hand portion (melody) of the piano arrangement to Beethoven's classic piece "Fur Elise." In the scenes that follow, you will learn how to play this portion of the piece in second position.
Chapter 2: (08:44) Introduction to Fur Elise "Fur Elise" is the title of Beethoven's famous Bagatelle in A minor for solo piano. Beethoven's original copy of the piece is dated April 27, 1810. However, the piece was not published until 1865.

The true identity of "Elise" is totally left to speculation. Many believe that the title of the piece was actually misinterpreted. Beethoven may have intended the title to be "Fur Therese." "Therese" refers to Therese von Brunswick, who was a student of Beethoven's. He proposed to her in 1810 and was turned down. Other musicologists believe that Elise was some other close connection to Beethoven that was not known to the general public.

Rondo Form

"Fur Elise" is an example of a piece played in Rondo form.

A Rondo is a piece or movement with several sections that features multiple recurrences of the main theme in the tonic or home key. The theme is labeled as the A section. Subsequent sections are labeled A, B, C, etc. The piece begins with a statement of the theme. Then, the subsequent sections or episodes enter. Finally, the piece closes with the main theme played in the tonic key.

Bagatelle

"Fur Elise" is also an example of a Bagatelle. A Bagatelle is a short, light piece typically composed for piano. Beethoven's three sets for piano (opp. 33, 199, and 126) were extremely influential.

Lesson Objectives

Lesson 21 marks the beginning of a two part lesson pertaining to "Fur Elise." In the current lesson, Matt focuses primarily on playing the right hand portion of the piano arrangement. For musicianship practice, you will have an opportunity to play the melody while Matt plays the accompaniment part (left hand part of the piano arrangement). To prepare you for this challenge, you will also have an opportunity to play the melody along with Matt to ensure that you are playing it correctly.

Learning a New Piece

Remember to follow these important steps before you dive into playing a new piece.

1. Make a note of the official title and composer. The official title of this piece is "Fur Elise." The composer of the piece is Ludwig Van Beethoven.

2. Note the tempo and style of the piece. Moderato is listed as the indicated tempo / style of the piece. Moderato means "moderately" in Italian and can refer to a broad range of acceptable tempos. The two styles that border moderato are andante on the slower end and allegro on the faster side. Most musicians consider the heart of the moderato tempo range to be around 90 to 125 beats per minute. This is also how moderato is labeled on most metronomes. "Fur Elise" is typically performed at the lower spectrum of this tempo range since the main theme has a rather somber feel. Matt demonstrates the piece in this fashion. Before you decide on a tempo, sing the melody along with a metronome in your head to see how it sounds.

Additional Style / Dynamic Markings

A piano ("p") dynamic is indicated at the beginning. "Piano" means soft. Simply pick more lightly than normal. Think of your normal picking attack as your mezzo forte or medium volume. As you play through the piece, pay careful attention to how the dynamics change. Do not ignore the crescendo, decrescendo, and other dynamic indications.

Many curved lines are written throughout the melody. These curved lines can indicate that a certain section is to be played as a legato phrase. Do not confuse them with hammer-ons, pull-offs, or slides!

3. Note the key signature. There are no sharps or flats in the key signature, so it can be determined that this piece is in the key of C major or A minor. In this situation, check to see what the beginning and ending chord of the piece is. The melody at the beginning starts with an E note which could indicate either key. However, the song ends with a tonic A note in the melody and accompaniment, so it can safely be determined that the song is played in the key of A minor.

4. Note the time signature. This song is played in 3/4 time. Consequently, there are three beats in each measure. The quarter note is counted as the beat. However, this piece is often notated in 3/8. 3/4 and 3/8 can have an identical feel depending on the tempo.

5. Are there any pickup notes? The first measure is not a complete measure. This measure begins with two eighth notes played as a pickup into the first complete measure. The fifth of the scale, E, is the first note of the melody.

6. Scan the score for important features such as repeats, and accidentals. Several D# notes are used in the melody. Before you read through the piece, make sure you know where these notes are located within second position.

Working on the A Section

Always use the proper fingerings for second position. The first finger stretches back to reach notes at the first fret. The pinky stretches up to reach notes at the sixth fret. Remember that all finger stretches must be made with the fingers only. Do not adjust the positioning of the palm.

Finger Rolls

Many finger rolls occur in the right hand portion of this piece. Please refer to lesson 5 of Dennis Hodges' Phase 2 Lead Guitar Series for detailed instruction concerning finger rolls.
Chapter 3: (05:11 ) B Section Listen to Matt's demonstration of the B section several times before you practice it.

Modulation

The B Section of the piece modulates to the relative major key (C Major). Refer back to lesson 10 for information about relative major and minor keys.

Finger Stretches

This section of the song features some awkward finger stretches. However, do not deviate from the proper fingering rules of second position except as noted in measure 11. Fret the F note with the first finger instead of the second finger in this measure. Matt is teaching the piece in second position purely for learning purposes. Due to the awkward finger stretches, it is probably more practical to play this piece in a higher position such as third or fifth position.

Out of Position Notes

Shift out of second position up to ninth position to play the high E octaves that occur in measure 14. Return back to second position immediately after playing these notes.

Practice Time

Using the information that Matt has provided you with, learn the melody from the notation provided under the "Supplemental Content" tab. Remember to practice along with a metronome. When you can comfortably read through the piece at 90 beats per minute, return to the lesson video for a play along exercise in the next scene.
Chapter 4: (04:52) Fur Elise Demonstration Play the melody along with Matt in this scene. He provides two play along examples: one at 90 bpm and another at 104 bpm.

If you make a mistake, simply keep going. The most important aspect to focus on when performing a duet is starting and ending with the other musician. Analyze any mistakes that you made at the conclusion of the performance.
Chapter 5: (03:53) Playing Along The accompaniment that Matt plays is an arrangement of what is played by the left hand in the original piano score. The original piano part cannot be played on guitar because it is too low. Consequently, Matt made some slight alterations to the part when arranging it for guitar.

Play Along Example

Play the melody while Matt plays the accompaniment part. Remember to count! Count the beat in your head as you play to make sure that you stay on track within the form.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


BuffyLOLBuffyLOL replied on July 7th, 2015

Could it be that there is a small mistake in the score? Bar 14, could there be a B missing? Not sure!!! could anyone check this, please? :-)

guitareroguitarero replied on February 4th, 2010

Lol - actually it´s Für Elise - Beethoven wrote this song FOR a hot girl he adored.

jiddz1992jiddz1992 replied on January 7th, 2010

thankyou for this i love this piece

mattbrownmattbrown replied on January 18th, 2010

No problem! I'm a really big fan of most of Beethoven's stuff. He wrote some amazing melodies!

mike yunmike yun replied on October 18th, 2009

fur elise tab or notation is completely irrelevent to your teaching.

petermcgpetermcg replied on June 15th, 2009

Finger roll? Can you explain more. You went over that one too fast for me. Thanks.

mattbrownmattbrown replied on June 15th, 2009

Check out lesson 5 from Dennis' Phase 2 Lead Guitar series for a much more detailed explanation of finger rolls. I think I originally covered them in a previous lesson from this series.

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied on June 12th, 2009

Hang tight everyone, supplemental content should be up tomorrow!

mattbrownmattbrown replied on June 13th, 2009

done and done!

ronin808ronin808 replied on June 14th, 2009

Great lesson matt thanks!! I had to use a friend computer for this but I almost can play it by ear which I think is way cool!! Keep up the good work!!

SylviaSylvia replied on June 12th, 2009

The Key of C! ??

SylviaSylvia replied on June 12th, 2009

Am?! Drat.. lol

Reading Music and Rhythm

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Matt brings all of his years of education right to you with this fantastic series on how to read music. You will start with the very basics and work up to some very advanced concepts.



Lesson 1

Intro to Reading Music

This introductory lesson will walk you through the basics of reading music and reading rhythm.

Length: 15:07 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Reading Music

Learn how to identify notes, the key signature, and the staff. Implement your reading skills by playing a few simple tunes.

Length: 43:32 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Lesson 3

Rhythm and Time Signatures

Learn the basics of notation and time signatures. Practice these concepts with a few timing exercises.

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Lesson 4

3/4 Time Signatures

Now that you've learned a bit about 4/4 time, it's on to 3/4 time.

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Reading Music Practice

Now that you know the basics of reading music, it's time to put that knowledge to work with some exercises.

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On Top of Old Smokey

Get some more practice reading music and rhythms during your rock fest rendition of "On Top of Old Smokey".

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Lesson 7

He's Got the Whole World

Matt Brown reviews the G major scale and teaches "He's Got the Whole World".

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Amazing Grace

Matt Brown explains how to read music in the key of F major. He uses the song "Amazing Grace" as an example.

Length: 15:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Shoo, Fly

Matt Brown teaches the song "Shoo, Fly" as another excellent rhythm and reading example. This song is in the key of G.

Length: 14:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Scales and Key Signatures

Matt Brown returns with the 10th installment in his Reading and Rhythm series. In this lesson, Matt discusses key signatures.

Length: 14:09 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Minor Key and Aura Lee

In this lesson Matt Brown covers the first minor key song in this series, "Aura Lee".

Length: 12:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Scarborough Fair

In this lesson, Matt introduces the A Dorian mode. He applies it to the song "Scarborough Fair".

Length: 16:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Second Position

In lesson 13, Matt Brown discusses and demonstrates second position.

Length: 29:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Rhythm

Lesson 14 is all about rhythm. Matt Brown discusses its importance and provides several exercises.

Length: 20:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

On Top of Old Smokey Review

Matt Brown reviews "On Top of Old Smokey". This time around, the melody is played in second position.

Length: 7:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Reviewing Angels We Have Heard On High

For lesson 14, Matt Brown reviews "Angels We Have Heard On High". The melody is now played in second position.

Length: 12:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Shoo, Fly Review

Matt Brown reviews the song "Shoo, Fly" in second position.

Length: 8:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Rhythm Strumming

This lesson covers right hand rhythm technique. Matt introduces syncopated strumming patterns.

Length: 25:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Down by the Riverside

Matt teaches the melody to "Down by the Riverside". This tune is used as preparation for learning accompaniment techniques.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Accompaniment

Matt uses the song "Down by the Riverside" to teach accompaniment techniques for rhythm backing.

Length: 12:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Fur Elise Pt. 1

Matt teaches the classic tune "Fur Elise" in a two part series. For Part 1, Matt demonstrates the melody section.

Length: 24:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Fur Elise Pt. 2

In lesson 22, Matt teaches the accompaniment sections to Beethoven's "Fur Elise".

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

The Entertainer Pt. 1

Lesson 23 starts a 2 part series on the classic tune "The Entertainer".

Length: 16:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

The Entertainer Pt. 2

Lesson 24 completes the two part series on "The Entertainer". You will learn the accompaniment in this lesson.

Length: 14:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Sea to Sea Pt. 1

Matt starts another 2 part lesson, this time on the tune "Sea to Sea" by William G. Leavitt.

Length: 20:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Sea to Sea Pt. 2

Lesson 26 completes Matt's 2 part series on "Sea to Sea".

Length: 10:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 1

Matt introduces the B flat major scale and teaches the song "Stars and Stripes Forever".

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 2

Matt completes his two part series on "Stars and Stripes Forever" by teaching the accompaniment.

Length: 7:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

D Major in First and Second Position

Matt Brown teaches the D Major scale in both first and second positions.

Length: 17:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Danny Boy Pt. 1

Matt Brown demonstrates "Danny Boy" in both first and second positions.

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Danny Boy Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to the "Danny Boy" melody.

Length: 12:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Silent Night Pt. 1

Matt teaches the Christmas classic "Silent Night."

Length: 18:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Silent Night Pt. 2

Matt teaches the accompaniment to the "Silent Night" melody.

Length: 4:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 34

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Matt Brown teaches "Funiculi Funicula" as an exercise in reading and playing in 6/8 time.

Length: 14:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Funiculi Funicula Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to "Funiculi Funicula".

Length: 16:40 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Strumming Triplets

In lesson 36, Matt provides exercises to help you strum triplet patterns.

Length: 23:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Strumming Sixteenth Note Rhythms

In lesson 37, Matt Brown demonstrates how to strum sixteenth note rhythms.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

Song of the Volga Boatmen

Matt Brown demonstrates the melody and tips for playing the Russian folk tune "Song of the Volga Boatmen".

Length: 11:33 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 39

Song of the Volga Boatmen Pt. 2

In lesson 39, Matt teaches the accompaniment to "Song of the Volga Boatmen".

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 40

Dance of the Ukraine

Matt Brown teaches and demonstrates "Dance of the Ukraine."

Length: 15:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 41

Dance of the Ukraine Pt. 2

Matt demonstrates the accompaniment to the "Dance of the Ukraine" melody.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 42

Etude by Ferdinando Carulli

Matt Brown teaches an etude for classical guitar by Ferdinando Carulli.

Length: 21:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Morning Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches the melody section to "Morning" by Edvard Grieg.

Length: 18:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 44

Morning Pt. 2

Matt teaches the accompaniment for Edvard Grieg's "Morning."

Length: 8:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 45

Bach's Minuet Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches Bach's classic Minuet.

Length: 14:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 46

Bach's Minuet Pt. 2

In lesson 46, Matt Brown covers the accompaniment section to Bach's Minuet.

Length: 5:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 47

Little Prelude in C Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches Bach's "Little Prelude in C."

Length: 16:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 48

Little Prelude in C Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to "Little Prelude in C" by Bach.

Length: 7:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 49

Clementi's Sonatina

Matt Brown teaches the 2nd guitar part to Muzio Clementi's famous "Sonatina."

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Lesson 50

Bach's Invention #1

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Lesson 51

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Length: 7:16 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 52

Third Position Practice

Matt Brown has you working through Jean Philippe Rameau's Minuet for third position playing in lesson 52. He provides a play along and accompaniment to help your sight reading and playing.

Length: 15:11 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only

About Matt Brown View Full Biography Matt Brown began playing the guitar at the age of 11. "It was a rule in my family to learn and play an instrument for at least two years. I had been introduced to a lot of great music at the time by friends and their older siblings. I was really into bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins, so the decision to pick up the guitar came pretty easily."

Matt's musical training has always followed a very structured path. He began studying the guitar with Dayton, Ohio guitar great Danny Voris. I began learning scales, chords, and basic songs like any other guitarist. After breaking his left wrist after playing for only a year, Matt began to study music theory in great detail. I wanted to keep going with my lessons, but I obviously couldn't play at all. Danny basically gave me the equivalent of a freshman year music theory course in the span of two months. These months proved to have a huge impact on Brown's approach to the instrument.

Brown continued his music education at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He completed a degree in Classical Guitar Performance in 2002. While at Capital, he also studied jazz guitar and recording techniques in great detail. "I've never had any desire to perform jazz music. Its lack of relevance to modern culture has always turned me off. However, nothing will improve your chops more than studying this music."

Matt Brown currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. He teaches lessons locally as well as at Capital University's Community Music School. Matt's recent projects include writing and recording with his new, as of yet nameless band as well as the formation of a cover band called The Dirty Cunnies.

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