Last week, we started creating our very own Pop Song.
To do this, we learned a little bit about something called the Circle of Fifths, which pretty much most modern and Classical music is based on. You can find Lesson One here.
There are TWO things that you should be able to do before moving on with this lesson.
You should have:
- A chord progression that you’re happy with, written on your ‘Creating Tunes’ print out.
- Practiced enough to play the chord progression smoothly with a steady beat with both hands. The Right Hand is played four times with the Left Hand playing a single chord (root note).
Once you have BOTH of these things down pat, you’re ready to race onto the next step!
This week, we listened to various pieces of music with strong piano parts based on chords. We then applied the style of chord playing to our chord progression.
I’ve put the links to YouTube videos of the original songs, with a short tutorial about how to put it into practice for your own chord progression.
Your NEXT STEPS are:
- Look and listen to the introductions of each YouTube clip so you can hear the piano chords and the way they are played. Do this ONE at a time.
- Watch the Tutorial about how to apply the style to your own piece.
- Try your OWN chord progression of each song.
STYLE ONE: ‘LET IT BE’ (The Beatles)
The first NEW style we tried was from this classic Beatles tune. It uses TWO chords per bar, instead of FOUR.
Make it your own for your Pop Tune:
Try it out with your chord progression and see if you like it (both hands, please!)
STYLE TWO: ‘SOMEONE LIKE YOU’ (Adele) + REVERSE
Most students have been learning this big Adele hit. You can find out how to play it over here. We can use the same style of breaking up the chord with any chord progression. In musical terms, this is called an ‘arpeggio‘.
Some students also figured out you can do a reverse version of the Adele style. You can see more in the tutorial video.
Try it with your Pop Tune:
Here’s a different version of using arpeggios to create beautiful music (you don’t have to try it- it’s just to show you what CAN be done!):
STYLE THREE: ‘TALKING TO THE MOON’ (Bruno Mars)
This popular Bruno Mars tune breaks up chords differently again. I couldn’t find a link to a suitable official Bruno Mars version, so I’ve posted this Voice Kids official site link. Have a listen here:
Try the FOUR different versions we figured out of ‘Talking to the Moon’ style playing:
STYLE FOUR: ‘SKINNY LOVE’ (Birdy version)
This chord progression uses just ONE of each chord per bar (technically, it’s two chords per bar, but only one of each chord 🙂 ). This Birdy version uses an arpeggiated chord- it’s played much more quickly than we did in Someone Like You, and in a particular way which you can see in the tutorial section.
You might even hear some of the other chord styles we’ve used as you listen through the song!
Try it out on your chord progression:
STYLE FIVE: ‘NEVER TEAR US APART’ (INXS)
So far, we’ve only tried styles using 4 beats per bar. This keyboard introduction to the famous INXS song uses 6 beats per bar.
Give it a go with your own chord progression:
Now that you’ve tried each version, see how you’d like to arrange your Pop Tune:
Write it down so you remember, perhaps something like this….
Practice your NEW version of your Pop Tune chord progression until it’s smooth with a steady beat.
Okay- that’s all for this lesson! See you next time 🙂