Top 10 Pop Songs

This is the start of an instructional page to help you play the booklet you have been sent: Tim Topham’s Top 10 Pop Songs For Beginner Piano Students.

I’ve posted a YouTube video of each tune so you can hear what it sounds like.

Here’s how I’d approach learning these tunes:

  1. Print out your Top 10 booklet.
  2. Watch my instructional video to help you figure out HOW read the music in the booklet. I’ve included what I’d do for the first 3 songs.
  3. Listen to the YouTube song, or look it up on Spotify. Get a good feel of the song and how it sounds.
  4. Use the Instructional video to help you with the first songs. Do ONE at a time! Pause the video to practice each step.
  5. Play it through a few times, making sure you keep a STEADY BEAT. See if you and your family can sing along! If they don’t need to pause, it means you’re probably keeping a steady beat.

QUICK INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU START

Each of these songs use CHORDS. I describe how to use chords for the first three tunes in the book. You can use the same principles to figure out the rest of the songs.

HOW TO PLAY THE CHORDS

Basically, I recommend using a SINGLE FINGER chord with your LEFT HAND. This means just play the root note of the chord. If it is a C chord, you play a C. If it’s an A minor chord, you play an A.

The RIGHT HAND plays the full chord, either all at once or broken up in different styles as we’ve explored before: https://cristycoates.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/creating-your-own-pop-tune-lesson-two/

Most of the chords use ALL WHITE KEYS.

READING THE CHORDS

If a chord has just one letter, like C, G or F, it means it is a MAJOR chord.

If a chord has an ‘m’ in it, like Am, Dm or Em, it means it is a MINOR chord.

If a chord has a ‘7’ at the end, it means play a flattened 7th note of the scale (look at your Finger Exercises & Scales book). It is fine to just play the normal major chord instead.

FIGURING OUT CHORDS

If you need help figuring out any tricky chords, use your Finger Exercises & Scales Booklet. A chord is made up of the FIRST, THIRD and FIFTH notes of each scale. You need to check if it’s a MAJOR or MINOR scale, and look at that one in your booklet (or it will sound wrong!).

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO

THE TUNES

LET IT BE- THE BEATLES

LEAN ON ME- BILL WITHERS

HALLELUJAH- LEONARD COHEN This is Jeff Buckley’s version Notice it’s 6 beats per bar.

HEY JUDE- THE BEATLES Starts at the 55 second mark.

CLOCKS- COLD PLAY

PIANO MAN- BILLY JOEL Note it’s 3 beats per bar.

SIMPSON’S THEME

JAMES BOND THEME

PINK PANTHER

HOTEL CALIFORNIA- THE EAGLES

HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN- THE ANIMALS Notice the 6 beats per bar.

YOU RAISE ME UP- made famous by Josh Gorban

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