How To Play the Chorus to “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘MALIBU’ by Miley Cyrus on the piano

 

Miley’s got a new one, and it sounds much different than her last few! If you ask me that’s a good thing, because this song is fun and melodic. Perfect for an accessible intermediate level arrangement. But it’s not all easy.. The chorus picks things up quite a bit, and that’s why I chose to teach it on YouTube. Here’s how:

 

Syncopations Between Hands

The left hand pattern gets fun when the chorus…

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How To Play the Chorus to “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” by Zayn & Taylor Swift: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘I DON’T WANNA LIVE FOREVER by Zayn & Taylor Swift on the piano”

 

 

There’s something about a ballad with a beat, am I right? Think about “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars, or “I’ll Show You” by Justin Bieber… Something about the slow tempo but fast hi hats, and the very melodic vocals over a beat that is usually reserved for more of a hip hop delivery. I just love that juxtaposition! So when “I…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Sign Of The Times” by Harry Styles: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: How to play ‘SIGN OF THE TIMES’ by Harry Styles on the piano

 

 

When I first heard “Sign of the Times” I had no idea it was written and performed by a former member of One Direction. It sounded more like Elton John, David Bowie, and Pink Floyd got together and inspired a brand new artist… I loved it! And when I found out it was Harry Styles, I knew I had to teach it to you guys on YouTube.

Here are a few other reasons…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Style” by Taylor Swift: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘STYLE’ by Taylor Swift on the piano

 

 

This tune is very pretty… plain and simple. It’s got a fun 80’s beat and a classic chord progression. I first became aware of this song through a cover version performed by a group called Thirdstory, and that blew me away! Taylor Swift always performs well on YouTube, but of her songs this might be my favorite. So I was pumped to teach it to you guys!

Here are a few other…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘COUNTING STARS’ by OneRepublic on the piano

 

What a fun catchy tune! I was humming this one for hours after I recorded the YouTube lesson. I chose to do this one for a few reasons:

 

1. Left Hand Arpeggio Pattern

Here, in this section from this particular arrangement at the Intermediate difficulty level, we don’t have any block chords. Instead, we play through each chord shape using a low-to-high arpeggio pattern. In other words, we play the lowest note first, followed by the middle,…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME’ by Simple Minds on the piano

 

 

In the classic movie, The Breakfast Club, as well as many parodies that followed, this song became iconic. But strictly musically speaking, there isn’t too much to it! There is, however, a few cool things that make this song stand out, and they’re also why I chose to teach this song on YouTube in the first place:

 

1. Borrowed Harmonies — Chords From Outside The Key

It’s a very fresh sound to…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Faded” by Alan Walker: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘FADED’ by Alan Walker on the piano

 

 

I wasn’t familiar with Alan Walker when I first heard this song, but what captured me was how melodic and pianistic it sounded, despite its ‘dance club’ nature. And I jump at the opportunity to teach songs that are musical but not in the standard way we think of when we think of piano music. Let’s to it!

 

1. Classic Minor Progression

This song arrangement employs a very classic minor chord progression: 6 – 4 – 1 -…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Closer” by Halsey & The Chainsmokers: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘CLOSER’ by The Chainsmokers on the piano

 

What a catchy song! When this dropped, you couldn’t go 15 minutes in your every-day life without hearing this… And it was so popular on YouTube, I just had to teach it! But I didn’t just arrange and teach it because of its popularity; there are specific musical elements of this song that I believe make it a great learning tool for intermediate players. Here are a few of them:

 

1. Small Right Hand Position,…

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How To Play the Intro to “Ophelia” by The Lumineers: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘OPHELIA’ by The Lumineers on the piano

 

Folk music is really fun to play on the piano. With the emergence of bands like The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and more like them, folk and folk rock was put into the pop main stream for a time, and that gave us a bunch of great new material done in this older style. I chose to teach “Ophelia” for a few reasons:

 

1. Great, EASY Examples of “Ties”

Ties are a device we use to connect…

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How To Play the Verse to “Sorry” by Justin Bieber: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘SORRY’ by Justin Bieber on the piano

 

This song is one of my favorites to play in the Playground Sessions library! Bieber surprised me with this one, since up until this point, he was more strictly hip hop and R&B. But ‘Sorry’ came out of the gate with a specific kind of rhythm usually found in upbeat latin music or, more recently, pop club tracks. Pitbull, Justin Bieber, Drake, and many more have used this pattern in their beats (learn…

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