How to play “Demons” by Imagine Dragons on piano

Accompanying Blog Post For YouTube Video: “How to play ‘DEMONS’ by Imagine Dragons on the piano.”

Hey Playground students! It’s Phil again, and today I want to write a bit about our lesson on “Demons” by Imagine Dragons.

First off, in general Imagine Dragons’ songs are usually really fun to play because they rock out while remaining very melodic. Not an easy balance to maintain as an artist! And “Demons” stays true! Beyond that, here are a few things that stood out to me about the song, especially the chorus from the Intermediate level arrangement, which is the one I demo on YouTube:

1. Right hand position that gradually widens

We start right off the bat with a position just slightly wider than 5 notes: An Eb major triad position with the thumb on the D just below Eb. And that takes care of the first melodic phrase of this chorus. But the second phrase, which tastefully builds upon the first, stretches down another note: now we put our 2 finger (pointer) on that same D so our thumb can reach the C below that. For the skilled beginner or new intermediate player, this is a great lesson on slowly reaching wider without any overwhelming jumps.

2. Ties over the barline

This is a classic example (and therefore a perfect teaching tool) of ties over the barline. What does that mean? A barline is another way of saying a measure line. So when we tie a note over the bar line and into the next measure, by nature we do not play a new note on beat one of that next measure. But here, the left hand chords do play on the downbeat of the next measure.

So what we have here is a great series of repetitive rhythmic devices where we play a right hand note at the end of a measure, then as we tie it to the next measure the left hand plays the downbeat of that measure, then finally the right hand continues on after holding the tied note. So, essentially at each new measure, we toggle back and forth between the hands: right hand, left hand, right hand again. A great tool for learning syncopations between the hands!

If you love using your favorite songs to learn the piano, come check out ‘DEMONS’ at the Playground Sessions YouTube channel.

If you like what you see you can download our app to learn the rest of this song with our interactive sheet music.

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Download the Playground Sessions piano learning app for full interactive learning.
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