How to play “Ophelia” by The Lumineers on piano

How to play “Ophelia” by The Lumineers on piano

If you dig folk music, you’ll want to learn how to play “Ophelia” by The Lumineers on 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 some time. This era gave us a bunch of great, new material done in this classic music style. I chose to teach “Ophelia” by The Lumineers for a few reasons:

1. “Ophelia” by The Lumineers contains great, EASY examples of “ties”

Ties are a device we use to connect notes and add their duration values. In other words, if you want a one-beat-note (quarter note) to hold for 1.5 beats, you tie it to a 1/2 beat note (an 8th note). You could also write that as a dotted quarter note, but not all combined notes have their own new symbol. That said, getting familiar with ties in general will benefit you for a long time.

The right hand melody in this arrangement uses a basic tie to join measures 1 and 2 over the bar line. And it’s the same in mm5-6: the D note on beat 4 of the first measure is connected (tied) to a half note in the next. Nothing too syncopated or quick, so it’s good practice for just focusing on ties. The left hand also has a very basic tie: The F chord is held for 8 full counts (two whole-note chords tied together).

2. Octave hand-position changes in the right hand

We typically stay in one main hand position for a section of a song at the Intermediate level. However,  this arrangement has a few octave leaps that go back and forth throughout this section. In measure 9 we jump from a D with out thumb to the D an octave higher with our 5th finger. Then, we jump back down in m12 and back up again in m13. A great practice for stretching that right hand position and not getting too comfortable in one spot on the piano.

Now it’s your turn to play “Ophelia” by The Lumineers

If you love using your favorite songs to learn the piano, check out “Ophelia” by The Lumneers 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.

Subscribe to Playground’s YouTube channel for more song lesson videos.
Download the Playground Sessions piano learning app for full interactive learning.
Thinking about learning piano? Read our complete guide on how to play piano.

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