Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ by U2 on the piano”
We aim to represent all genres in our sheet music and video lessons here at Playground Sessions. Of course, some genres lend themselves more than others to a piano arrangement, so we lean towards some more than others accordingly. But it’s not just classical, jazz or pop ballads that sounds great on the piano; sometimes we get to rock out a little too!
U2 is one of the most widely known and respected rock bands in the entire world, with front man Bono leading the charge. Their rock style is often categorized as soft rock, which I believe to be the result of his smooth singing voice. That same voice translates into great melodies on the piano (vs. someone who does more of a scream rock vocal delivery — harder to translate into an arrangement).
Here’s why I chose to record a lesson on their hit “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For:”
1. Great Example of a Hand Position Pivot
The melody in the chorus is a bit wider than a 5-note position, so we must make a shift. And this shift happens right in the middle of the phrase. In fact, we don’t even have a rest in the music to make the jump happen, so we need to instead “pivot” our hand over without breaking the note we’re holding during the shift.
The transition from measure 2 to 3 in the chorus section taught on YouTube is from a D (played with our thumb, or “1 finger”) to a lower B (played with our index, or “2 finger”). How do we do that? Well, while holding your thumb on D, you can shift your whole hand over your thumb, placing your index finger on the following B. Hand position change without breaking your melodic phrase! This chorus melody is a perfect practice tool for this kind of hand position shift.
2. Classic 5-4-1 Chord Progression
It doesn’t get much simpler than that: the fundamental 3 chords that define a key: the 5 chord, the 4 chord, and the 1 chord. Here is the key of D those are, respectively, A (seen in this arrangement in second inversion, or A/E), G (seen here in 2nd inversion as well, or G/D), and finally D. That progression happens twice in a row, and that’s the whole chorus. Not too tough at all!
Once you know these 3 chords, you can play a surprisingly large volume of pop and rock songs, so soak them up!
If you love using your favorite songs to learn the piano, check out “I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR” at the Playground Sessions YouTube channel. If you like what you see you can download the app to learn the rest with our interactive sheet music.
For more blog posts by Playground Teacher Phil Anderson, click here.
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