How to Play the Chorus to ‘Love Lockdown’ by Kanye West

Accompanying Blog Post for YouTube Video: “How to Play ‘LOVE LOCKDOWN’ by Kanye West on the piano”

 

I love when hip hop music is melodic and musical. Often, even if the song is great on its own, a rap song will not have many chords or interesting melodies, so it can be difficult to play a good arrangement on the piano.

But this Kanye song, “Love Lockdown” is almost more of an R&B song, with Kanye singing the whole time and with piano chords underneath. So this is a great opportunity to play!

Here are a few other things I love about this arrangement:

 

Challenging Left Hand Part

We’re not just playing chords here.. we need some rhythm too! So we actually outline the chords with an 8th note toggle pattern which adds difficulty.  We start with C# minor, then an F3minor chord in 2nd inversion, which means we can keep that C# on the bottom as we move from the first chord to the next. After we do the toggle pattern for a while on those chords, we change up the style and play two half notes, before ending with a full arpeggio pattern that spans an octave. It’s a significant left hand workout for intermediate level players!

 

If you love using your favorite songs to learn the piano, check out ‘LOVE LOCKDOWN’ 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.

– Phil

For more blog posts by Playground Teacher Phil Anderson, click here

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