Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO’ by Ellie Goulding on the piano”
“Love Me Like You Do” (50 Shades soundtrack) is a great pop ballad with a strong beat. There is a lot of repetition but there are subtle differences in phrases to ensure the repeats aren’t just copy/paste identical. The result is we have a great learning tool which is also an in-demand pop song. A perfect combination and a great choice for Playground Sessions. Here are a little more details about why I chose to teach this one:
1. Easy Melody in the Chorus
This is a very accessible song in part due to its relatively easy melody. The rhythms of the melody are mostly quarter notes on strong beats, and the melodic range stays within a comfy 5-note position. Boom! A great learning tool for beginner/intermediate players, and yet your’e still able to play a current, popular song. Gotta love when songs like this come out.
2. Chord Progression Variations
While it’s true that there is a lot of repetition in this song, what I like about the chorus is that underneath the repeating melody is a longer, more varied chord progression. In other words, while the melodic phrases are about 4 measures long before they repeat, the chord progression is 16 measures long! So underneath a repeating melody is a changing progression, and that give new life to a melodic figure that might otherwise be boring if repeated verbatim each time.
Take measure 10 of the passage taught in our YouTube video (the 2nd half of the chorus): We begin the melodic phrase again just like the beginning of the chorus, but instead of harmonizing it with a G major chord (the 1 chord of the key), we actually see an A minor chord (the 2 chord). And then that resolves to the 6 chord, also minor (E minor). A much darker, minor sound underneath a figure that was at first harmonized by a very major sound.
I also love that we see a strong ‘sus chord’ in this passage: the final measures of this section occur over a drawn out 5 chord sound. That harmony is extended by first starting with a Dsus chord (5 chord with a delayed resolution from its 4th scale degree to its 3rd) in measure 14-15, and then resolving in the final two measures to a regular D major chord (the 5 chord with its resolution to the 3rd achieved). So we essentially have 4 whole measures of a ‘5 chord’ sound, but it’s extended and made more interesting by delaying the resolution of the sus4 to the 3. A classic harmonic technique!
If you love using your favorite songs to learn the piano, check out ‘LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO’ 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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