How To Play the Chorus to “Closer” by Halsey & The Chainsmokers: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘CLOSER’ by The Chainsmokers on the piano

 

What a catchy song! When this dropped, you couldn’t go 15 minutes in your every-day life without hearing this… And it was so popular on YouTube, I just had to teach it! But I didn’t just arrange and teach it because of its popularity; there are specific musical elements of this song that I believe make it a great learning tool for intermediate players. Here are a few of them:

 

1. Small Right Hand Position,…

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How To Play the Intro to “Ophelia” by The Lumineers: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘OPHELIA’ by The Lumineers on the 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 a time, and that gave us a bunch of great new material done in this older style. I chose to teach “Ophelia” for a few reasons:

 

1. Great, EASY Examples of “Ties”

Ties are a device we use to connect…

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How To Play the Verse to “Sorry” by Justin Bieber: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘SORRY’ by Justin Bieber on the piano

 

This song is one of my favorites to play in the Playground Sessions library! Bieber surprised me with this one, since up until this point, he was more strictly hip hop and R&B. But ‘Sorry’ came out of the gate with a specific kind of rhythm usually found in upbeat latin music or, more recently, pop club tracks. Pitbull, Justin Bieber, Drake, and many more have used this pattern in their beats (learn…

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How To Play the Intro to “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘PHOTOGRAPH’ by Ed Sheeran on the piano”

 

 

“Photograph” is a beautiful, folky ballad that sounds great translated to the piano! This arrangement is an easy/intermediate level that will get you playing sooner thank you think. Here are a few things that make it simple without taking away from the song’s beauty:

 

1. Right Hand Melodic Phrases Repeats

This beautiful one-measure phrase repeats throughout the duration of the intro, while the left hand plays different roots. This of course…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘GIRL CRUSH’ by Little Big Town on the piano

 

I don’t often hear a pop song like this. Nowadays there are a lot of dance beats and not a ton of “real instruments” very present in the mix. What I love about “Girl Crush” is that it harkens back to an old-school style R&B vibe, while still staying true to the country category. Here’s one way they do it that stuck out to me:

 

6/8 Time Signature

Again, not a very common thing to…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘MILLION REASONS’ by Lady Gaga on the piano

 

Lady Gaga is great at keeping us guessing, isn’t she? Similar to how Madonna handled her career, Gaga reinvents herself and hey style of music regularly, which may alienate some fans but definitely keeps us on our toes. Her latest release, Joanna, is decidedly comfortable in the country category, which one could argue is a strange departure from her previous releases which were dance pop and then big-band jazz, respectively.

What I loved about…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Lost Boy” by Ruth B: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘LOST BOY’ by Ruth B. on the piano

 

I love when a popular song features a piano in the forefront! Sometimes a song without much piano needs to be finessed in the arrangement to makes sense and sound good when played on the piano. But this one is just piano and voice, which means the piano arrangement sounds very similar to the recorded version of the song itself.

So I decided to teach this one on YouTube, and I chose the Advanced level arrangement…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT’ by Elton John on the piano

 

 

What a fantastic song… well, whole soundtrack really! This and the rest are so nostalgic for me, having grown up with the Lion King movie. I remember singing this one at the top of my lungs 🙂

But this one in particular is a very good learning tool for intermediate level pianists trying to push up through the next level and improve their playing. Here are a few reasons why:

 

1. Variety in…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video:“How to play ‘BLANK SPACE’ by Taylor Swift on the piano”

Of course we want to have today’s hottest pop artists represented in our song library and on YouTube channel, that’s a given. But that doesn’t mean that Taylor Swift isn’t worthy of a spot based on musical merits alone. In fact, we believe her music is some of the most melodic and catchy of today’s hits, so we’re thrilled to arrange and teach her stuff. Here are a few reasons I specifically chose to…

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How To Play the Chorus to “Work From Home” by Fifth Harmony: YouTube Tutorial

Accompanying Blog Post For Video: “How to play ‘WORK FROM HOME’ by Fifth Harmony & Ty Dolla $ign on the piano”

 

This tune is very straightforward and accessible on the piano, and that is not usually true for hip hop music. That’s the main reason I chose to teach this one! Here’s why I believe it lays well on the piano and is a quick learn:

 

1. Repetitive Chorus

The first 8 measures are essentially two-measure phrases that repeat 4 times. Boom! You learn 2 measures and now…

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