This is me standing in for someone else, singing and playing a challenging piano song on Friday 11 April 2014, in front of live audience at the Southfields Theatre Group in the show “The Last Five Years”. I believe it will be my first and last cameo appearance in a theatrical context! Filmed by a wonderful friend, Severine Pages.
This is my 9 year old student Dede who has a terrific memory, good ear and of course a sense of fun. She learnt this purely by watching me and by listening to me. There are no notes, no sheet music, no transcriptions, no counting. She doesn’t even know it is in E major. Theory takes a backseat. Listening and watching is THE original way to learn music. Instinctive, spontaneous and quick.
Tip#1 Practise the two riffs first to familiarise yourself with the decorations. Then only go through the body of the song. Tip#2 Don’t worry about chord changes, it has very few changes. BUT make sure you transition between the changes with passing chords. Tip#3 Do NOT speed up and slow down. This is disco, right? Make sure you have a solid groove or rhythm. Keep it steady.
TIP#1: You will need to know your broken chords or arpeggios before attempting this song because it will be mimicking the guitar parts. Once you know the arps, then it’s easy! TIP#2: you can skip learning the weird south american sounding intro until you have the rest of the song nailed. Alternatively if feeling extra lazy, skip the intro altogether.
Normally this is probably quite an advanced tricksy piece. Having come from a groovy and dancey Satsuma backdrop, playing this kind of pure pop comes easily, if I might say so myself. The changes are simple to achieve. The song is arranged well, so the repetitive changes actually sound different each time.
I have always liked Mr Williams’ songs. He has very good taste.
Mia started lessons in November 2013. She has only been playing for less than four months. She is patient and calm and is not put off by more challenging tunes. Here we are playing a duet which is great way of improving performing, playing and listening. It is also a wonderful opportunity for all players, from beginners to advanced, to perform and give the gift of music instantly. What an amazing achievement!
Each verse is different and keeping up with the rhythm is a little hard because in the original the rhythm guitar fills in all the gaps. Tutto improvisato.
Left hand will be hard for those who have not had much chance playing the same note fast over and over again. Not many chords so right hand is not too bad – just playing the melody.
It does not hurt to play a simple carol in a beautiful and calm way. You feel strangely moved (it’s the open chords).