Monthly Archives: March 2012

Shine, Shine, Shine


(Use the “Full screen” button on the video player to make it bigger)

Click here to print or download the sheet music

I started writing this song a few weeks ago, but I was having a really hard time making it work. I left it for awhile, and when I came back to it again, everything just clicked.

The left hand intro repeats a lot in this song so make sure you learn it correctly the first time. Also, watch out for measure 28 and measure 31 because they’re kind of difficult.

You only play two notes on the first beat of measure 22, E and G. The C’s are tied over from measure 21, so you continue to hold them, but you don’t actually press them down again.

You should use the sustain pedal for measures 23-30. Reset the sustain pedal every 2 beats. Also use the sustain pedal in measures 65-80 reseting it every 8 beats (or every 2 measures).


Castles In the Sky


(Use the “Full screen” button on the video player to make it bigger)

Click here to print or download the sheet music

I wrote this song a few years ago but never finished it. The intro/outro is brand new and I also changed a few of the rhythms around.

This song is swung. That means the eighth notes are not played evenly. Instead, when you play a pair of eighth notes, the first note will be longer and the second note will be shorter. It can be confusing if you’ve never done it before, and this song is extra challenging because it’s fast. If you’re having trouble with the rhythm, watch the video several times to get a feel for it.

Measures 31-32 is a little tricky for the left hand. Your LH thumb holds down the top note A while your other two fingers keep going down.

You’ve got to be really exact with your rhythms in this song. For example, the left hand in measure 33 plays D-F#-A right before the down beat of measure 34. If you’re off just a little bit, the song won’t have that pop feel to it.


Chasing The Forest


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Click here to print or download the sheet music

The first place to watch out for is the right hand in measure 20-21. The best way to play this is by using your second finger (pointer finger) for the F# and then 3-4-5, so that your pinky lands on the first C in measure 21. So, if you’re going to use your second finger to play F#, that means you’re going to have to play the note before (A) with your thumb. When you stretch from A with your thumb to the F# with your pointer finger, the rest of the passage will fall into place.

Measures 29-48 are the exact same as measures 9-28. The only thing that has changed is the rhythm in the left hand. Also, at measure 73, it’s the same thing you’ve been playing the whole song just up one octave.

If you have a hard time playing octaves with your left hand in measures 65-90, you can make it easier by only playing the lower notes of the left hand and leaving out the higher octave.


Before The Gate


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Click here to print or download the sheet music

The right hand in measures 12-20 is probably the hardest part of this song. It’s played in 6ths and there’s no good fingering for it. Play this part really slowly and figure out the best fingers to use. There are no “correct” fingers, it’s just whatever is easiest for you.

The left hand in measures 21-34 isn’t that difficult to learn. It’s just the same pattern over and over using different chords.

The left hand at measure 53 is the same as the measures before, just up one octave. Also, the right hand at measure 69 is the same as the previous measures, just up one octave.

You will want to use the sustain pedal in this song. For sections like measures 21-34 you can reset it every measure. However, watch out for sections like measures 37-44. If you hold the sustain pedal longer than a beat or two, all the notes will mix together too much.


Take A Number


(Use the “Full screen” button on the video player to make it bigger)

Click here to print or download the sheet music

To play the opening left hand bass line, keep your pointer finger on G and use your thumb whenever you need to play Bb.

Reminder: You do not switch to an E natural in measure 14 for the left hand. The flat is carried across from the previous note Eb.

This song isn’t too difficult and you can make it more interesting through dynamics. Whenever you play the section that first appears at measures 9-16, make this section softer. This will make sections like measures 17-24 seem louder. The loudest spot in the whole song is measures 65-72, so give it everything you’ve got. Then, gradually fade out in measures 72-80.

If you want you could use the sustain pedal for the section that starts at measure 33. There are no other sections that really need the sustain pedal.