Author Archives: Regan Starr

What Happened to ClassPiano?


In February 2010, I started this website to teach people how to play popular songs on the piano.

Two years later, classpiano.com was averaging 14,000 visits a day with a total of 31 million YouTube views.

In April 2012, I received a letter from a copyright lawyer demanding that the song tutorials be removed.

LYRICS:

When I was in college, music was all I knew
I had some great ambitions of all the things that I would do
I wanted to help piano students learn their favorite songs
So I started up a website, classpiano.com

The site grew very quickly as people learned to play
The numbers kept on climbing, 14 thousand visits every day
With 31 million YouTube views that’s a pretty big piano class
And a lot of happy piano students, but it wouldn’t last

Because a lawyer wrote me looking for a fight
His letter spoke of violating copyright
And he demanded that the pop songs be removed
So what could I do?

We had learned so much, yes we had come so far
I tried teaching my own songs, but they could not compare to Bruno Mars
And then something fantastic happened when everything seemed wrong
Someone offered me a job, but that’s another song

Knock Knock


(The video player has a ‘Full screen’ button to make it bigger)

Click here for the free sheet music

The song starts with a solo melody line that is answered with a short bass riff. Things get going at measure 10 with some harmony and a steady beat in the left hand. The bass riff should be loud each time, but you can back off for the low quarter notes in the left hand. Measure 22-29 is a handful. Practice each hand separately and then combine them at a slow tempo. The next new section begins at measure 58. Emphasize the right hand melody, while keeping the left hand soft and bouncy. Back to the chorus at measure 72 with the right hand taking it up an octave at measure 76.

From Words To Worlds


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Click here for the sheet music

This song has some unique chord progressions that I’ve never tried before. Sometimes shuffling chords around, or throwing in unrelated chords, can lead to new compositional ideas. The form of this song is AABA, so once you learn measures 1-24, you’ll have 75% of the song learned. Measure 25 should be noticeably louder to help this second A section stand out. The left hand notes in measures 49-58 should be played short. Also, you should not use the sustain pedal for this section. Finally, watch out for the left hand changing to treble clef at measure 66.

One Thing Leads To Another


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Click here for the free sheet music

This song is in the key of G-major, with one sharp in the key signature. The beginning should be played softly using the sustain pedal. A simple melody is introduced at measure 10 and then harmonized at measure 18 along with a jumping pattern in the left hand. The chorus at measure 26 puts the right hand in octaves with a driving left hand bass. The downbeat of each measure is emphasized with a heavy, full chord. For this section, focus on the accuracy of the right hand as it jumps between registers as well as the accent marks of the left hand to lay the proper rhythmic foundation.

The Way Back


(The video player has a ‘Full screen’ button to make it bigger)

Click here for the free sheet music

This song is in the key of B-flat with a moderately slow tempo. I came up with the music for measures 5-8 a few months ago, but I was having trouble figuring out what to write next. It took several attempts to finally expand this into a full song. It’s a very smooth piece with lots of arpeggios. You’ll probably want to use the sustain pedal for most of it. And feel free to vary the tempo a little bit to make it sound more artistic.