Category Archives: Advanced

Knock Knock


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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.

Shadow Of A Doubt


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This song is in the key of G-minor with two flats in the key signature: Bb and Eb. Make sure you pay attention to all of the clef changes in the left hand. For example, the left hand starts in treble clef and switches to bass clef at measure 8. The section at measure 18 should be played very expressively using subtle adjustments in tempo. Measure 40-50 is a handful. The left hand plays the bass notes and then jumps up to the right hand staff to play more chords. Pay attention to the direction of the stems to figure out what each hand should play. Measure 45-47 is particularly difficult because the left hand plays the bass notes a split-second before the downbeat and then immediately plays with the right hand directly on the downbeat.

Act One


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I was in the mood for writing a fast song with a busy right hand part. This is in the key of A-major and has three sharps in the key signature. There are a bunch of sixteenth notes in this song, but if you look closely, you’ll find that many of the sections are made up of patterns that are repeated again and again with different chords. Many people make the mistake of trying to learn fast songs at their full tempo. It takes discipline, but try to learn the various sections of this song at a very slow tempo, and then gradually work them up to performance speed.

Soda Shop


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I tried to write this song with a 50’s rock feel. The left hand has a classic bass line at measure 25 and you should really hammer this out. The right hand melody is played in octaves here with some “filler chord tones” like the F’s in measure 25 and the G’s in measure 27. I wrote a contrasting section starting at measure 57, which should be played softly. I used some different chord flavors to set this section apart along with a new accompaniment style. Then it’s back to rock ‘n’ roll at measure 73.

Get What You Deserve


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This song is in the key of G-minor and has two flats in the key signature. Remember those flats throughout the piece, but also watch out for all the accidentals. By the way, this song is swung so the eighth notes will not be played evenly. It starts with a walking bass line in the left hand. It’s mostly stepwise and mostly quarter notes. Measure 33-40 has the same bass line with a new right hand riff. Practice this right hand riff at a slow tempo and then gradually add the left hand bass line in.