Happy Birthday

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Lets learn how to play Happy birthday on the piano. It's a classic tune and one of the simplest tunes to play, you can embellish it until it sounds as simple or complex as you want! I'll show you how to play it, then give you a few ideas on how to make it more interesting

As usual you should work out the melody by ear but I'm feeling nice so I'll put the notes here just to make it easy. The ^ sign means octave, so when you see G^ I mean the next octave (Higher) G note.

G G A G C B | G G A G D C | G G G^ E C B A | F F E C D C

The melody should sound like this!

Happy Birthday Melody

Now for the chords, ultra simple, only 3 chords are used, C, G and F. Have a look through the following chord sheet

Happy Birthday Chord Sheet

With my left hand I am just playing straight 3 note chords, go back to my chord pages and have a refresher if you've forgotten how to play these chords.

Happy Birthday Chords

Play through all the chords till you can change between them fluently, don't worry about timing until you've got the chords fluent with your left hand.

Next, jump in and combine left hand and right hand parts, like this

Happy Birthday Chords and Melody

Now lets spice it up a bit, it's kind of waltzy so lets spruce up the left hand by playing the lowest note of the chord on the 1st beat followed by the upper 2 notes of the chord on the 2 beats that follow. It's hard to describe so just have a listen

Waltzy Birthday

If you've got that down and want to embellish a bit more you can play the low note of some of the chords 1 octave lower. For example with a C chord that just means find the next lowest C and play that C followed by moving up to play the normal top 2 notes. Don't do it for every chord as it might be a bit much, but just throw it in when you need a bit more kick. Something like this:

Waltzy Stride Birthday

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