Here I am going to show you how to play Imagine by John Lennon
on the piano. It is a song that is fairly easy to play and that
sounds great. Instantly recognizable, it'll add another song to
your repertoire and make you seem like you've been playing piano
for years. Lets start as usual with a chord sheet, its quite long
so I'll link to it, download it and print it out.
Imagine Chord Sheet
To really do this song justice you need to sing along with it,
so we're not going to learn the melody. We'll learn a simple piano
part that you'll be able to sing over to produce a surprisingly
professional sounding song.
Breaking this song down you'll notice there's a lot of repetition.
Let's go through it.
There are 9 different chords used in the song, practice playing each
of these chords until you are comfortable with them. If this seems
like a lot of chords forget about the G7 and E7 for now, in their
place you can just play normal G and E chords
C = C E G
Cmaj7 = C E G B
F = F A C
Am = A minor = A C E
Dm = D minor = D F A
G = G B D
G7 = G B D F
E = E G# B
E7 = E G# B D
For most of the bass line you're simply going to play the root note
of each chord with your left hand. For a C or Cmaj7 or C7 chord
the root note is C, for a D or Dm or Dm7 chord the root note is
D etc. There is one exception to this rule and that is for the slash
chords. Remember, a slash chord such as Am/E simply means play Am
with an E as the root note. When you see a slash chord in Imagine,
simply take the part after the slash as your bass note to be played
with your left hand. Your bass line will sound like this:
Now for the right hand, start by simply playing the chords as is
until you are fluent with it. For the slash chords forget about
the part after the slash, you'll be playing that note with your
left hand so Am/E just becomes a regular Am for your right hand
Dm/C = Dm etc.
Simple right hand verse
Simple right hand chorus
There's a little fill that we need to add at the end of the verse,
the notes for the fill are A A# B, practice playing it
Now join up that bass part with your right hand to get a workable
version of Imagine!
Verse bass plus chords
Chorus bass plus chords
Now what we want to do is add a bit of colour to it.
Imagine is a great song to throw the sustain pedal in, that's the
pedal on the right side. Use it all the way through the song, make
sure you release it and press it down every now and again otherwise
it'll start sounding too muddy. Next, with your right hand for the
verse I want you to alternate between playing the top 2 notes of
each chord with the root note. Add it to the bass and you've got
a decent sounding song.
Colourful Imagine verse
Colourful Imagine chorus
Ok now to complete it you need to practice singing along with it,
I CAN NOT SING!! But to demonstrate how YOU can sing along I will
give it a go.
Imagine with terrible singing
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