Friday, 10 February 2017

Easy tips for playing the La La Land theme tune

'La La Land' has been a global success – being nominated for a record number of both Golden Globes and Oscars alike. The love story between Mia and Sebastian is especially resonant ahead of the most romantic day of the year – Valentine's Day. While Ryan Gosling dedicated a vast number of hours to fine-tune his piano playing, with the below tips from Dominik Schirmer, Director of Instrumental Teaching at piano learning platform Skoove (www.skoove.com), you can learn the theme tune much more quickly, just in time for Valentine's Day.

Familiarise yourself
The first step to learning any melody, is to first familiarise yourself with it. You might already know Mia and Sebastian's theme in your mind, but listening to it a few more times will actually really help you in the learning process. You will notice the moments when the melody swells, when the tempo speeds up and which parts might need more of your attention. As you play the melody through your mind, your hands will inevitably match up to the melody in your mind.

Learn the rhythm
Mia and Sebastian's song is written in ¾ time signature. If you are not familiar with this, it is a typical rhythm for a waltz and you can usually count it out as one two three. As you listen to the tune, try and apply the count to the melody, noticing the notes which are accentuated on the one count. This will really help you perfect the rhythm and get into the swing of the melody, making the rhythm a natural part of playing.

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Bite-size goals
The 'La La Land' theme tune can be divided into seven separate sections to help you learn it quickly and without becoming overwhelmed in the process – this is how we do it within the Skoove platform, where you can take a special course to learn the melody (www.skoove.com). The entire principle of dividing the song into sections is to create manageable and achievable goals for yourself, which will make the learning process fun, as opposed to something you force yourself to do.

Right, then left
When you sit down at the piano to learn the tune, don't be overwhelmed by the chords of the left hand and the melody of the right. Start off learning the music for each hand separately – the right typically carries the tune, with the left adding chords to create the beautiful, romantic music. Once you are comfortable playing the first section of the song with your right hand, sit down and practice the chords, putting them together when you are completely comfortable with both. Repeat for each section, improving the dexterity of your fingers and your knowledge of chords.

Practice
Learning Mia and Sebastian's theme will not take you as long as it took Ryan Gosling to learn the piano for the film – 2 hours a day, six days a week for three months! However, you should dedicate time to practicing and perfecting the tune before performing it to anyone else. Even if you dedicate as little as 15 minutes every day, you are bound to nail the melody in the weeks before Valentine's Day. You can also learn the melody quicker if you follow Skoove's video tutorial: www.youtube.com/channel/UCBWRepkXkMU4vDtfK_mCE3Q 

Skoove (www.skoove.com) is an entertaining and individualised way to learn the piano from your computer. Traditionally, learning the piano can seem daunting for novices: learning sheet music, as well as buying and housing a piano. Skoove works across leading web browsers and offers a set of intuitive and responsive courses in contemporary and classical music. Simply sign up, connect your keyboard to your laptop and get playing, while Skoove guides you through from beginner to Bach and Bon Jovi.


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