Start Out The New Year Right By Learning To Play “Auld Lang Syne” On The Piano!
Good morning. This is Duane. Let’s Start Out The New Year Right By Learning To Play “Auld Lang Syne” On The Piano! Like many songs, you can play Auld Lang Syne with just three chords. So let’s play in the key of F, based on the scale of F, which of course has that one flat, B-flat.
The three primary chords in the key of F, just to review, are the 1 chord — the chord built on the first note of the scale — F; the 4 chord — the chord built on the fourth note of the scale — 1, 2, 3, 4 — B-flat; and the chord built on the fifth note of the scale, which is C. So, you can play that song, Auld Lang Syne, and thousands of songs actually, with just three chords or primary chords — 1, 4, and 5 — and you can do that in any key.
If you wanted to play it in the key of G instead, you could play it with those three chords — the 1 chord, the 4 chord, and the 5 chord. If you wanted to play in the key of E-flat — 1, 4, 5. If you wanted to play it in the key of F-sharp — 1, 4, 5. If you wanted to play it in D-flat — 1, 4, 5.
So you should get familiar with all 12 keys and the primary chords in those keys because that will open a whole world of songs to you because, like I say, you can play thousands of songs with just those three chords and thousands more if you know four.
But let’s get back to the key of F and Auld Lang Syne, and I’m just gonna play it through with those three chords, so … [while playing the Auld Lang Syne] that’s the F chord, C chord, F chord, that’s the B-flat chord, back to F, C, B-flat, C, F, C, F, C, F, B-flat, F, C, B-flat, C, F.
Now you can, but there’s no need to, because there’s a world of chords that you can use as substitutes; so I’m just going to pick out a few and walk you through them. I’m going to start out on the F chord, even though I don’t really have to. I could start out in D-flat, but I’m going to start out on F.
Then I’m going to go to D minor 7th, which is the relative minor to the key of F — so the D minor 7th chord is D, F, A, C. Now I’m going to go to G minor 7th and then C 7th. So what I did is I played this progression [while playing Blue Moon]. That’s right, that’s the Blue Moon chord progression isn’t it — or Heart and Soul chord progression — 1, 6, 2, 5 — it’s used in a zillion songs. That’s what I’m doing here . I’m playing — [while playing Auld Lang Syne] 1, 6, 2, 5, now back to 1, 1, 7. I picked the 7th of the F chord. Now B-flat. Now I’m going to go to B diminished 7th chord to add a little interest.
I’m going from B-flat to B diminished 7th which is B, D, F, A-flat, and now the F chord. Now I’m going to go to D minor 7th again. Now I’m going to throw a curve ball at you. I’m going to play A minor 7th, then B-Flat 7th, D minor 7th, A-flat, C 7th, F, A-flat, F, C 7th, F, D minor 7th, G minor 7th, C 7th. That’s F 7th, but the suspension is going to, of course take the place temporarily.
Now I can go to B-flat. I’m going to play B-flat major 7th and then have a passing tone in there. A minor 7th, D minor 7th, E minor 7th. Then I’ll go to A 7th with a flat 9th or I could go to E-flat 7th, either one. D minor 7th, A-flat, C 7th, and then I’m go to end it with D-flat, E-flat, F. Notice what I did. I just came up D-flat, E-flat, F. The melody is F. The last note is F in the melody so I’m playing the D-flat chord which is in F. Then I’m coming up to the E-flat chord, and then up to the F-chord.
Now I’m also putting in color tones. You probably have noticed. In other words, when I play the F-chord, I’m not just playing F. I’m playing F 2nd and sometimes F 6th. I’ve got D minor 7th, C minor 7th. That’s C 7th with suspension. That chord is C 7th. The melody, of course, is a 6th, but I’m flatting the 9th, so that’s C 7th flat 9. Now I’m playing F 7th here with a 6th in it.
Now I wouldn’t have to go to B-flat. I could go to B diminished 7th, B minor, B half diminished 7th, and then resolve … I could take a run up if I wanted to and then end up on E 7th, and then go back to A minor 7th, D minor 7th, E minor 7th, E-flat 7th, D minor 7th, A-flat, C 7th, and then the ending — D-flat, E-flat, F.
Now let me play that all the way through. Okay? And I won’t talk this time. [playing Auld Lang Syne] Okay. There’s just a couple ideas for arranging Auld Lang Syne. Remember, you don’t have to do what I do, but hopefully you’ll use this as an idea starter to find some substitutes of your own.
Again, Happy New Year, and we’ll see you next year. Bye Bye, for now.
Here is the YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFm-opOmZFM
Here is an article from ABC news about the song and it’s meaning: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/12/auld-lang-syne-what-does-it-mean-again/