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How to Play She's Got a Way by Billy Joel Part 1


In this lesson we're going to learn how to play Billy Joel's "She's Got a Way," so let's get right into it. At the beginning it just starts out on a G. On the left hand that G, and I usually put D, the fifth, and G, and then the right hand you're just playing inversions of a G triad. So, what's a G triad? You've got G, B and D. And what you want to do is really work on-- and I say this a lot in the video-- work on the inversions of each of these triads, so bring this D down an octave and bring this B down an octave. So all I'm doing here is playing each of the inversions of the G triad, and that makes it more interesting than just having to start with the beginning like this, right? You can kind of move around a little bit. So, try arpeggiating them. You can use exercises to get used to and all its inversions and just try hitting the chords. Obviously you're not going to play the song like this, but just make the point to get used to kind of playing around with the G major triad. So, he starts the song just kind of playing, hanging out here. Next thing he's going to do is go into the first progression, so we'll start with what the left hand does first. Starts on G, goes to F-sharp, goes to E, goes to G, B, C. So, G, F-sharp, E, G, B, C. What does the right hand do along with it? Let me play it for you first. "She's got a way about her. I don't know what it is." So what did I do there? I have G. I've got D over F-sharp, which sharp. There's a D triad and A, D, F-sharp. Really it's a root position if you took the root position and brought the A down an octave. That's where I am. So, G, D over F-sharp, B-minor, B in the left hand, B, E, G. Then you got here to, again working those inversions. Now, this next part is kind of cool. It goes G, G7 over B, so G is just playing G in the bass, B, D, G; G7 over B. "Over B" just means there's a B in the bass. We've got B, F, G, D. He's moving up to C. The best thing about this movement is you can actually just move your hand up. See, I'm not really moving the positioning of the notes. I'm just sliding up. G7 over B to C, G7 over B to C. "Don't know what it is." This next part goes, "But I know that I can't live without her." So what did I do there? Right hand's really easy. You could just go right back and forth between two chords. You go between D and C, D and C, so if you practice just doing this. Now, if you put the left hand with it, all it's doing is going D, E, F-sharp, E. D, E, F-sharp, E back to G. "I know that I can't live without her." Now, back to my point as always to try and play with the inversions. You could play it like this: D, C, E, C, G. Or, like this. So all I'm doing there is playing C and D back and forth as chords. Right hand is going D, E, F-sharp, E to G- excuse me, left hand is doing that, D, E, F-sharp, E, G. "And I know that I can't live without her." So, essentially that's the entire verse. Does that two times, and on the second time it doesn't go back to this G. It doesn't go back to, "I know that I can't live without her." Instead it's going to go to this cool chord here. That's this E-flat-6-9. Why is it a 6-9? Here's the 6, C; and 9 is an F. So what are the notes? C-flat down low, B-flat, G, D-flat, C, F. E-flat-6-9. Now move your left hand up a whole step to F, C, F. This is just a plain-old F chord, F major, so F, C, F, A, C, F. You could double that A up top if you wanted, F, C, F, A, C, F, A, and back to your G. That's the part, "Know that I can't live without her anyway," E-flat-6-9. Go to the G. "Know that I can't live without her anyway." That comes every time you play the verse. On the second ending of the verse you're going to go to this E-flat instead of back to the G. When you go to that E-flat, again, there are ways we can play these inversions different. We don't have to always play it like this. We could play it like this. I'm just moving the notes around. So, try practice arpeggiating what the notes are. So, I'm making an exercise out of this just to get used to this chord, but really the point of me doing that is just so I get to be really comfortable with these notes.

Continue to part 2 of lesson


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