How to Play a Dramatic Melody (Beginner Piano Lesson)

Lisa Witt  /  Improvisation / Dec 3

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Sometimes you just need a touch of drama in your life ✨

In this short lesson, I’ll show you an accessible yet impressive and epic melody anyone can play.

We’ll be living in E Major, so we’ll be working with a handful of black keys: F#, C#, G#, D#. But don’t worry, I’ll go through the notes one by one. Beginners can definitely have fun with this!

Notes and Fingering

The melody requires a bit of a stretch, but I can do it with my small hands, so you should too!

If it remains a struggle, learn how to use your pedal to smooth things over.

Here are the notes:

E – D# – E – B – C# – A – B – G#

And here’s the fingering. Feel free to watch this a few times over before trying it out yourself.

Left Hand Accompaniment

In the left hand, all I’m doing is playing octaves of single notes with each unit of the repeating melody. Here are the notes I play in the video:

E – E (down 1 octave) – C# – C# – B – B – A – A

If you know theory, you’ll see that this is essentially a 1-6-5-4 progression.

You can try other combinations of notes as well, such as the 1-5-6-4 progression or one of these progressions.

Spicing It Up

Once you have the basics down, here are some ideas to make this dramatic melody uniquely yours:

  • Add some pedal to make things even more dramatic.
  • Use a different rhythm in the left hand. Then vary that rhythm.
  • Add other notes, such as fifths.
  • Any notes within the E Major scale will sound good!

Let us know in the YouTube comment section how this went for you! And share with us your own dramatic melody creations.

Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for 19 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others.

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