This lesson will teach you how to play “cardigan” on piano. “Cardigan” is the lead single from Talor Swift’s album, “Folklore”.
It’s an album she released without anybody knowing it was coming! She wrote and recorded it in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The album is very different from her more recent releases, and many of the songs feature moody piano melodies.
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As with most pop songs, there are 4 chords that are repeated throughout.
The song is in the key of Eb major, so there are 3 black notes to be aware of. Those are Bb, Eb, and Ab.
So every time to see a B, E, or A note, just remember to drop it half a step and play the black key.
The chords we’ll use are F minor (F-Ab-C), Bb major (Bb-D-F), Ab major (Ab-C-Eb), and Eb major (Eb-G-Bb).
There is also a sneaky C minor later on in the song. It uses the notes C-Eb-G.
And those are all the chords. Spend some time getting comfortable because we’re going to be playing them with our LEFT hand!
So it looks like this:
This could take some time to get used to. Take it slow and really work on getting those chord shapes into your muscle memory.
In fact, the first time you sit down to learn this song, you might want to focus ONLY on those left-hand chord shapes.
They’re super important to the feel of the song and they are used throughout the entire piece.
This is the iconic riff that repeats throughout the song. There are a few slight variations as the song progresses, but they are very small.
So learning this riff will set you up well to be able to master the song.
Let’s look at the first two lines of the song:
As you can see, the riff actually starts BEFORE the first beat of the song. It has a little swing to it, which is best learned by listening to the original.
That melody line and theme repeats over and over again. Spend some time getting the feel of it under your fingers.
As with all new things, it pays off big-time to START SLOW. This is not a race and it’s far better to learn how to play the song correctly than it is to rush through and make a ton of mistakes.
Take it one hand at a time. I mentioned this earlier, but it’s super important. Focus on your left-hand first. Then move to your right.
When you are comfortable playing one hand at a time, then slowly begin playing hands together. The great thing about this song is that the hands are kept pretty separate, so you don’t need to have a great level of hand independence to master it.
And finally, HAVE FUN. This is a beautiful, beautiful song. The piano playing is so moody and full of emotion.
This is one of those pieces you can get lost in for hours. So cherish the time you spend learning it.
I hope you enjoy the lesson on how to play cardigan on piano. Remember to grab your downloads!
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