“Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo is a smash hit this summer. This song is EPIC, and you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually quite straightforward. All you have to learn is a few basic chords and you’re practically good to go!
We’ve also provided the full sheet music for those of you who want to play something closer to the original.
And remember, just because a song is straightforward doesn’t mean it will be boring to play. Olivia Rodrigo adds a lot of drama in her performance and I encourage you to get dramatic too!
So hop in and join me for the ride!
For the verse, you only need to know three chords: B Flat Major, G Minor, and E Flat Major. Play these with your left hand. Meanwhile, on your right hand, play a steady series of B flats an octave apart.
We use a slightly different chord shape with the E Flat Major chord in this song. Instead of a triad, try playing a power chord shape. This is the root (Eb), fifth (Bb), and another root note (Eb).
If this shape is too challenging, it’s totally okay to play a standard E Flat Major triad instead (Eb-G-Bb) or a smaller power chord that’s just the fifth (Eb-Bb).
We’ve written out individual notes of the chorus an octave higher so they’re easier to read. You can play them in this octave or play them one octave down to sound closer to the original.
For beginners still learning how to read notes, there’s no shame in writing in the note names if that helps 🙂
As always, don’t be afraid to slow down the tempo when you practice. Then gradually ramp it up.
If you prefer to play chords instead of individual notes, or want to build something unique on top of the chords, here are the notes of the chorus chords:
The bridge is full-on pop mode. We play chords on our right hand that you know by now: Gm, Ebmaj7, Bb, F, Gm etc. On the left hand, we’ll play a dotted rhythm with the bass note.
Coordinating the right and left hand rhythms can be a little trickier, so here’s the rhythm written out:
An easier way to play this (that’s totally acceptable!) is to just hold the bass note 😎
Ready for an adventure? To get the most out of this song, here are a few tips.
Get dramatic with dynamics! The chorus riff on the right hand is absolutely GORGEOUS and you can make it even more epic by expressing it with dynamics. Try alternating some crescendos and decrescendos to round out the riff.
If octaves are too wide apart for you, play fifths. There is absolutely no shame. Some of us just have smaller hands. That being said, getting comfortable at playing octaves is a useful skill. Here are some handy tips on how to conquer piano with small hands.
…And that’s “Drivers License”! Happy practicing and enjoy the drive! 🚗
* FREE VIDEO SERIES *
Learning chords is a great way to improve your piano skills without any music theory. And Lisa Witt’s “Chord Hacks” series will show you how to play the most popular chords, so you can play many of your favorite songs on the piano!
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