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Killing Me Softly Piano Tutorial

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In this next tutorial we're going to learn to play one of the most beautiful pop ballads of all time. We're going to see how various chord progressions we've learned are implemented in this song.

In this piano tutorial we're going to see how secondary dominants were used in this song.

Killing Me Softly

I love this song for its smooth presence and its wonderful text. We'll play the song in a C major scale. Let's have a look.

The Full Hand Position of the Killing Me Softly piano tutorial.

During this piano tutorial we will limit ourselves to playing all chords in the Chord Inversions within the range of F under middle C and F above middle C with the right hand.

A II-V-I chord progressions in the verse of Killing me Softly.

The song starts with a chord progression of II-V-I.

Next we make a chord substitution from the I degree to the VI degree which is the parallel minor degree of C major.

We repeat this chord progression of II-V-I only now instead of going to the first degree we step right away to the sixth degree. The replacement of the first degree after the fifth degree with the sixth degree is called a deceptive cadence.

A falling of fifths in the diatonic circle in the verse of Killing me Softly.

Now we fall in fifths in the Diatonic Circle of C major, starting from Am (VI) to Dm (II) and we continue to the fifth degree until we reach the first degree - C major.

In order to pass to the chorus which is located in Am (The parallel minor scale of C major) we have to insert a Secondary Dominant. The dominant of Am is E7 so after playing the tonic we're going to play an E7 chord.

A secondary dominant leading to the seventh degree of Am in the chorus of Killing me Softly.

In the chorus we're falling in fifths again in the diatonic circle starting from Am (VI) through the II, to the fifth degree and all the way to the tonic (I). After that we step to Am again but this time instead of falling in fifths to Dm we replace it with a dominant seven chord, D7, which establishes a new direction in the song. From D (V/V) we naturally step to G (V).

A lowered second in the chorus of Killing me Softly.

After G we move to F (VI)then we go to the C(III). Then we move again to the sixth degree (VI) and from here we're moving to Bb which is lowered seventh degree.

What we basically did was playing the notes of the seventh degree (Bo = B, D, F) Only we lowered the root of the second degree by half a tone. We get a Bb chord.

From Bb we move chromatically to A. A is the Secondary dominant of the second degree which opens the verse.

This Killing Me Softly piano tutorial can be downloaded with last version of Adobe Reader. Click here to download it.

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Killing Me Softly Piano Tab

Here's a piano free piano tab to help you practice the song the way we've played in this tutorial.

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