Killing Me Softly Piano Tutorial
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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Here's a piano free piano tab to help you practice the song the way we've played in this tutorial.
Had fun? Great! You know, there's a way to explore more on how to play piano by chords. It's great to imitate what you see on a video but you can learn how to form all possible amazing piano chords and learn to play an enormous amount of different rhythms while playing popular songs by artists like the Beatles, Adele, Bruno Mars, Leonard Cohen and more.
Check out our complete "Piano by chords" course where you'll go through a journey that combines both piano lessons and piano tutorials that will make you play the piano like a PRO, including courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced players!