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KevinM Offline OP
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This will probably date me, but for the last year or two when learning piano as a child I learnt a whole collection of non classical music with only basic guidance from my teacher.

So, I'm listing what I can remember of them here but this list is likely not complete, I wonder if others might have done the same

American Pie by Don McClean
Vincent by Don McClean
Song for Guy by Elton John
Piano Man by Billy Joel
The Stranger by Billy Joel
Just the way you are by Billy Joel
I don't like Mondays by Boomtoon Rats
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
My Sharona by The Knack

I must have spent a decent amount of time in the local music shop to find the sheet music for these at the time.

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I never 'learnt' any pop songs as a kid - I just hacked through their tunes by ear, as I couldn't afford to buy any sheet pop music at full price, even if it was available (which it wasn't at my local music shop - only songbooks with lyrics, and those were too expensive).

But ABBA, Simon & Garfunkel ('Bridge over Troubled Water' was my favourite, for obvious reasons), The Carpenters, John Denver and Elton John were all fair game for my attempts. Incidentally, when Elton reworked his 'Candle in the Wind' for Princess Di's funeral, I decided - for the first time in a pop song - to write the music out in full by ear, based on what he played in Westminster Abbey (not on the single that subsequently appeared). As usual in pop, when the sheet music for it was published, it wasn't quite what Elton actually played.....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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KevinM - Here are some of the non-classical songs on my list of songs to learn:

Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
Mad World - Gary Jules/Tears For Fears
Elton John - Bennie & The Jets
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John - Your Song
Elton John - Rocket Man
Billy Joel - Piano Man
Billy Joel - Just The Way You Are
Styx - Lady
Styx - Come Sail Away
Beatles - Yesterday
John Lennon - Imagine
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen - We Are The Champions
Queen - Killer Queen
Queen - Somebody To Love
Queen - Play The Game
Club Nouveau - Lean On Me
Pink Floyd - The Great Gig In The Sky
Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds Of Silence
Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Simon & Garfunkel - Scarborough Fair
Van Halen - Jump
Bonnie Rait - Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Journey - Don't Stop Believin'
Procol Harum - Whiter Shade Of Pale
The Doors - Break On Through
The Doors - Light My Fire
The Doors - Riders On The Storm
The Doors - The Crystal Ship
The Animals - The House of the Rising Sun
Paul McCartney - Maybe I’m Amazed
The Eagles - Hotel California
John Williams - Fidler On The Roof - Prologue / "Tradition" / Main Title
John Williams - Imperial March
John Williams - Theme From Shindler's List
Band Of Brothers Theme
Yngwie Malmsteen - Far Beyond The Sun
Yngwie Malmsteen - Arpeggios From He11

Might have to add some songs by the band Yes (yes) as well as Jazz, Ragtime, and Afro-Cuban.

Hope that helps,
Stormbringer

Last edited by Stormbringer; 05/08/21 09:11 AM.

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KevinM Offline OP
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I could pick out the melody for myself without a problem, but since the support is often hard to hear you can't just copy. That means you needed to have a good feel for chord progressions and what would work well with the melody. I just didn't have that. So I found the music one way or another. I think some came from photocopying in the school library as well as the local music shop.

Knowing the tunes well, really helped with playing with tempo and dynamics. Especially when their where different recordings, like live and studio recordings that helped with understanding how these things could be varied.

That's a nice list stormbringer. Some good ideas to explore there when I've got more skill than I have now.

I recorded a simple transcription of Mad World for the transcriptions recital, but am currently working on a more challenging transcription. I love the extra depth this harder version gives.

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Lots of those in Kevin's and Stormbringrer's list are ones I still have the old sheet music to. I forgot about the Doors' Crystal Ship. That song was on the flip side of the 45rpm version of Light my Fire, and had some nice keyboard work in it. I learned it in the 70's, but have lost the music to it since then.

Some of those songs mentioned are pretty easy to learn if you know chords well, but some are really difficult, like Hotel California. Scott Davis has what I think is the best piano version of Hotel, you can find him playing it on YouTube and order the sheet music there as well.

I have the original sheet music to Total Eclipse as well, it sounds good
Stormbringer, just a few days ago I posted my cover of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in the 40 Pieces a Year Thread.
You can hear it here if interested Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Cover

Some other thoughts

Michelle by the Beatles is really beautiful piano piece, I may put that one up soon on my 40 pieces a year thread.
Daniel by Elton John has some great and easy chord progressions and sounds good on the keyboard.
House of the Rising Sun is available in easy-to-more-difficult versions in several keys.
Bridge Over Troubled Water is long but a good piano piece, I knew it "back when', but haven't played it for 30+ years
Yesterday sounds great on the piano as well.
Morning Has Broken, Cat Stevens

Some pieces don't sound nearly as good as a piano cover, compared to the original, as you might think. I've got Benny and the Jets, but just don't like the way it plays. Jump is another one that just doesn't work for me on a piano, other than the famous short riff.

A couple of Simon and Garfunkle songs are in my favorites group
So Long Frank LLoyd Wright
Hazy Shade of Winter
American Tune (great/fast chord work, all in C)

I'm going to enjoy this thread!


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Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
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I was browsing around in my old sheet music and found a couple more that sound good on the piano you guys might want to try. If you are comfortable with chords they are all fairly easy.

Fire and Rain (JamesTaylor)
Suzanne (Leonard Cohen)
The Homecoming (Hagood Hardy)
Arthur's Theme (Christopher Cross)
Love on the Rocks (Neil Diamond)
California Dreamin' (Mamas and the Papas)


Casio PX-S3000
Nope, no issues with it at all.
Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
Joined: Mar 2021
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Love this list, accumulating ideas of what I may be able to tackle as I continue on the journey. Thanks all for sharing!

Last edited by MJBinTkPk; 05/15/21 12:01 AM.

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Former DP: Kurzweil pc88

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