In this Auld Lang Syne piano tutorial, I will show you a simple and effective way to play this iconic song.
Watch the video HERE.
How many songs can you think of that get sung only once a year? Auld Lang Syne is definitely the only one I can think of. In this Auld Lang Syne piano tutorial, I will show you a simple and effective way to play this iconic song. Think of how fun it will be to sit down at the piano as your friends and family sing goodbye to the old year as you ring in the new!
Auld Lang Syne was written in the Scots language by poet Robert Burns back in 1788. It was based on an older Scottish folk song and in 1799 it was set to a traditional tune.
Auld Lang Syne is written using the pentatonic scale.
Simple process to learn Auld Lang Syne on Piano
In this tutorial, I will teach you a simple process to play Auld Lang Syne, that actually works great for any traditional holiday carols and hymns.
I consists of four steps that make this process very straightforward and sound very traditional. You will sound like you are reading from a hymnal, when you’re actually “faking” it!
Set the song up correctly
Before you play, you’ll want to play a C7 chord three times, to set everyone up to sing at the same time.
Step #1: Play the melody
How to read a lead sheetThe melody is relatively simple to play, since it uses the pentatonic scale. Since you are presumably already familiar with the song, it should be relatively easy to learn.
Below you will see a lead sheet that I made of this song. Not sure how to read a lead sheet? Check out this post and video and you'll be good to go!
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Step #2: Play the melody and bass note
This is a great way to hear the skeleton of the harmony (the bass note or root of the chords), while you play and sing the melody.
Step #3: Play the melody and fifths in the bass
In this step you will start to hear that traditional carol/hymn sound. Play a perfect fifth above each of the bass notes you played in step #2. The only exception to this is the A/C# chord. In this instance, play the C# on the bottom and the A on top.
Step #4: Harmonize the Melody of Auld Lang Syne
This step follows two simple rules:
- Harmonize the melody a THIRD DOWN from the melody.
- If the melody is the root of the chord, harmonize it down a SIXTH to play the root and 3rd of the chord.
Take each step and repeat it as much as needed until you are able to play without errors. You can tuck a copy of the lead sheet in your pocket, or challenge yourself to memorize it.
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