In this In the Cruisin’ by Smokey Robinson Piano Tutorial, I show you the step-by-step process to get this iconic Motown song under your fingers!
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The history of Cruisin’
Cruisin’ is a song by 1979 single written, produced and recorded by Smokey Robinson from Motown Records. This was Robinson’s biggest hit outside of his work with the Miracles.
Cruisin’ has been covered by a lot of artists, including a very hip version that D’Angelo did for his 1995 record Brown Sugar. The song came back into the forefront in the year 2000 with Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis doing a cover of it for the movie Duets.
In this piano tutorial, I use my standard protocol for creating great pop piano arrangements. If you want to learn more about this protocol, check out this post.
Learn the Chords on Piano
Step #1 Learn the chords on piano. This can be as simple as playing them in root position, or if you are a more experienced pianist, you can find the inversions that sound the best to you and voice lead your way through. This song only has four chords total, so it’s super easy to play!
Play the Groove
Step #2 is to figure out how to play the groove. You can use a simple pattern or more complicated, depending on your level. Remember that you’ll have to sing over this, so don’t make it too hard!
Identify the hook
Step #3 is to identify the hook, bass line or any other aspects that help to bring it to life. Again, you can make this as simple or complicated as your piano chops will allow you. For this song, I think the hook is this iconic bass line and the right hand chords in the introduction.
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