In this Free Fallin' Tom Petty Piano Tutorial, you'll learn how to play this iconic song and sing it at the same time. So much fun and not that hard!
Free Fallin’ was one of the great rock hits by Tom Petty. Released in 1989, it was the first track from his debut solo record Full Moon Fever. (His many other hits from the 1970s and 1980s were released with his band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers).
This song is really satisfying to play and is a huge crowdpleaser. If you want to get an entire room full of people singing, this would be a great song to play.
This song consists of only 4 chords and a simple rhythmic pattern that repeats for the entire song. Perfect for pianists of any level.
The complete tutorial plus a downloadable printable is available exclusively on The Versatile Musician. Learn more here.
Simple process to learn Free Fallin' by Tom Petty on Piano
Step #1: Learn the chords
This song uses only three chords: F, Bb, C and Fsus.
To find a chord chart that includes the lyrics, I recommend using Ultimate Guitar, which I think has the best quality arrangements.
Need to learn more chords?
Sign up and get my FREE Ultimate Chord Cheat Sheets! Perfect for mastering your chords on piano.
Step #2: Chord Voicings
You are welcome to play root position chords to get started. In the video, I show you how to play some cool chord voicings that assist in voice leading. These chord voicings sound really nice and are easy to play.
Step #3: Figure out the groove of Free Fallin'
Free Fallin' has a pretty distinctive rhythmic patter that repeats over and over. Magically enough, this rhythm contains the Charleston Rhythm which I go into detail about in this blog post.
This rhythm turns up everywhere: throughout the gambit of jazz styles and in a diverse range of pop songs. You'll be glad to have added this one to your tool kit!
How to practice the rhythm of Free Fallin'
- Clap and count the rhythm
- Clap the rhythm and sing the song
- Put the rhythm on the piano, adding the metronome as needed
- Play and sing.
Step #4: Put it all together
Start out with the basics of our piano accompaniment. Take your time and make sure that you are practicing with the metronome, or better yet a band-in-a-box app like the iReal Pro.
When you are ready, experiment with adding more rhythms or even some simple fills to make your arrangement even more engaging. Happy practicing!
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