Sir Duke is a classic song by the amazing Stevie Wonder. In this tutorial, I teach you how to play the chords, the authentic-sounding accompaniment strategy and the amazing and fast-moving introduction and instrumental interlude. This one is tricky, but AWESOME!
Lyrics and Chords for Sir Duke
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Original released on his 1976 masterpiece album Songs in the key of Life, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and was ranked as the number 18 song of 1977. Sir Duke was written in tribute to some of his favorite musicians, including “Sir Duke” Ellington, “Satchmo” Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller and Ella Fitzgerald. Not only does it have a unique groove, but it has an introduction and instrumental section that sounds so slick and hard to play!
For this Sir Duke piano tutorial, I take you through our usual four step protocol for learning to sing and play songs.
Step #1: Learn the chords
Step #2: Learn the groove
Step #3: Learn the intro
Step #3: Learn the interlude
Step #5: Put it all together.
Song learning protocol
Step #1: Piano Chords to Sir Duke
Learn the chords (see lyrics and chords on the next two pages). The chords are a wee bit tricky, but very worth it to learn!
Lyrics and chords to Sir Duke
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Step #2: Sir Duke Accompaniment Strategy
Step #3: Sir Duke Introduction
I'm not going to lie: the introduction and the interlude of this song are tricky. Stick with it! Sir Duke is so much fun to play.
Step #4: Sir Duke Interlude
Step #4: Put it All Together - Sing and Play Sir Duke
Remember that you can (and should!) customize this to fit your skill level. If the chord inversions are too challenging for you, then play them all root positiong. If you want to level it up, try altering the groove or adding some solo fills.
Try to avoid getting stuck in the little details! The goal is for you to learn to sing and play more songs - not drown in a pool of perfectionism. Have fun - it’s only music!
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