How To Play Happy Birthday On Piano
Want to serenade your mates while they make a wish and blow the candles out? Here is a quick and easy guide to playing Happy Birthday on the piano.
In this mini blog post, we will break down Happy Birthdays simple, universal melody. We will analyze the tune one phrase at a time to help you understand what it takes to play it on the piano.
Also Check: Flower Arrangements For Mom Birthday
How To Play Happy Birthday Very Easy Piano Music
1. Place hands over the notes, with both thumbs on middle C.
2. To prepare, ask the child to play and name the notes C, D, E, F, G with the right hand 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 both up, and back down again. Then do the same with the left hand going downwards C, B, A, G, F and back up again to middle C.
3. Look at the Happy Birthday sheet music and ask the child to work out the first note on Ha-ppy. This is G with the left hand finger
4. As they will know the tune already they should find it quite easy to work out the first phrase, but help them to notice what the jump is on to you. It is a 4th, this means they jump from 4 1 which is G C.
Practice One Phrase At A Time
4. The second phrase starts the same but point out the jump is one step higher from G D, using the right hand fingers 2 -1 on to you. Practice these first two phrases a couple of times.
5. The third phrase starts again on G Ha-ppy in the left hand with 4th finger, but the jump is a whole 8 notes up to the G Birth in the right hand finger 5. Practice finding this jump a couple of times. The right hand then plays 3 -1 on day dear and the left hand plays 2 3 on B A which is where you insert the name of the Birthday boy/girl.
6. The fourth phrase is played by the right hand with the 4th finger on F for Ha-ppy then 3, 1, 2, 1, E C D C on Birth-day to you!
Happy Birthday Easy Piano Music
May 21, 2021 By Sara Mullett
Here are two Happy Birthday easy piano music arrangements for young pianists. The first one is for children who have only just started to play, with just the simple melody line centered on middle C so theyll find it really quick to master. And the second is an easy piano music arrangement for both hands together which is more suitable for someone whos been playing a little longer.
If youre new to teaching piano to kids, do take a look at my First Piano Lessons eBook which is filled with teaching tips, tricks and games for teaching young children the piano in an engaging way.
When kids first start learning any instrument, the challenge is to get them hooked. And while of course its very important to make sure that they learn the correct theory and technique, its also really important to make sure that they are having fun and enjoying the experience of playing pieces that they want to play both for themselves and for others.
So Happy Birthday is a great choice, as its one of the first and most important songs a child will learn, it has such a special significance and is of course one that that they will come to sing many times every year. So naturally it makes a great piece for young pianists to play. They always love being able to play it for their friends at birthday parties and it goes down so well with Granny too!
Also Check: Is Piano Easy To Learn
Pick A Key And Transpose
Now, lets use these numbers to transpose our song.
Say C Major is too high for you . Lets transpose everything down two steps to A Major.
Heres the A Major scale:
So, our I chord becomes a chord built on the first note of the scale. This is the A chord .
Our V chord becomes an E chord .
Next, our IV chord turns into a D chord .
Finally, the ii chord is now Bm .
Thats all there is to it! Try it yourself. Transpose everything in the opposite direction: up two steps to E Major. Then, scroll to the bottom of this article to see if you got the chords right!
Bonus: Whats The Difference Between Cmaj7 And C7
Youll notice some of the chords have maj in them and some of them dont. The maj means the chord isnt a dominant seventh, while the lack of a maj means the chord is a dominant seventh.
A dominant seventh chord is a chord thats built on the seventh note of a scale. For example, take C7: count backwards to five from C and youll land on F. This means C7 is a dominant seventh chord built on the fifth note of F Major.
What difference does this make? Well, F Major has one flat: B flat. This makes C7 a chord with the notes C-E-G-Bb.
Meanwhile, Cmaj7, a non-dominant seventh chord, has the notes C-E-G-B. You can learn more about different types of seventh chords here.
Recommended Reading: Sign Of The Times Piano Chords
Learn Happy Birthday Cocktail Jazz Piano Style
Get free weekly lessons, practice tips, and downloadable resources to your inbox!
Have you ever been at a friends birthday party with a piano nearby, and you thought, I wish I could play a nice jazz rendition of Happy Birthday?. Well, today Im going to teach you how to play Happy Birthday in a classy Cocktail Jazz Piano style. Youll learn how to color the chords, add chord extensions, alterations, use guide tones, rootless voicings, and more!
Lets dive in.
Recommended Reading: What To Get Your Best Friend For Her 20th Birthday
Learn The Lead Sheet Melody & Chords
If you want to play Happy Birthday in a jazz style, you first need to learn the basic melody and chords. The best way to do this is with a lead sheet. A lead sheet contains the most basic elements of a song, but it leaves you room to embellish and add to it with your own harmonic and rhythmic ideas.
Here is the lead sheet for Happy Birthday.
Recommended Reading: Birthday Gift Delivery Nashville Tn
Also Check: Williams Overture 2 88 Key Console Digital Piano
The Notes Of The Right Hand
Once you have found the first note G of the song, you have to play the following notes one after the other:
G A G C B G G A G D C G G G E C C B A F F E C D C.
This sequence of notes corresponds to the whole of the piano song Happy Birthday in the right hand. If you play all these notes in a row, you will easily recognize the melody.
Happy Birthday on piano: the notes of the right hand.
A Version For Everyone
Victor Borge has been the first in 1951 to refresh the Happy Birthday to you song with his incredible pianist talents, going from his own variation to a combination of pieces from the biggest composers of all time, like Beethoven or Mozart. But thats all classical music. What if you could add a custom touch by playing a special version of it, closer to the musical tastes of the birthday girl/boy?
Tomplay got you covered! Our piano sheet music catalog contains several versions of the song arranged by none less than Mike Garson, David Bowies longtime pianist. With piano sheet music arranged for every level from beginner to advanced, you will be sure to find sheet music right for you with Tomplay! The best part? Every music score comes with a high-quality backing track to play along with an orchestra.
You will find below our selection of classical, jazz, or even boogie-woogie sheet music versions to impress your friends, no matter your level of practice. If you are usually doing some playback and pretending to sing in the back of the crowd, it is time for you to start learning how to play happy birthday on the piano with Tomplay interactive sheet music and surprise your friends and their guests!
Read Also: Used Piano For Sale Houston
Add Jazz Chords Using The 2
The next step is to make your chord progression more interesting by adding chords to the arrangement. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to add the 2-5-1 chord progression throughout the arrangement. Here is a basic 2-5-1 in the key of C Major:
As you can see, we can target a C Major chord by adding a D minor 7 , and then a G7 . The 2-5-1 is one of the most common chord progressions in jazz, so it will automatically make the arrangement sound more jazzy.
What is a secondary Dominant chord? A secondary dominant chord is a chord that can be added in front of any chord, and it is the dominant 7 chord built on the note a perfect 5th above the target chord. For example, if we go back to our 2-5-1 chord progression, there is a chord we can add before the 2 chord, the D Minor 7 chord. If we follow our secondary dominant rule above and we play a dominant 7 chord built a perfect 5th above the D Minor 7, then this is an A7 chord. Therefore, here is how we could use a secondary dominant chord before the 2-5-1 chord progression:
Now, with these two concepts , here is our new chord progression:
As you can see, measures 2-4 is a big long 2-5-1 in the key of F . The Ab13 on beat 3 is a dominant 7 chord with an added 13. Why does this chord work? It is a substitute chord for the secondary dominant chord D7, which leads us to Gm13. Specifically, it is a tritone away from D7, and we call this a Tritone Substitute chord.
Happy Birthday Piano Notes 4
DD E~ D G~ F#~Happy Birthday to You
DD E~ D A~ G~Happy Birthday to You
DD D*~ B G~ F# EHappy Birthday Dear DD D*~ B GG F# E
C* C* B~ G A GHappy Birthday to You
D E~ D G F#May God Bless You
D E~ D A GMay God Bless You
D D* BG F# EMay Go~d Bless You
C* C* BG A GHappy Birthday to You
DD E~ D G~ F#~, DD E~ D A~ G~Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You
DD D*~ B G~ F# E, C* C* B~ G A GHappy Birthday Dear . Happy Birthday to You
You May Like: City Of Stars Piano Music
Encountering Black Notes In The Easy Arrangements
The version in G may be easier for your students to play, because with the key of F version, each hand has to deal with a Bb note. In the key of G version, only the right hand has a black note.
However, the G arrangement uses several bass clef ledger line notes! You will have to decide. I think the G version is easier.
Play The Blues Version Of Happy Birthday On The Piano
Your friend is one of those people who always likes to go deep on every subject, even though he is a person of little words. And whenever he needs to express himself, he prefers to put his heart and soul into his instrument or sing and get some friends round for a session. Ever considered a bit of blues for his birthday?
Opinions diverge, but the term blues could be coming from the expression blue devils which meant melancholy and sadness. It got its origin from spirituals, songs from slaves of African culture where one voice would lead and others would answer in a call and response way of singing. Blues emerged from the feeling of hopelessness and injustice that ran through the African American communities in the Deep South states at the end of the 19th century. Slavery was ending, leaving those communities with a sense of freedom and many new questions on how to continue from now on.
Like jazz, blues expanded in a lot of different styles and variations, spreading all over the southern states and then past the borders of the US themselves. It is characterized by a cycle repeated all over the song, the most popular being 3 repetitions of 4 bars that give a 12 bar blues. This structure allows some freedom in the singing and playing, as the phrase can be interpreted in infinite possible ways. Want to give it a try? Learn how to play Happy Birthday on the piano, blues version, and get your friend to improvise on his own birthday wishes in style!
Read Also: Easy Pop Songs To Learn On Piano
Happy Birthday Guitar Tabs Piano Sheet Music & Lead Sheets
Happy Birthday, with two new late elementary/ early intermediate arrangements perfect for singalongs, as well as for my favorite student exercise – transposing!
- guitar tabs in two different keys!
- with an easy chord piano arrangement that uses helper notes – notes with letters inside!
- In addition, other arrangements of Happy Birthday are offered here in multiple keys for all instruments, and with several arrangements for piano.
Your students can learn it with this free, printable sheet music.
Difficulty: The Dissociation Of The Two Hands
The greatest difficulty when you start learning piano is to play both hands at the same time. This is called hand dissociation.
This work is not easy because it requires our brain to disassociate to play two different melodies at the same time.
This is why we have made you play first the right hand and then the left hand. This is the technique most used by beginners to learn the song step by step.
This part will inevitably take time because it is a matter of work. Our brain being used to symmetry, dissociation is not something its used to process. You will therefore have to be patient and work rigorously. But dont worry, it comes quickly! There are a number of techniques that will allow you to dissociate your hands faster.
You May Like: Funny Ideas For Birthday Videos
Also Check: Wooden Piano Bench With Storage
Gary Will Play While We Sing Happy Birthday Gulp
Ill never forget the party I attended, where several high-level classical pianists were unable to sit down and bash out Happy Birthday. They could play Rachminanoff, but were unable to play this simple song!
Im sure youve been in a similar situation. Someone says Hey! Gary plays piano hell play Happy Birthday while we sing! And you slink away, totally embaressed. Those days are over lets learn this sucker!
Happy Birthday In 7 Styles
Make your friends birthday party unforgettable with Happy Birthday in 7 fun styles. Well explore traditional, Latin Samba, Swing, Stride, Ragtime, Bass Cross-over, & Broadway Kickline.
- Learn 7 amazing styles: Traditional, Latin Samba, Swing, Stride, Ragtime, Crossed Hands, and Broadway
- Discover the theory behind each musical style
- Explore techniques such as slides, arpeggios, rag rolls, and ornamentations
- Learn how to use dynamics and articulation
Learn the building blocks of stride piano with this fun stride arrangement of Ode to Joy. Discover how use triplet rolls, stride runs, turns, & stride harmony as we dissect each note of the arrangement.
Learn America the Beautiful in a Ragtime Style. Starting with the lead sheet, we apply rag rolls and the ragtime-stride left hand. An essential Ragtime course!
Learn the tools behind the Bluesy Broadway Kickline Style with this exciting arrangement. Discover how to combine techniques such as sliding, tremolos, blues rolls, and punched notes.
PianoWithJonny was conceived with the vision of creating high-quality piano lessons that inspire people to learn and share the gift of music.
We publish free piano lessons and tips. Get them delivered to your inbox.
Website built by MemberDev
Piano With Jonny offers three core content types:
Read Also: Clocks Coldplay Piano Sheet Music
What Are The Notes Of Happy Birthday
Prepare by naming the notes, D, E, F, G with your right hand 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,, and ask the child to play and name the notes C, D, E, F, G with the right hand 1, 2, 3, 4, After that, take the same position with your left hand going downward and go back up from middle C to middle B, A, G and up again ) C, B, A, G, F and back up again to middle C.
Play The Jazz Version Of Happy Birthday On The Piano
Trying to define jazz is kind of mission impossible: everyone has his own conception of it, you cant describe every style, sub-style, and sensibility of it without forgetting something and everyone agrees to disagree about it. Created at the end of the 19th century from blues and ragtime, jazz became the American genre by excellence.
The main reason for its constant evolution over time was that right from the beginning, jazz was the result of a mix of cultures. Originating from African American communities of New Orleans, the genre was influenced not only by the variety of West African tribes that composed it, but also Caribbean, Creole, French instruments and cultures- as well as any other you could find in New Orleans at that time. Born from popular backgrounds with the initial wish to make people dance, jazz later became much more static with seated concerts and clubs. It is now a multitude of different styles, born from all the cultures it touched on the path of its success, way beyond the limits of the US.
All variations have something in common though: the will to have music based less on fixed sheet music and more on improvisation, with some solo parts changing at every interpretation of the piece. So if you want to make your friends birthday party sound like an elegant club, play the jazz version of Happy Birthday piano sheet music with Tomplay, accompanied by its orchestra backing track, and amaze the rest of the guests with your style!
Recommended Reading: Fun Piano Songs To Learn