Ryan Welton

Sports + Digital + Music + Life

Category Archives: cover song

How to play Post Malone’s “Circles” on the piano + chord progressions

0

This is my piano cover of “Circles” by Post Malone. I posted it to YouTube a couple weeks ago after becoming obsessed with the song. It’s such a change-of-pace for Post Malone — and I dig it!

More covers and piano tutorials on my YouTube channel at youtube.com/ryanweltonmusic

The song starts in CMaj7 and goes to Em/B. It then goes to an FMaj9 and an Fmin9. From there, it’s mostly all variations of melody.

Post Malone “Circles” lyrics:

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh
We couldn’t turn around
‘Til we were upside down
I’ll be the bad guy now
But no, I ain’t too proud
I couldn’t be there
Even when I try
You don’t believe it
We do this every time
Seasons change and our love went cold
Feed the flame ’cause we can’t let go
Run away, but we’re running in circles
Run away, run away
I dare you to do something
I’m waiting on you again
So I don’t take the blame
Run away, but we’re running in circles
Run away, run away, run away
Let go
I got a feeling that it’s time to let go
I say so
I knew that this was doomed from the get-go
You thought that it was special, special
But it was just the sex though, the sex though
And I still hear the echoes (the echoes)
I got a feeling that it’s time to let it go
Let it go
Seasons change and our love went cold
Feed the flame ’cause we can’t let go
Run away, but we’re running in circles
Run away, run away
I dare you to do something
I’m waiting on you again
So I don’t take the blame
Run away, but we’re running in circles
Run away, run away, run away
Maybe you don’t understand what I’m going through
It’s only me, what you got to lose?
Make up your mind, tell me, what are you gonna do?
It’s only me, let it go
Seasons change and our love went cold
Feed the flame ’cause we can’t let go
Run away, but we’re running in circles
Run away, run away
I dare you to do something
I’m waiting on you again
So I don’t take the blame
Run away, but we’re running in circles
Run away, run away, run away

“FM” by Steely Dan | Cover Song of the Week

0
FM by Steely Dan

When I decided to do a cover version of Steely Dan’s “FM,” also known as “No Static At All,” I only had to tell Kristi that I was covering my alarm clock.

The four-note opening phrase to the title track from the 1978 movie, “FM,” has been one of my alarm tones for the past year or so. The notes, by the way, are A+C# and B+D, back and forth.

When I aim to cover a song as beloved as “FM,” I hardly aim for perfection because Donald Fagen I am not. However, I have a lot of fun with these songs and am making it my mission to cultivate an audience of people my age and older (or younger) who love these songs as much as I do. That’s why I started my Facebook page: Ryan Welton Music.

Hope you enjoy this one! And if you do, come find me on Facebook or on my YouTube channel of the same name: Ryan Welton Music.

“FM” lyrics, Steely Dan

Worry the bottle Mama, it’s grapefruit wine
Kick off your high heel sneakers, it’s party time
The girls don’t seem to care what’s on
As long as they play till dawn
Nothin’ but blues and Elvis
And somebody else’s favorite song

Give her some funked up music, she treats you nice
Feed her some hungry reggae, she’ll love you twice
The girls don’t seem to care tonight
As long as the mood is right

FM – no static at all

Give her some funked up music she treats you nice
Feed her some hungry reggae she’ll love you twice
The girls don’t seem to care tonight
As long as the mood is right

FM – no static at all

Cover songs on YouTube: What worked in 2017; My strategy for 2018

0

I’m uploading my first cover song of 2018 to my YouTube channel, a piano version of the Camila Cabello smash,”Havana.” I plan to be a lot more active with cover songs in 2018 because that’s where I had my biggest channel success in 2017.

First, here’s a look at “Havana,” my cover of the Camila Cabello hit:

I posted almost six dozen videos in 2017, and of those, a third were cover tunes. My strategy for posting cover songs was pretty haphazard in 2017: I posted covers of current songs I liked and covers of old songs I loved, and I did both with mixed success. For each tune, I’d invest a couple dollars of Google AdWords, which guaranteed video views.

The money did not guarantee engagement, and I would use engagement as the arbiter for whether I had hit the mark on the cover. In my estimation, I only hit the mark on a couple songs, namely this cover of The Weeknd’s “I Feel It Coming.”

I have a couple ideas as to why this particular cover performed well: First, I played it pretty well, and I added my own style to it. Heck, toward the latter-middle of the song, I was adding to the song with a completely different set of progressions. Second, I dressed like a banker in the video, an ode perhaps to the late Robert Palmer? It was what I had worn to work that day, nothing more strategic than that. However, I looked like an old man playing a young kids’ hit.

However, beyond that, the fleeting success of that one cover beats me.

Another song that did pretty well for me was this cover of Bruno Mars’s “That’s What I Like:”

Again, I kept it instrumental, and I added my own flavor to it in the middle. One thing that both posts had in common is that I recorded the cover songs as the song was moving up the charts, not after it was really popular.

My tactics for 2018 will include being less romantic about the types of songs I cover. If there are chords and a melody, I’m liable to try it. Secondly, I think I should at least consider a bit how I’m dressed. Look at this cover I did of the No. 1 song of all of 2017, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” I’m wearing my jogging outfit with a newsboy cap. Dreadful (said with a laugh).

The cover song strategy is, of course, a funnel to lead folks to my original music. As is this blog. As is everything I’m doing content-wise. So, when you visit me at youtube.com/RyanWeltonMusic, I hope you’ll give a listen to the playlists “2017 Original Songs” and “Essential Ryan Welton.” Would definitely appreciate it.

In an upcoming blog, I’ll show you how to use AdWords to promote your videos. It’s super simple, and it appears the reporting on Google AdWords has undergone considerable improvement over the past year.

I’ve also been using TubeBuddy since November. It’s been helpful, but I’m not sure it’s worth the $19.95 I’m paying for it. More in another blog.

Cover + Chords: Learn how to play Gino Vannelli’s “I Just Wanna Stop”

0

Listening to my favorite Yacht Rock radio station yesterday, SiriusXM’s 311, on the SiriusXM app, I heard Gino Vannelli’s “I Just Wanna Stop,” a No. 4 hit here in the United States back in 1978.

His other big hit here, “Living Inside Myself,” peaked at No. 6 in 1981. Great song.

However, as I keep thinking about how to develop content around my music, I find it wise to listen to people who visit my site and my channels and my Instagram and Facebook, all of it. I’ve had several other musicians ask for chord structures on these songs — a little somethin’ to provide them with value beyond a listen.

So, here goes. Hoping that if you like it, you’ll “like” it and come find me on YouTube. Let’s grow the community together!

Basically, the song starts with an Emaj9 and a Dmaj7 / E back and forth, or as I call it “a B chord on top of an E and then a D chord on top of an E.”

The verse is Emaj9 to C#m9 to Amaj9 (or 11th or 13th, depending on how fancy you wanna get), and then than Amaj9-11-13, A/B (which is an A chord on top of a B in the bass line) and Emaj9 with the turnaround being a sweet Cmaj9, B11.

Repeat the verse and then the bridge is Amaj7, G#m7, F#m7, Amaj7 with the money chord being the Bbm7-5 before the start of the chorus. That chord is basically a Bb-Db-E in the right hand on top of a Bb in the bass line.

The chorus is easy. It’s Amaj7, G#m7, Dmaj7/E and then repeat before closing out the chorus with Amaj7, G#m7 and F#m7 and that Cmaj9,B11 turnaround.

Does that help at all? Hope you enjoy. Here’s the finished product:

http://www.youtube.com/soonerryan2000

 

Cover & Lyrics: The secret to playing Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne”

0

Last week, I got to see the legendary Steely Dan although I certainly, remorsefully didn’t ever get to see Walter Becker. I wrote about the gig at the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, too. If you haven’t been to River Spirit for a show, I highly, highly recommend it.

Easy find. Easy parking. Awesome staff. Coffee shop open after the show.

If you read that post, you know that Donald Fagen and company did “Kid Charlemagne” as their encore. “Kid” is my favorite ‘Dan’ song of all time. It mixes rock with jazz and his wonderful on guitar as it is on keys, kind of a perfect blend of Becker and Fagen.

So, this weekend I decided to cover it. Show me a little grace on this one; I worked it up in 30 minutes and memorized most of the words. The secret to playing this tune is the beginning. You can’t just hammer a C7 and call it good. In the right hand, it needs to be an Eb, E and Bb — three notes with a C bass.

See also: Ryan Welton’s YouTube channel filled with original songs, comedy tunes, smooth jazz and video randomness

Here are the lyrics for you to follow along:

While the music played, you worked by candlelight
Those San Francisco nights
You were the best in town
Just by chance you crossed the diamond with the pearl

You turned it on the world
That’s when you turned the world around
(Did you feel like Jesus?)
Did you realize
That you were a champion in their eyes?

On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene
But yours was kitchen-clean
Everyone stopped to stare at your technicolor motor home

Every A-Frame had your number on the wall
You must have had it all
You’d go to L.A. on a dare and you’d go it alone
(Could you live forever?)
Could you see the day?
Could you feel your whole world fall apart and fade away?

Now your patrons have all left you in the red
Your low-rent friends are dead
This life can be very strange
All those day-glo freaks who used to paint the face

They’ve joined the human race
Some things will never change
(Son, you were mistaken)
You are obsolete
Look at all the white men on the street

Clean this mess up else we’ll all end up in jail
Those test-tubes and the scale
Just get it all out of here

Is there gas in the car?
Yes, there’s gas in the car
I think the people down the hall know who you are

‘Cause the man is wise
You are still an outlaw in their eyes

The Weeknd: A smooth jazz interpretation

0

Since I re-started posting videos to YouTube late last year on the knowledge that I could once again post cover songs, I’ve been looking for songs to cover. Given that I’m a electronic piano-loving creature of the late 70s and early 80s, finding music from today that could fit my style is tough.

Enter a fellow they call The Weeknd. His real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, and he hails from Canada. But he channels Michael Jackson in all the good ways. Smooth. Easy on the ears. “Off the Wall”-era MJ.

His latest single, “I Feel It Coming,” has been racing up the charts the past few weeks. I’ve been enjoying it on my run for months now, however, and I’ve been struck by how atypical it is for pop music in 2017.

Again: in all the good ways.

So, after I got home from work a few nights ago, I sat down to the keys and figured out the chords and melody. Its foundation is Eb-Ab-Bb with a lot of Gm7-Cm7 in between. Super easy to learn from a technical perspective, but it’s a wee bit trickier to maintain the smooth groove from the record itself.

If you enjoyed my rendition, I hope you’ll stop by my YouTube channel and check out more of my covers and original songs!

PHOTO: Courtesy of “The Come Up Show,” via Flickr’s Creative Commons.

Mary Tyler Moore statue nowhere to be found in Minneapolis

0

I’m fortunate to be able to travel some for work, and last summer I had a conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. So, I spent the weekend prior to that event in Minneapolis, two months after Prince died.

Big fan of Prince, but I figured out early on that Paisley Park was a bit out of the way for this tourist. Besides, with limited time on my hands, I wanted to explore all I could in downtown Minneapolis and see Mary.

That’s right. I’m talking about the famed Mary Tyler Moore statue somewhere in downtown Minneapolis. It’s the one where she’s tossing her hat into the air, just as she did in the opening credits to her iconic 1970s television series, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

However, the city apparently had decided to move the statue indoors, and while it was possible to see it, it was damned near impossible to find it. Trust me. I walked across every street in downtown Minneapolis the third weekend of June last year. It was muggy and hot, and I even went to a baseball game.

target-field-minneapolis

Enjoyed getting to see Target Field although all the concrete and metal combined with the lack of ballpark shade at 1 p.m. made the experience super uncomfortable because it was a billion degrees. I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed a night game there or to see the Twins in April or September.

And I enjoyed the hotel where I stayed, the W Minneapolis – The Foshay. Very posh and pink, at least in the lobby.

w-minneapolis-the-foshay

The staff was extraordinarily helpful and courteous, and whoever programs their lobby music introduced me to a bunch of new artists I had never heard before. Plus, there is a bar called The Prohibition Bar at the top of the hotel where they serve 1920s-era cocktails. I had one drink, and it put me to sleep.

I’m 46. My party days are long past.

But I love good food and first experiences at great restaurants. For example, one of our business dinners was at the Butcher & The Boar, and dare I say it had better Southern cuisine than I can find in Oklahoma. Not that we’re true South, but c’mon. This is Minnesota!

Alas, my favorite foodie find was the best French Toast I have ever had and probably ever will have. It was the Cinnamon French Toast at the Keys Cafe, which happened to be right next to my hotel. Of course, I snapped a photo of it. The waiter even told me in advance that I’d want that keepsake. It was that good.

minneapolis-keys-cafe

OMG.

But it was after this feast that I went on my quest to find the Mary Tyler Moore statue. All I wanted was a photo of it and to say I had seen it. As a fan of 1970s culture and as somebody who worked for eight years in a television newsroom, I loved the Mary Tyler Moore Show. My sleuthing led me to Nicollet Mall, a shopping district that looked like merely a street and definitely not like a mall. Add unto all of this that Minneapolis was disassembling and reconstructing every sidewalk and street throughout the downtown area, and I was never able to figure out where the statue resided.

Most of Minneapolis downtown was pretty much abandoned the entire weekend, surprising because the weather was nice but not so surprising given all the construction. Of course, that’s not to say downtown Minneapolis wasn’t delightful. Just under construction with no sign of Mary.

This website indicates that the city decided to put the statue in storage.

Hoping the recent death of Mary Tyler Moore and the outpouring of love for her helps the city understand the significance of her and her TV character on Minneapolis. I guarantee I’m not the only person who’s visited Minneapolis in the past year, who hoped to see the statue but who left without getting to do so.

As a footnote, because I’m a musician, I took a few minutes this Saturday morning and did a quick cover of the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Written by Sonny Curtis, this is “Love Is All Around.”

%d bloggers like this: