Ryan Welton

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Category Archives: tutorials

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

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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

How to Play Kenny Rogers’ classic hit, “Lady”

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Kenny Rogers has had many hits, but this is arguably his most beautiful song. It was written by the great Lionel Richie, and it’s super easy to play. It starts with Dm.

That’s D minor. The chord progression is Dm, Gm9/D, C/D — so you’re basically going from D minor to G minor to C with the D in the right hand. Mind you, watch my right hand as I’m playing the intro. You’re not playing a straight Gm triad in the right hand. You’re playing a Bb, D and an A in the right hand — a Gm9 (G, Bb, D, F, A) You’ll just leave out the G and F.

The first chorus is a pretty straight ahead Gm7, Am7, BbM7, Am7, Dsus

After two verses and choruses, you glissando up and down the piano and hit the BIG BIG chorus where Kenny sings, “LADYYYYYYY” — and that’s BbM7, C/Bb, F, C/E, Dm7, F/C and repeat until you get to the end.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard from Kenny Rogers came on an episode of ‘American Idol’ a whole bunch of years ago: Play the notes and sing the lyrics, but emote the words. Pay attention to the story as you’re singing / playing.

SING ALONG! Here are the lyrics to “Lady” by Kenny Rogers

Lady, I’m your knight in shining armor and I love you
You have made me what I am and I am yours
My love, there’s so many ways I want to say “I love you”
Let me hold you in my arms forever more
You have gone and made me such a fool
I’m so lost in your love
And oh, we belong together
Won’t you believe in my song?
Lady, for so many years I thought I’d never find you
You have come into my life and made me whole
Forever, let me wake to see you each and every morning
Let me hear you whisper softly in my ear
In my eyes, I see no one else but you
There’s no other love like our love
And yes, oh yes, I’ll always want you near me
I’ve waited for you for so long
Lady, your love’s the only love I need
And beside me is where I want you to be
‘Cause, my love, there’s somethin’ I want you to know
You’re the love of my life, you’re my lady

“PYT” by Michael Jackson: Cover Song of the Week (with Tutorial!)

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For anybody in the 1980s but especially for those of us just hitting puberty in 1982-83, Michael Jackson was the biggest musical influence on everybody. Still is. The man earned his moniker, the ‘King Of Pop’ without reservation — and when listening to today’s music, it’s even more apparent how great he was.

“PYT” was the sixth single from the album “Thriller,” and as the story goes, producer Quincy Jones wasn’t going to include the song on the album. But he did, and it sounds as great 36 years after its release as it did back in the day.

For anybody wanting to learn the song, it starts with a Bm9 chord, moving to a GMaj7 in the verse. It’s pretty easy to learn in that regard. I’m wrapping up a song tutorial and will paste it at the bottom of the blog.

I think by watching me play it, you’ll pick it up pretty easily! Lyrics below the video:

Where did you come from lady
And ooh won’t you take me there
Right away won’t you baby
Tendoroni you’ve got to be
Spark my nature
Sugar fly with me
Don’t you know now
Is the perfect time
We can make it right
Hit the city lights
Then tonight ease the lovin’ pain
Let me take you to the max

I want to love you (P-Y-T)
Pretty young thing
You need some lovin’ (T-L-C)
Tender lovin’ care
And I’ll take you there
I want to love you (P-Y-T)
Pretty young thing
You need some lovin’ (T-L-C)
Tender lovin’ care
And I’ll take you there

(Anywhere you want to go)

Nothin’ can stop this burnin’
Desire to be with you
Gotta get to you baby
Won’t you come, it’s emergency
Cool my fire yearnin’
Honey, come set me free
Don’t you know now is the perfect time
We can dim the lights
Just to make it right
In the night
Hit the lovin’ spot
I’ll give you all that I’ve got

I want to love you (P-Y-T)
Pretty young thing
You need some lovin’ (T-L-C)
Tender lovin’ care
And I’ll take you there
I want to love you (P-Y-T)
Pretty young thing
You need some lovin’ (T-L-C)
Tender lovin’ care
And I’ll take you there

Pretty young things, repeat after me
I said,
Na na na
Na na na na
Na na na na
Na na na
Na na na
I said na na na na na
Na na na na na
I’ll take you there

I want to love you (P-Y-T)
Pretty young thing
You need some lovin’ (T-L-C)
Tender lovin’ care
And I’ll take you there
I want to love you (P-Y-T)
Pretty young thing
You need some lovin’ (T-L-C)
Tender lovin’ care
And I’ll take you there
Songwriters: James Ingram, Quincy Jones

But if you’d like a more in-depth tutorial on how to play “PYT,” perhaps my video, “How To Play ‘PYT’ by Michael Jackson on Piano” will do the trick. Enjoy – and come find more tutorials, covers and originals at youtube.com/ryanweltonmusic.

WordPress Tip: How to edit the bio at the bottom of your posts

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Thought I’d devote a quick post to this in hopes of helping somebody not waste 25 minutes trying to find it.

I love WordPress, but I also think the CMS is largely unintuitive, especially without search. On several occasions over the past few months, I’ve wanted to update an outdated bio at the bottom of each blog post.

Not only was the information out of date, but it was devoid of HTML, so it looked like a jumbled heap of words.

So, I hopped into the WordPress admin tool and clicked here. And clicked there. And then I did a quick Google search, and then I started to grow frustrated because there is no search in the WordPress admin that I can find — and it should all just be easier than this.

And then I eventually figured it out.

I’m going to show you so that, maybe, you don’t have to waste your time.

  1. Go to WP Admin
  2. Click on ‘Users’ in the left-hand column.
  3. Then click on ‘Your Profile.’

What you’ll see looks like this:

wordpress-profile-update

Type in all the updates you’d like, and note that you can add HTML links to things like social media sites. I tried adding paragraphs and line breaks, and that was no-go. Just add the simple <a href HTML code around any link you have, and it should work.

Then you click the ‘Update Profile’ button just below that, and – boom – all done!

Easy, easy, easy: How to play “Rosanna” by Toto

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One of my first memories of pop music growing up was being at Camp Egan in Tahlequah, in the pool, and hearing Toto’s “Rosanna.” Sure, I was at “church camp,” but let me assure you that it was closer to something out of “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” more than it was anything our parents hoped it would be.

And “Rosanna” was the jam of the summer.

I didn’t know who this woman was or why she’d leave that poor man, causing him to “hurt so bad.” Then 30 years after thinking the song was about Rosanna Arquette, I learn she was coincidental to the masterpiece. Sure, Steve Porcaro was dating her, but David Paich wrote it about a long lost love and imprinted her name upon it because Steve wanted to divulge his love to her in song.

And then they broke up, and it became all too real.

This song was pretty much the moment I decided that music was awesome. I literally remember being in the pool, thinking two things: I can’t swim, and how awesome was church camp if Toto was its soundtrack!? I wish I was a better player in terms of technique. I’ll never be Toto-level good. I started playing the piano when I was three or four, whenever my dad started showing me flash cards with notes and chords. My dad was a professional musician, straight out of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and I’ve been fakin’ it for four decades.

But what I’ve lacked in technical skill I’ve more than made up for in passion.

So, I put together this tutorial to help other passionate musicians fake their way through “Rosanna” to impress somebody at work, the bar or maybe a girl named Rosanna.

The song starts in G, and you can chord between G and C in that opening shuffle.

First verse is G-F-Em, and then go to a C. I play it in here as a Bb/C, but really it should just be a C. That takes you to an F-Eb-Dm before a bridge of Gm-F/A-Bb.

The verse ends with a bang: Eb-Bb-F. You’ll have to watch the video to see how I do that little riff to get in the chorus.

I also address the almighty Toto “Rosanna” solo, which is way beyond my technical ability. However, I’ve got the framework down and describe it in my video. If you like piano tutorials, I hope you’ll come find me on YouTube at youtube.com/ryanweltonmusic because for every cover I do from here on out, I’ll also do a tutorial describing the EASIEST way to learn it. I might not give you the technically perfect way to play it, but you’ll be able to impress folks after five minutes with me — if you can play piano at all.

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