Ryan Welton

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Tag Archives: piano tutorial

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


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”


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

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


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.

How to play the piano for beginners, Lesson 1


I’ve played the piano since I was four years old, which means I’ve been at it for 43 years. Along the way, I’ve written hundreds of songs, some of them listenable. I’ve also gigged with all sorts of bands from blues to rock to country to jazz.

And I’ve been asked a hundred times to offer piano lessons. It’s just something I don’t have time to do one-on-one, even for money.

However, as somebody who loves creating digital content and who enjoys the process of building an audience, teaching piano is something of value I can offer to you, the blog-reading masses. I’m crazy enough to believe I can help you learn how to play the piano fast. So, I’m creating and posting videos to my YouTube channel that support these lessons — and today’s lesson is “How To Play The Piano For Beginners, Lesson 1.”

And it’s all about the notes.

Before you can play expertly, you have to learn the basics. Before you learn how to play fancy chords, you need to learn basic chords — and before you do either, you need to learn the notes.

There are 88 keys on a piano, but really there are only 12. These 12 keys have 24 names, some of them more common than others. Your first piano lesson is to memorize the names of these notes and how they sound. Memorizing the names of the notes will help you when it comes time to read music, and internalizing the sound of the notes will help you pick out songs by ear.

Both are fantastic skills for a piano player.

What I’m showing you in this video, below, are the notes in the C Major scale. While the lettering of notes on a piano starts with A, really, everything on a piano revolves around C, specifically middle C.

Look at your keyboard and pick out middle C.

And then look at the next seven white keys: C-D-E-F-G-A-B

There are five black keys, and each one has a name relative to the white key before it or ahead of it. For example, the key right after (a half-step above) C is either C# (C sharp) or Db (D flat) depending on the key signature of a song. The key signature is a fancy way of saying what key a song was written in, and that’s helpful mostly for those who read music. However, it can also inform somebody who plays by ear how the song is going to go.

For example, if somebody says, “Let’s play the blues in E,” I’m betting we’re going to go from the E chord to the A to the B and then back to the E. I know that because I know the structure of basic three-chord blues, and I know the key signature of E. Because I know that, I know that the G is going to be sharp. The C will be sharp, too, and the D will as well, thanks to that B chord.

Maybe think about it this way.

Sean Combs is Puff Daddy. He is also P Diddy. And then recently, he became something else, too: Love. Did I read that right?

What you call Combs at any given time depends on the context of the situation — and that’s what a key signature is: compositional context. All I want you to do right now is memorize the danged notes.

Here they are below.


Memorize how they sound, and then listen to some of your favorite songs while you sit at the piano and see if you can pick out notes. That will help to train your ear as much as actual playing will train your fingers.

Here is each note, close-up. Open this blog post on your tablet or phone and sit at the piano with it.

This is C.


This is C sharp. It’s also D flat.


This is D.


This is D sharp or E flat.


This is F. Technically, it’s also E sharp!


This is F sharp. It’s also G flat.


This is G.


This is G sharp or A flat.


This is A.


This is A sharp but it’s much more commonly referred to as B flat.


This is B.


And then we’re back to C, which is technically B sharp. But don’t call it that; people will look at you funny.


Thank you for reading this post, watching my video and checking out my music. I’m passionate about YouTube and want to grow myself in this wonderful community. If you’re a musician or content creator, and I should be subscribed to you, please let me know. I genuinely want to consume as much of your content as possible. I’m also interested in content collaboration! Hit me up.

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Ryan Welton is a songwriter, musician and digital journalist from the Oklahoma City area, Norman to be specific. #BoomerSooner He is a fan of all-things yacht rock, all-things late 1970s and early 1980s and a student of digital content creation. —

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A quick tutorial on playing George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”


One of the many tactics I have for driving traffic to my YouTube channel is creating useful content. In the case of a blog about music from a musician, I might as well create some easy, free how-to content.

I might not be able to teach the world to sing, but I could at least teach it how to play a little something.

In this case, I put together a video how-to for the piano basics of George Michael’s classic 1984 tune, “Careless Whisper,” with what is arguably the most famous sax lick ever to be written. I should note that any how-to from me is going to presume some basic piano knowledge and theory. Nothing too crazy.

The idea for this specific blog post came, of course, from Michael’s death on Christmas 2016. One of the most soulful voices ever heard is gone.

Michael’s most famous song is built upon these four chords: Dm9, Gm11, Am7 and a B-flat Major 7. Take a couple minutes and watch the rest of my quick tutorial on YouTube. Not selling anything. Promise.

It helps if you have a buddy who can play the saxophone to make it all sound awesome because the piano itself can’t quite carry it like a sax and Michael’s terrific voice could some 32 years ago. Of course, that didn’t keep me from giving it a try:

Thank you for stopping by my new blog. I appreciate any and all comments and would love it if you’d visit my YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/soonerryan2000!

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