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How To Play "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin | HDpiano (Part 1) Piano Tutorial

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(snappy jazz music)

- [Dan] Hello and welcome, everybody, to HD Piano.

My name is Dan, and I'm so excited to teach you how to play

The Entertainer composed by Scott Joplin in 1902.

In this video, we'll look at the intro

and the first half of the A section,

which all sounds like this.

One, two, ready, and...

("The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin)

And we're gonna stop right there.

I know that's abrupt, but there is a ton of music here.

Now, you can find the rest of this lesson at

where we'll learn the rest of the A section,

B, C, D sections, a simplified version.

This is a lot for many users,

so I've created a simplified version on the website.

As well as the whole song performance

of this true, advanced version.

A question for you guys.

What genre is this?

That might be an easy question for many of you,

but some don't know.

So comment below.

What genre is The Entertainer?

(piano note hits)

Okay, we're gonna start.

This is middle C, so we are one above middle C

on this D, and then above that in our right hand on the D.

(piano notes hit)

And I'm gonna just play the right hand,

because the left hand is actually copying it.

So it's D, E C, A, B, G.

Try that with me.

(slow piano music)

And I would use my middle finger on this B.

(slow piano music)

So you eventually want to get it to this speed.

(fast piano music)


And a good way to sort of approach something like that

is just play it really slowly first.

(slow piano music)

And do it a little faster next time, if you can make it.

(piano music)


(lively piano music)

And then, eventually, you're at recorded speed.

(fast piano music)

So we play it three times, each at different octaves.

First one up here.

Second one here.

(piano music)

Then third one just above middle C.

(low piano music)

And then, on that third time,

(piano music)

we play, after the A, we play B, A, A flat, G.

(piano chord reverberates)

And a nice big G chord, G, B, D, G.

So here's the first four measures of the right hand.

(slow piano music)

Okay, now the left hand copies that.

It's a little bit more challenging

with the left hand fingering, but take a look.

(slow piano music)

So it's similar.

Well, the notes are identical,

but this time we have a different fingering.

So watch the right hand and left hand together.

(slow piano music)

When the left-hand pinky lands,

we want to move the thumb to B.

(slow piano music)


(slow piano music)

And this is the third and final time.

(slow piano music)

So let's see if we can loop that a few times.

Too slow first.

(slow piano music)

A little faster.

Ready, and...

(piano music)

Faster yet, and...

(piano music)

(fingers snap)

Now this is recorded speed, about 155 bpm.

One, two, ready, and...

(uptempo piano music)

Hm, have to try that again.

Here we go.

Two, ready, and...

(uptempo piano music)

There it is.

And after that we're into the A section.

Okay, so the A section goes like this, right hand.

(piano music)

And I'm gonna stop right there.

That's the first half of the A section.

So, we're just above middle C.

(piano music)

Play D, D sharp, and then this is the iconic riff

that you're probably very familiar with.

(vocalizing) (piano music)


So it's E, C, E, C, E, C.

And then, from there, we're into a very expansive chord,

C, E, C.

(piano music)

Shift it up to D, F, D,

and then that up to D sharp, F sharp, D sharp.

And then E, G, E, so we're chord planing.

We're taking this shape

and we're doing what's called chord planing.

(piano music)

Then we go down to B, D, B.

And then D, F, D, and then C.

So here's that riff again, really slowly in time.

(slow piano music)

In conjunction with the first part of the A section, slowly.

Three, and four.

(slow piano music)

One, two, three.

(slow piano music)

Okay, and then it actually just repeats.

(slow piano music)

And we have a different riff after that.

(clears throat)

And I'll talk about that riff in the next video.

So let's look at the left hand now

before we speed things up.

(slow piano music)

Okay, so that much is what we'll be looking at, here.

We play C.

(piano music)

Then we play E, G, C on top.

So this is very common in this style of music.

We've got the base note and then a chord.

That's not uncommon at all.

(piano music)

That's the left-hand part we'll be highlighting here.

So C and then E, C, G,

and then Gs in the bottom voice.

And then the chord is G, B flat, C.

And then Fs in the bottom voice,

followed by A, C, in the middle voice.

And then Es followed by G, C, in the middle voice.

Let's recap those four chords.

So it's C.

(piano music)

Then this is actually a C7 over G.

Then an F chord.

Then C over E.

From there, we play a G in the root.

We'll pop up to this C chord, E, G, C.

G in the root again.

Pop up to F, G, B.

That's a G7 chord.

Then we land where we started,

on the C chord, broken.

So hands together,

first few bars of the A section really really slowly.

Two, E, and, sorry.

Four, E, and...

(slow piano music)

And then we repeat.

Excuse me.

(slow piano music)

And we're gonna stop right there.

So that's the A section super slow mo.

I'll do it again real slow.

Three, and four, E.

(slow piano music)

Okay, good.

Let's pick up the speed on that a little bit.

(piano note hits)

One, E, and a, two, E, and a, three, and four.

(slow piano music)

Same thing.

Two, and play.

(piano music)


Try that again a little faster.

Two, E, and a, ready, and a, play.

(lively piano music)

Okay, and let's try it one more before recorded speed.

Three, E, and a, four, E, and a.

(lively piano music)

(fingers snap)

Here's recorded speed.

One, two, and a one, two, three.

(fast piano music)

Okay, so you understand this

is probably the most challenging piece I've ever taught

in this library.

Maybe the most challenging piece I've ever played, frankly.

I've been practicing it for the last few weeks

in preparation for this lesson,

so you have to understand it's going to take some practice.


We can't go from this.

(slow piano music)

We can't go from this to this.

(fast piano music)

We can't do that in ten minutes, right?

So you're gonna have to sit down.

Practice this.

And if it does feel way too overwhelming,

if you're like, this is impossible for me,

go to our website and check out the simplified version.


I've created a very basic rendering of this

that would maybe be, like, a grade two

in the piano book grading standards.

So take a look.

The rest of the lesson is at anyway.

I would love to see you there.

If you're on YouTube, give us a comment, a thumbs up.

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We are doing cool things all over the internet.

Again, my name is Dan.

This is, the home of the hybrid piano lesson.

I'll see you for part two.