Rhapsody in Blue Piano Notes: Tutorial and Free Sheet Music
Do you want to learn Rhapsody in Blue on the piano? You’ve come to the right place!
Rhapsody in Blue is a jazz work for piano composed by George Gershwin in 1924.
It is the conductor Paul Whiteman who commissioned the song to the famous composer to make a concerto.
The reception of the work among contemporaries was mixed: some called it bad music, others claimed the genius of its author.
Today, it is one of the most popular jazz songs among pianists. It is not easy to play on the piano and is not recommended for beginners.
However, there are simplified versions that allow you to have a first glimpse of the original song, and it is one of these versions that we will study.
In this article, we will learn how to play Rhapsody in Blue on the piano. We will see the notes to play with the right hand, and then those of the left hand. We will learn in a third time to synchronize the two hands in order to be able to play the song as a whole.
Each explanation will also be enriched with a tutorial video in order to have an audiovisual support to learn more easily.
You will also find the free piano sheet music of Rhapsody in Blue to download in PDF.
At the end of this article, the goal is that you know how to play this famous jazz piano song perfectly. Let’s get started!
Bonus: you can also learn to play this song at your own pace on our piano learning application La Touche Musicale.
Joris, the author of this article, recommends the following resource: Piano tutorials: learn the 10 easiest songs
Learn to play the best jazz songs on the piano
La Touche Musicale app features over 100 songs especially dedicated to the Jazz category, including Rhapsody in Blue in easy version. Connect your piano to your device and learn to play them at your own pace while having fun.
Rhapsody in Blue on piano: finding your way around the keyboard
Before playing Rhapsody in Blue on the piano, let’s review some basics.
Look at the picture below, which shows the location of the musical notes on each key of the piano:
The names of the notes on a piano keyboard.
The image above describes the association between the notes and the keys of the piano keyboard.
You can see that the keyboard is divided into several parts that are repeated identically. Each part is composed of 7 white keys. Once we reach the eighth key, the sequence starts again in the same way and we arrive on a new octave.
To help you find your way, you can use the black keys. They work in groups of two and three, allowing us to know where we are on a piano.
If you are looking for a particular note, use the groups of black keys. For example, if you are looking for the note C, you will first have to identify a group of two black keys. When you have found it, press the white key immediately to the left of the first black key: this is the C.
Practice recognizing the notes on a piano keyboard easily. That way, you’ll have a much easier time playing the notes in Rhapsody in Blue.
Free guide: Piano tutorials: learn the 10 easiest songs to play
Discover our resource dedicated to helping you learn 10 famous and very easy to play piano songs (notes, letters and video tutorials).
Rhapsody in Blue: playing the notes with the right hand
Where to start?
We will start here by identifying the first notes to be played with the right hand.
Place your fingers on the notes C, F and A and press at the same time:
C, F and A are the first notes of the right hand in the song Rhapsody in Blue on piano.
The notes of the right hand
Did you find the C, F and A grades? Great! Now you will have to play all the following notes with your right hand. Press these keys in succession [Note: when several notes are to be played at the same time, we have linked them with the “+” symbol] :
C+F+A – C+G+A# – F+A+C – A+C – A+D – A+C+E – A+C+F – B+E+G – E – D# – D – E – D# – D – E – D# – D – E – E+G# – D – E – D# – D – E – D# – D – E – D# – D+A – E – D# – D – E – D# – D – E – D# – D – C+F+A – C+G+A# – F+A+C – A+C – A+D – A+C+E – A+C+F – G+A# – F# – F – G – F# – F – G – F# – F – G – F# – F – G – F#+C – F – G – F# – F – G – F# – F – G – F# – F+A#+D – C+E – A#+D+F – D+F – E – D – C#+F – C#+F+G – D+F+A – D+F+A#.
Play all these notes in sequence to get the melody of the song Rhapsody in Blue on the piano, performed with the right hand.
Play this sequence of notes over and over again so that you know it by heart.
Rhapsody in Blue on piano: the notes of the right hand.
Watch this tutorial video to familiarize yourself with the location of each note to be played with the right hand in real time. You can also use it to keep track of the tempo of the song and the duration of each note.
[Note: you must remain pressed on the key while the note is on it on the virtual piano]:
Video tutorial of the notes to play with the right hand for the song Rhapsody in Blue.
Rhapsody in Blue: playing the notes with the left hand
Where to start?
We will proceed here in the same way as for the right hand and start by identifying the first note to be played by the left hand.
Press the notes F and C simultaneously:
F and C are the first notes of the left hand in the song Rhapsody in Blue.
The notes of the left hand
Once you have found the F and C notes, you must play all the following notes.
Press these notes in succession:
F+C – A# – C – C+F – A – D+F – E – F – G+F – C+A# – F+C – F+A – A# – C – C+F – A – D+F – E – D#+F – D+A# – A+F# – G+F – A+E – A#+F – F+A# – A# – G – A – A#.
By playing this sequence of notes one after the other, you will get the full accompaniment of the song Rhapsody in Blue on piano, performed with the left hand.
The left hand is very important since it is the accompaniment, that is to say, it provides the rhythm and accompanies the melody, usually played with the right hand.
Repeat this succession of notes in a loop to know it by heart.
Rhapsody in Blue on piano: the notes of the left hand.
Watch this tutorial video that shows you all the notes to play with your left hand.
Use it to respect the duration of the notes and the tempo of the song.
Video tutorial of the left hand notes for the song Rhapsody in Blue.
You can now play the right and left hands of Rhapsody in Blue on the piano.
But it’s not over yet.
To get to know the song completely, you need to know how to play it with both hands at the same time.
Rhapsody in Blue on piano: play the whole song with both hands
Difficulty : the dissociation of the two hands
Hand dissociation is the ability to play both hands at the same time on the piano.
It is not an easy exercise, especially for beginners. Our brain is not used to perform such precise gestures as placing the fingers simultaneously on the piano keyboard.
Before playing Rhapsody in Blue, we will first discuss some techniques and tricks to be able to play both but at the same time on the piano.
Methods, tips and techniques
Start by playing the right hand notes first, then the left.
Working through these sequences sequentially is preparatory work that will allow you to become familiar with the rhythm and the different sequences of the two hands.
It is this preparatory technique that we have decided to adopt in this tutorial dedicated to learning Rhapsody in Blue on the piano.
Once you have played the two hands separately, you will have to synchronize them to play the whole song.
Start by choosing short parts of the song. For example, choose the first 5 or 10 seconds and play this sequence in a loop with both hands at the same time. Go slowly at first and gradually increase the tempo until you reach the original tempo of the song you are working on.
Once you have mastered this sequence, move on to the next one (the next 5-10 seconds) and repeat the same exercise. When you feel comfortable with this second sequence, play the first two in a row.
This work is essential when you start playing the piano. It will allow your brain to progressively process the information received and you will learn the notes, the rhythm and the sequences much faster than if you work at once.
Note: At La Touche Musicale, we name this technique the “learning loop”. Noticing its effectiveness on piano learning, we decided to integrate a feature into our online piano learning app that allows you to loop any part of the song and learn it in a few hours.
Rhapsody in Blue on the piano: the notes of both hands.
This last video shows you all the notes of the song Rhapsody in Blue to play with both hands on the piano.
Concentrate on synchronizing each hand to play the song at the perfect tempo.
If the video is too fast, you can pause it to give yourself time to get your fingers in the right place on the piano keyboard.
Note: on La Touche Musicale app, you don’t need to pause the song. The application waits for you until you play the right note.
Video tutorial to play the notes of both hands of the song Rhapsody in Blue on the piano.
Congratulations! You can now play this famous jazz song on the piano.
If you liked this tutorial, you’ll also enjoy our similar articles about learning famous piano songs:
Download the free piano sheet music of the song Rhapsody in Blue in PDF
You can find the piano score of Rhapsody in Blue quite easily on the internet. But be careful that it is an easy version, because it is this type of version that we have made you learn in this tutorial article.
To make your search easier, we thought it would be interesting to offer you the free piano sheet music of Rhapsody in Blue to download in PDF format.
This way, you can print it out and play this famous jazz song anywhere and anytime.
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