Want to Learn Despacito? Learn it and You'll Know 100s of Other Songs Too!

pop songs scales Dec 08, 2017

With Despacito having become the watched Youtube video ever, I thought it would be cool to show you how if you learn Despacito, then you can play and sing 100s of other songs at the same time, let me explain.  

First: The Chords

Despacito is a very simple song that only uses 4 chords that repeat for the entirety of the song.  They are

Bm  G  D  A

This puts the song in the key of D Major. (B minor)

D Em F#m G A Bm C#dim D

If  we were to give them numbers, D=1, E=2, etc. Then the song becomes

vi IV I V

Knowing that, you can play the song in any key, pick a major scale, and just play those particular chords, then you can play the song in that place, higher or lower from the original.  Example:

Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb Cm Ddim Eb      This becomes

Cm Ab Eb Bb

Other Songs

Knowing that Despacito has a vi IV I V chords progression means that you can sing the melodies of other songs that have the same chord progression over it.  You can play the same chords, and sing 100s of other songs.  Here's just a few examples, there are many others.  

Million Reasons - Lady Gaga
Apologize - One Republic
Drive By - Train
Hello - Adele
Stronger - Kelly Clarkson
Stereo Hearts- Gym Class Heroes
The Scientist - Coldplay
Skyscraper - Demi Lovato
Say Something - Great Big World
Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
Paradise - Coldplay
Not Afraid - Eminem
Just a Dream - Nelly
Holiday - Green Day
Brighter Than the Sun - Colbie Caillat
Africa - Toto

But the Chords are different?

Most songs will follow the notes of the major scale.  There are only 12 major scales.  Since Despacito uses the D major scale, you simply move the chords to those of this scale.  This means that you'll have to sing the melody lower or higher in order for it to be sung in D major.  Example

Million Reasons is in C major.  Thus when you look it up, it will most likely have the following chords.  

Am F C G

In order to sing the notes correctly, you simply move them up a whole step (2).  so if the melody uses the notes A G E G E (I bow down to prey), then the new notes at the piano would be B A F# A F# (all are 1 whole step lower).  

It's very easy to do this when singing the notes. Finding the melody at the piano requires you to just know which notes of the major scale it is, thus it's always best to think of songs in terms of intervals and numbers rather than specific notes and chords.  

For Example, if the melody A G E G E in the key of C major, that doesn't tell you all that much, but from that, if you know the melody is 6 5 3 5 3, then you know you can just play those notes from any major scale to play the song in ANY key on the piano.  

And that's pretty cool.

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