Today I am going to teach you how to play Linus and Lucy on the piano. This song is better known as the Charlie Brown theme song. The song has three main parts. It can be a little tricky at first, but I'm going to break it down into sections. If you practice each section until you have it down, you will be able to put it all together with a little practice.
For the first part of the Charlie Brown theme song, let's focus on what the left hand does. Start on the A flat with your pinky finger. Hit the E flat with your second finger, then come down and hit the next A flat with your thumb. In the actual song you are going to play that pattern twice before switching it up a little. For now play it over and over until you get the rhythm right. Linus and Lucy isn't played straight, it has a swing feel to it. Listen to me play on the video and you'll pick up the rhythm in no time. Once you've got the rhythm down we can move and and learn the rest of the phrase. After you play the first part twice, the pattern shifts just a little. This time play the first A flat and the E flat as you have been, but finish on the F with your thumb instead of the A flat. Play that pattern twice as well.
In the actual song, you are going to play that whole section twice. So it's the pattern ending on A flat twice, the pattern ending on F twice, back to the pattern ending on A flat twice, and back again to the pattern ending on F twice. From there the song shifts again. It's the exact same pattern, just a minor third up. Now you are going to play B flat to E flat, with your thumb coming down on the A flat. Play that twice, and go back to the beginning. If you are at all confused, the video should clear things up.
Now let's look at the right hand. For this part of Linus and Lucy, the right hand is playing two notes at once. The first set of two notes is C and A flat. The next two are E flat and B flat. The last two are A flat and the C above it. Each of these two note patterns gets played once, as though you were playing a single note melody. For simplicity I am going to give you the melody using only the fist note. Remember when actually playing to use the note that goes along with it as well. The first part goes like this: C E A A E C E C. The second part of the melody is the same, just cut short: C E A A . After that the first part is repeated before the song changes up a little. Listen to me play for the timing.
I want to touch briefly on the fingering for the right hand part. If you have large enough hands, the ideal fingering is to play the first C with your thumb, the E flat with your second finger, the A flat with your third finger, B flat with your fourth finger, and C octave with your pinky. If your hands are not big enough to play that way you'll have to move your hand over while playing. For this way, play the C with your thumb, the E flat with your second finger, the A flat with your fourth finger and the B flat with your pinky. For the shift up to the C octave, play the A flat with your third finger and the C with your pinky.
Now let's talk about what the right hand does when the left hand moves to the B flat. When this happens the right hand is going to play B and A flat together followed by E flat and B flat together, then E flat and B flat again. When the left hand goes back to A flat, the right hand plays C and A flat together followed again by E flat and B flat played together twice.
Well, that's it for now. In the next lesson I'll show you how to put the two hands together to play what you have learned so far and teach you the rest of the Charlie Brown theme song.
Watch part 2 of The Charlie Brown Theme Song.