Piano improv on The Beatles’ “I’ll Follow The Sun”

Hey Improvisers,

There are two stages to playing songs by The Beatles on piano.

First, we simply get comfortable playing the chords and melody, seeking to emulate the overall feel of the Beatles’ recording.

After a while, though, I’ve found that I want to go deeper. After all, we don’t have John and Paul harmonizing along with us, and often, something seems to be missing. What can we do to bring out the magic of these great songs?

I’ve found that the answer is to personalize the songs. We can bring something of our “own” to the table, whether it’s a gentle, folksy feeling, or an extended improvised vamp a la Keith Jarrett.

That’s exactly what I found myself doing when I made my video of The Beatles’ “I’ll Follow The Sun.”

“I’ll Follow The Sun” is an early classic by the group, and it’s really charming. When I began practicing it for my video, however, I realized that part of the charm came from their vocal harmonizations. Without having John and Paul to sing along with me, my interpretations fell flat at first.

Luckily, I soon realized that I could bring something else to the tune, such as a sparkly pianistic texture and some Keith Jarrett-inspired improvising.

Check it out:

I’ll Follow The Sun

I hope this inspires you to personalize the rock and pop songs you play!


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