Popular Music Lesson

Addams Family Theme Song

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Today we're going to be learning an
excerpt from "The Addams Family Theme".
There's a link below for the sheet music
in the description,
but for this video we're just going to be learning the
right-hand part, the melody.
There are some really cool things in this melody
that will be helpful to point out.
One of those is the triplet.
The opening to the
theme starts with triplet eighth notes.
As you can hear, all three of these eighth notes
will fit equally into the span of a single beat.
So if the beats
are like this: you'll hear TRI-PL-ET
1 2 3 All three of those in 1 beat.
So these first groups of notes
are all triplets ascending up like this:
TRI-PL-ET Like that.
Let's start with our thumb on G.
All these groups of notes
ascend up four notes.
We are going to start with our thumb on G and go up to C.
G up to C.
Just like that, real quick. Again,
G up to C.
The next one starts with A and
goes up to D, and it includes this C-sharp.
So we're going to play this one
like this:
A up to D.
So what you should do is be able to practice these two
groups: G up to C,
and A up to D
with that C-sharp.
Go ahead and pause the video and
practice those two groups on your own.
Great! Now let's figure out the rhythm
for this intro.
It starts with an upbeat.
So the first downbeat is not the G it's
actually the C.
So, for counting our beats it goes:
Beat 1 2 3, beat 1 2 3,
beat 1 2 3 4, 1
Like that.
Now, in these rests you can snap,
you can tap, you can clap, whatever you want. I'm
going to snap like they do in the movie.
So, let me try this again with the snaps on
those rests between the first groups.
So here I go. 1 2 3
Just like that.
Let's do it together slow.
I'm going to start again on G at the beginning,
and I'm going to speak out loud the rhythms and the snaps.
Together, 1 2 3
G up to C, snap, snap,
A up to D, snap, snap,
A up to D, A up to D, G up to C, snap, snap.
And that's it.
Now we're ready for the main part of the theme.
Now, this main part
starts with another upbeat.
A really small one, again on G,
and instead of
going all the notes to C, it just starts from G to C.
But before we get
much further, we need to talk about the rhythm.
The rhythm on the sheet music is
all eighth notes, or mostly eighth notes.
But it's not traditional eighth notes
that go: TI-TI TI-TI TI-TI, like that.
It's a swing rhythm, or
sometimes called a shuffle.
So it kind of wobbles back and forth with a long-short,
long-short, long-short, long-short, like that.
So this first note is actually the short
going to the long because it's the last
note before the downbeat.
So this long-short, long-short, long-short,
long-short, it's going to go:
long-short, long, to the downbeat.
Short-long. Good.
what's next is this descending arpeggio from E,
skipping all the way down to F
See how it just skips a note each one.
So after that C,
I'm going to do that 4th
finger again on C like we did in the intro.
And then I'm going to do all these
skips going down. E C A and F.
And I'm going to use that swing rhythm so it'll
sound like this:
See that? Let's try that again real slow. Ready, go.
And don't forget that swing rhythm. One
more time,
ready go, short-long, short-long, short-long.
The other cool thing about this melody is the syncopations.
A syncopation is when there is a strong
beat, but not on the beat. You feel it,
but it's somewhere between the beats that
are normally on beats 1 2 3 or 4.
And this happens right after that arpeggio.
So after I get down to the bottom of the arpeggio, I'm going to bounce way up to D,
and that's going to be a strong note, but it's going to be in the middle of beat 3, like this:
& 1-& 2-& 3-& and it's going to beat
real strong on that D.
Let's do that part again from the beginning of that part
starting on G.
& 1-& 2-& 3-&
So use our pinky on that D. It's a sixth away
from the bottom of that arpeggio.
Again, starting on G with our thumb.
3 4-& 1-& 2-& 3, like that.
And that quarter note we're going to hold extra long,
and then we're going to start again the next pattern on this A-sharp.
It's going to sound a lot
like that first group,
but starting here, that's our pick up from A-sharp to B.
So, now the downbeat would go 3 4-& 1.
And then it's the exact same shape as before,
except one step down.
So the arpeggio is going to start on the D,
and skip down from B to G to E.
So I'll do that second group real slow starting
on that A-sharp with the pick up.
3 4-& 1-& 2-& 3
Like that, again A-sharp. Don't
forget the swing rhythm.
3 4-& 1-& 2-& 3
And just like the first group that had that
up to the D,
this one has another syncopation
up to C.
So again
that second group from A-sharp
goes like this: 3 4-& 1-& 2-& 3
with that big strong note leaping up.
So let's do those first two groups together,
and then I'll
let you pause it so you can practice it on your own.
From the G, remember we're
starting with the pickup so 1 2 3 4
& 1-& 2-& 3 4
& 1-& 2-& 3 4
Go ahead and pause the
video, and practice that on your own.
Great, now let's do the second half of
this melody.
This one starts the same way the first one did,
but now instead of
doing the A-sharp to B, we're going from C to B,
and we can just stay in the same
position where we ended up in,
which was with our pinkie, our 5 finger, on D.
See, we ended the arpeggio and the syncopation right here.
So with that pinkie on D we can use our 4th finger on C,
and the 3rd finger on B,
and then from thumb up to C.
Agian, that ending is starting on C
And you'll notice I did that swing rhythm. We're going to do that every time in this song.
So the second half does that same pickup.
G C, arpeggio down, and then D
and then C B G A B C
So play with me. I'm going to start at the beginning of the main theme
from that G C and the arpeggio.
Okay, ready?
A 1 2 3 4
Again, C
and the ending G up to C, and then repeat.
Syncopation, A-sharp, D, to the C,
and then ending.
And then at this point we go
straight back into that intro with the triplets.
And that'll go straight in without any rests or beats.
So that last part,
and we do that whole intro again.
And then, after that we do the same
melody as before, but we cut it short. Watch this:
We start with that G to
C, and the arpeggio going down,
and the same A-sharp to B,
and then again that C, arpeggio down
and it's the same notes before, but instead of being these swing eights, it's going to do quarter notes.
And that's it.
At first glance, this song looks really complicated. It leaps really high up and down there's not a lot of steps,
but it's just the same things happening again and again.
it has these pickups like this,
or like this.
It has these same arpeggios
skipping down like this, or like this,
and then it has that that climbing up to C
kind of like the beginning.
And that's about it.
So, now it's about putting all
those different pieces together
so you can combine them all to make the whole song.
Now there will probably be some questions about that arpeggio, which fingers to use.
It can be a big spread for some smaller hands, so I
recommend 5th finger, 4th finger,
2nd finger, and thumb.
Some people will try to use their 3rd finger because it's usually a stronger finger, and that's okay too,
but I think this usually fits most hands
pretty easy.
You'll see when I use my 3rd finger it actually stretches my finger
a little bit and that's actually not as easy for me.
So try what's best
for you. I recommend this fingering.
Let's try the whole song together.
I'll count
to 3, and then our first triplet starts on beat 4,
which is that pickup
into the first real downbeat. Ready?
1 2 3
2 3
2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Here's the end with quarter notes.
That's it.
Thanks for learning the "Addams Family" theme song with me. It's been fun!
We'll see you next ti--oh, hey!
Oh yeah, oh yea. Be sure to like and subscribe
below, and we'll see you next time.
Bye bye.