Popular Music Lesson

Stranger Things Theme

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Welcome back. Today we're gonna learn the
theme music to the hit Netflix series Stranger Things.
Now this one is going to be rather unique.
It's not like other theme songs that have a clear beginning and ending.
Instead, the music kind of slowly emerges and swirls around for a bit and then fades out. So genius.
So today, we're going to show you the main
elements of the music,
and then show you how to improvise your own version of Stranger Things. Let's go to the piano.
These are the notes of the arpeggio we
hear repeating inside the theme music.
It's C E G B and C again.
It's what we
call a C major seven chord
that continuously rolls up and down again and
A regular C major chord would only have the notes C E and G,
but when we add
B, which is the seventh,
that's how we get this really awesome C major seven chord.
Which fingers you use is up to you,
but I'll show you a couple of easy options if you want to use two hands for it.
One, is for the left hand to use
the 5th finger, 3rd finger and thumb on C E and G,
and the right hand on B and C.
You can use either two fingers, 2 and 3 or
1 and 2.
And then it'll sound like this:
Just like that.
Another option would be to use
just one finger on the left hand.
And have these other four for the right hand,
and I use fingers 1 2 4 and 5
on E G B and C,
and that looks like this:
A more advanced way to play it would be
with one hand,
which would then allow your other hand to play bass notes,
or little melodic segments up on top.
Here are some options for using just the
right hand.
One way is to start with 1st finger on the C,
and then 3rd
finger on E, and then thumb coming under
1 2 and 3 on the G B and C.
I'll demonstrate that again.
1 3 1 2 3, and back down, 2 1 3 1
Thumb and thumb.
Another option is starting with finger
2 on C,
and then thumb coming under on E G, 4th finger on B and C
2 1 2 4 5
All these options depend on how big your
hand is and what feels most comfortable for you.
This last one is for bigger hands,
and it's the hardest one,
but it uses all five fingers of the hand,
but that means you don't have to cross the thumb under at all, and I'll show that again.
1 2 3 4 5
Now, if you use this option it's important to know that even if you have small hands you can do this,
but if you
don't have to hold all five notes.
Which is what some people might try to do. So
when you play the first note,
and second note you can just let go
and follow the fingers that are playing.
Just like that.
For left hand, the options are similar.
One is with 5 3 and 1,
and then crossing over with 2 and 1.
Like this:
So your thumb is on G, and C on top.
This works really good for smaller hands.
Another option is doing finger 5, finger 4,
finger 2, and finger 1,
and then crossing over with just the 2 finger on top.
Again, 5 4 2 1 2
Like this:
And again, for big hands you can try all five fingers.
5 4 3 2 1
Like that:
It's a bit of a stretch,
but easily doable.
Personally, I'm
right-handed, so I prefer to use my left on this arpeggio,
so I can save my
dominant hand for the bass notes down below,
and the melodic segments that I
can be more creative with, with my right hand.
The bass line for this theme is
really simple.
It starts on a low E,
and it holds it for 7 beats,
and then 1 beat on the D, stepping down on its way to the C.
that C is held for another 7 beats,
and then a D for 1 beat on its way
back up.
And that pattern just loops again and again throughout the whole song
But, since you're improvising,
you might get really caught up with something
really interesting up here,
and you can just hold that low E,
and do something really cool and just forget about that, and then when you feel like you're done up here,
then you can change to the C,
and in a minute I'll show you how that's
The melodic material is where you can really experiment with your creativity.
Because the underlying harmony consists of C D G and B,
those notes up here are obviously safe to use.
You can also try using D,
and maybe even F-sharp.
And all those can be experimented with and see how you like
When we get started with my improv, you'll see that I will use D quite a lot and also the F-sharp,
along with my core notes C E G and B.
The last thing to mention is what to do with the sustain pedal.
If you
have one, I highly recommend using lots of it.
In normal pieces you'd want to be
careful with how much you ...