Popular Music Lesson

Super Mario Overworld Theme Song

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It's-a-me, Matt! here with Hoffman Academy
to teach you an easy arrangement of the
"Super Mario Brothers Overworld Theme".
Let's get playing.
You'll notice right off the bat that this song is in 4/4
time. We're going to be using a lot of
eighth notes and eighth note rests, which
will make the rhythm a little more
complicated, but that's okay. We're going
to count through it and make sure that
we know exactly where each note is
As for position, we're going to use two positions mainly.
Some people
refer to these positions as butterfly positions
because our thumbs are going
to be right next to each other
rather than playing the same notes at
the same time.
For this first position I'm going to put my right hand in a C major pentascale
with my thumb on C,
and my pinky on G,
and my left hand will be
right below it with my thumb on the B
below my right hand C, extending all the
way down to an E and my left pinky.
For the second position of the song, you'll
notice that it's another butterfly position
just one note higher than the
first one,
with our right hand still on white notes but starting on D,
going up to A and our left hand,
with our thumb on C and our pinky on F.
Let's start at the
beginning in our first position.
With our right hand thumb on C and our left hand
thumb on B.
Let me play the section for you first, and then we'll dive into it.
In our right hand we're using the notes
of a C major arpeggio DO MI and SO.
For this first rhythm I'm going to count it
like this: instead of counting, 1 2 3 4
I'm going to count 1-& 2-& 3-& 4.
That way I can feel where the eighth notes are supposed to land.
This one's going to land on 1-& 2-&.
I'm going to repeat the section a few times so that you can really feel
that eighth note rest on beat 2.
1-& 2-&
Take it nice and slow and repeat it over and over again
until the rhythm is nice and smooth. Taking it from a slow tempo like this,
1-& 2-&, to how it's felt in the song,
Two fast notes, a short break, and then the same
note again.
With these first three notes, rhythm is key
so it's important to get lots of repetition based practicing.
Make sure that you play and say the rhythm
out loud to yourself either through
TI-TI rest TI, or through counting, 1-& 2-&
Repeat this several times on your own
until you have the rhythm nice and
smooth and can play it without pausing.
Go ahead, give it a try.
I'm gonna add two more notes to this
Here's how the counting for this works.
We're going to say beat 3, but
not play anything just like we did for beat 2.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
If we can get this rhythm, then the rest
of the song won't be so hard. This is
probably the hardest syncopated rhythm
that we have in the entire song.
Syncopation is when we have rhythms that don't line up with the beat in a natural way.
Typically this will look like rhythms landing on off beats,
or landing
on down beats but then maybe immediately
landing on off beats after or before. The
rhythm will feel
off-kilter or unresolved. I'm going to play the entire
first measure now of this song with counting.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
You probably noticed that I didn't play
any notes on count 2 and 3.
You could even say it out loud like this:
1-& rest & rest & 4
Whatever helps
you not play any notes on beat 2 and 3.
That's the key to getting this
sort of off-kilter rhythm.
Listen to it one more time without counting.
Here's with counting again.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
If you have trouble with
this rhythm, go back to the first part
where we just cover the first half of
the rhythm, where we were only playing
three notes. 1-& 2-&
the next measure is much more simple.
We're going to start with our right hand G and our
rest for a quarter note,
and then play our left hand G on count 3 like this:
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
Now that we have the first two
measures learned, let's put them together
Because the first measure is so much
faster, it's a good idea to count through
both measures so that you really feel
how long that rest in the second measure is.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1 2 3 4
One more time. Count with me this time.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1 2 3 4
If it helps you to keep counting these subdivisions, the
'& counts',
feel free to do so. That won't change how you play the song.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
Let's take a look at
the next measure.
I'm going to play it for you once, and then we'll dive into it.
Sounds simple right?
The rhythm here is tricky again because we have a note that lands in between our beats again.
Here it
is with counting so that you can hear it very clearly.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
This middle note's going to land in
between count 2 and 3
on the & count of 2. Let me clap it for you once.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
Here it is again with counting:
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
Because the middle note's so tricky,
it's a good idea to just play
the first two notes a few times in a row,
and then add the third one in when you
feel really comfortable like this:
1-& 2-&
1-& 2-&
Go ahead,
practice that on your own for a little bit.
Let's add in that final note.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
We'll loop this a few times in a row.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
Let's dig into the next measure.
There's going to be some tricky rhythms, but beforewe dig into those,
let's look at the very
last note of this measure.
We have a flat, which means instead of playing A, we'll
be playing A-flat,
The note directly below it, with our 3rd finger as is
Here are the three notes we'll be using.
A B A, and then with our 3rd
finger, A-flat.
The rhythms are mostly going to land in between the beats again
just like we've been seeing previously in the song.
Here's how it sounds once.
With counting you'll notice that we
don't start on beat 1.
We start after beat 1 like this:
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
Basically, we'll be landing on all of the in-between beats, the off beats,
and then landing on beat 4
with our middle finger A-flat note. Listen one more time.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
Just like before, it's really helpful to
start adding these notes in one at a time.
starting with just the first one, 1-&,
1-&, add a note
1-& 2-&
1-& 2-&
the next note, 1-& 2-& 3-&,
and then finally
when you're ready, the fourth note on beat 4.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
Let's put these two measures together,
measures three and four with counting. Ready go,
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
One more time.
1 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
Go ahead and practice this section until it feels comfortable,
then press play when you're ready to move on.
Great, we have half of the song finished.
Let's take a look at our first ending.
In this song we have a repeated section
with two different endings,
which means we'll start at measure three,
go to measure 4,
and then take the first ending.
The two measures 5 and 6 that are contained
within our first ending.
After we play that,
we would take the repeat back to
measure three and play measure three and four
instead of playing the first ending, we
would then jump to the second ending
and finish the entire tune.
Let's jump to the
first ending and check out this portion of the song.
Before we ended with our
3rd finger on A-flat, which means now
in order to play this G, it's going to be
most comfortable to play it with our 4th finger.
I like to think about it like this,
after we play this middle finger A-flat,
let's move our position up to the second position we talked about at the beginning of the video.
This position with our right thumb on D and our left thumb on C.
Now we can take care
of all of the notes in the right hand and the left hand,
without having to do
any sort of finger stretching.
Here's what the next measure sounds like:
and here it is with counting:
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
This one's got some tricky rests in there.
Make sure you don't play any notes on beat 2,
or on the & of 3.
Let's break this down with just the first two notes,
and then we'll add
another note when we feel comfortable.
Sometimes it's useful to just say count 2 and experience not playing anything while you say 2.
1-& 2
1-& 2
Great let's add a note, 1-& 2-&
1-& 2-&
one more note 1-& 2-& 3
Now we're
landing right on count 3
1-& 2-& 3
One last time,
1-& 2-& 3
we'll jump back in on beat 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
Finally we'll add one last eighth note
on the & of 4.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
Go ahead and practice this
until it feels really comfortable before
moving on to the next measure.
With our final measure of the first
we're going to start on the & of 1 just like we did for measure four.
get comfortable with feeling
the first eighth note rest on beat 1.
it's really key that we not jump in too early on beat 1.
At this
point, I'd like to move back down to our
first position so that we can take care
of the rest of the notes like this:
1-& 2-&
1-& 2-&
We'll be finding middle C on the & of 2 there
1-& 2-&
Let's add one more note
on beat 3, D.
1-& 2-& 3
1-& 2-& 3
We can grab our
final note of this ending with our left thumb, the B.
Check it out:
1-& 2-& 3-&
These three notes instead of all being on off beats like we've heard before,
are going to be our first set of three eighth notes all right next to
each other
so they'll go by pretty quick like this:
Breaking that down one more
time, 1-& 2-& 3-& 4
One more time 1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
Great, once we're feeling comfortable, we can
take the repeat back to measure three.
What's awesome about the first ending
is that now that we've moved back to our first position,
we're already primed to play measure three again, just like we did before.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
Great, now we're
ready to tackle the second ending.
Even though we're going to play this G with our
4th finger,
we can keep our right hand exactly where it is.
It's already primed
to play the rest of the song.
Here's what the first measure of the second ending
sounds like:
Here it is with counting:
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
You'll notice that this was the same rhythm that we used
in the first measure of the first
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
Just like we did before,
try counting on beat 2, but not playing anything so that you feel the rest.
1-& 2
1-& 2
Here's another note:
1-& 2-&
1-& 2-&
Let's add another note.
1-& 2-& 3
1-& 2-& 3
Let's add our final two notes on beat
4 and the & of 4.
1-& 2-& 3 4-&
1-& 2-& 3 4-&
This brings us to our final measure.
Maybe the easiest measure of the whole
We'll play C on beat 1,
and then our left hand will move down to grab
a low C on beat 3, like this:
1 2 3
Here it is tied together with the
first measure of the second ending.
1-& 2-& 3 4-&, 1 2 3
Practice that until it's smooth and then try putting the entire song together.
Great, now that we have the whole thing
let's try putting all of the measures together.
I'll play it once with counting, and then I'll try playing it once without counting.
If you'd like a real challenge, when you hear the section without counting,
try counting along on your own and seeing if you can match up all of your notes with mine.
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4
1-& 2-& 3-& 4-&
1-& 2-& 3
Here it is one more time without counting:
And here it is up to speed:
Nice job, that's gold-star worthy!
Oh-oh-oh-oh and
that's it for this video!
Make sure that you subscribe to our channel so that you
can check out more videos like this one.
Happy playing!
All I have to do to rescue Princess is
jump under this giant fire-breathing dragon!
What? Chef! You?
Sorry, our Princess is in another castle.