10 'Hamilton' Tunes You Can Learn To Play On The Piano In 10 Minutes

10 'Hamilton' Tunes You Can Learn To Play On The Piano In 10 Minutes

And how to use the repetition of musical themes to your advantage.

After watching just one episode of "Westworld" about a month ago, I knew I wanted to learn the show's theme on piano once I got home for the break. Now that I'm on break, though, the theme song has proved a little more difficult than anticipated, so I sat at my keyboard trying to think of another song I've been meaning to learn. This, to the surprise of no one, led me to the many piano melodies in "Hamilton." There were plenty to choose from, and each was fairly easy. My sister and I have never actually taken lessons or learned to play the piano, but we were able to figure out each of the main melodies not too long after looking them up. A good portion of the songs are also connected, so once you know one song, there's a good chance you can figure out another. So, whether you've been playing since you were little or you've never played piano in your life, you'll probably be able to figure out a least one of these melodies not long after sitting down at the keyboard.

1. Burn

This was the first song I decided I wanted to learn, and is quite possibly one of the easiest there is. The first fifteen seconds or so are the melody you're probably most interested in learning, and it's simple enough that it can be played on one hand. The next fifteen seconds are even simpler and can be played with the left hand, and the majority of the song following that is those two pieces on different parts of the keyboard combined with a few chords, so once you know the first thirty seconds, you know the whole song. It gets a little complicated at the bridge, but it's easy to simplify to your own skill level if you need to.

You can find a tutorial for "Burn" on Youtube here.

2. Alexander Hamilton

Like I said, the majority of the musical themes turn up somewhere again in "Hamilton," and the musical's opening number is a perfect example of this. The piano beneath "Alexander Hamilton" is almost exactly the same as the one beneath Eliza's first lines in "Burn." The rest, like "Burn," is just learning the chords that accompany those notes. As the song starts to pick up after Hamilton makes his first appearance, it becomes a bit harder, but the central melody can be picked up pretty quickly, especially after learning "Burn."

You can learn "Alexander Hamilton" here.

3. Dear Theodosia

This was the second song my sister and I went for, mainly because we both love the piano in this song. We were lucky to find that this song is pretty simple, too. Though the tune isn't really repeated elsewhere, the song itself is very repetitive and becomes long chords about halfway through, so it's easy to pick up once you've gotten the hang of those first moments.

Learn "Dear Theodosia" here.

4. Wait For It/Burr's Theme

Every song Burr is featured in, from "Aaron Burr, Sir" to "Non-Stop" to "The World Was Wide Enough," has some variation of his theme in it, so once you've learned one song with it in it, you can play the backing to plenty of other songs on the soundtrack. His theme is especially easy to learn as a part of "Wait For It," since it is all the left hand plays until the chorus. The song as a whole is a little more complicated than the rest, since both hands are engaged in more than just simple chords or single notes, but it's still simple enough that my sister and I were able to learn it quickly.

Learn "Wait For It" and Burr's theme here.

5. One Last Time/Washington's Theme

Washington's theme is another that appears every time the character is featured, and one of the clearest uses of that tune is in "One Last Time." Hamilton and Washington's entire conversation at the beginning of the song is backed by Washington's theme. The rest of the song gets more complicated as the song builds, but knowing Washington's theme will allow you to figure out Washington's appearances in songs like "Right Hand Man" and "Stay Alive."

You can find a tutorial for "One Last Time" here.

6. It's Quiet Uptown

This song is also one of the simplest to learn, since the song's somber tone means it moves a little slower than the others. It picks up and becomes a little bit harder as Hamilton walks with Eliza, but not so much that it is too hard to learn, even for someone without much experience in piano.

You can learn "It's Quiet Uptown" here.

7. Best Of Wives And Best Of Women

"It's Quiet Uptown" returns in an even simpler form in "Best of Wives and Best of Women." All forty-eight seconds of this song are essentially the opening of "It's Quiet Uptown" drawn out into longer notes. When paired with its counterpart, it's probably the easiest to learn out of all of these songs.

Learn "Best Of Wives And Best Of Women" here.

8. Satisfied/Angelica's Theme

Angelica's theme follows her all the way through "The Reynolds Pamphlet," so it's another that can be learned and reused while learning the music of "Hamilton." Her theme is most prominently featured in "Satisfied," where it's repeated over and over throughout the song, broken up mainly by moments of silence and simple chords while Angelica raps.

You can learn "Satisfied" here.

9. Cabinet Battle #1

One of the first piano melodies that I noticed while listening to "Hamilton" for the first time was in the first cabinet meeting, when a rewritten version of "Ten Duel Commandments" is played throughout Jefferson and Hamilton's rap battle. The tune repeats throughout their section until Hamilton is pulled aside by Washington, where Washington's theme takes over. Once the two bars of piano at the start of the song are learned, the rest follows quickly.

Here is the sheet music for "Cabinet Battle #1," arranged by Ali Taylor.

10. Take A Break/Philip's Theme/Ten Duel Commandments

The last song I learned when I got home was "Take A Break," not just because I wanted to learn the piano melody that appears again with Philip in "Blow Us All Away," but because I had already learned a good portion of the music. The beginning of the song is essentially Philip's version of "Ten Duel Commandments," which was easy enough to learn after learning "Cabinet Battle #1," followed by Angelica's theme.

Here is Philip and Eliza's rendition of "Ten Duel Commandments," transcribed by Louisa Tambunan.


The rest of the sheet music for "Take A Break" can be found here.

Selections from "Hamilton" have been released, so if you're better at reading sheet music than you are at trying to keep up with videos, you can find the official sheet music for sale, something I've been meaning to do myself. I'm still going through the music, trying to learn songs like "My Shot" and "Hurricane," so I'm sure there are plenty of other melodies that can be learned just as quickly that I haven't gotten to yet, so if there's a song you want to learn, there's bound to be a tutorial on the internet somewhere. If you happen to find a simple version of the "Westworld" theme for piano while you're searching, please, feel free to let me know.

Cover Image Credit: Hamilton: A Revolution

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We Need to Talk About YouTube

Things are taking a turn for the worse-- and that's not just clickbait

YouTube is a platform that has blown up over the last decade. I remember the days when YouTube consisted mostly of teenage kids making dumb skits or pulling harmless pranks and posting them. Particularly in the last few years, YouTube has become an actual career for many people-- content creators with enough views and subscribers get paid to have advertisements shown on their videos.

YouTube has gone from a mere hobby to a revenue stream and lifestyle. Fitness moguls like Whitney Simmons start entire brands from their channels, and this is not an anomaly. Many famous YouTubers have made serious cash off of merchandise, book deals, and even TV Shows (like Miranda Sings).

Although YouTube can be a great thing (I go on all the time to look at fitness, beauty, health, murder mystery, and conspiracy theories), the things content creators are posting and we as viewers are supporting tells a lot about where our society is headed. There are YouTubers, even ones that I admire and view, that have set up Patreon and the like so their fans can send them money. Part of the problem is Youtube's policies when it comes to which videos are monetized and which are not, but I can't speak much on this. All I know is that other artists who are working towards their career taking off (actors, writers, painters, etc) supplement their incomes with actual jobs, and for YouTubers to think they are above that is ridiculous.

But that is not what this article is about. I used to think the biggest problem about Youtube was that it created self centered people-- people who expect to make a living off of their content, have a camera on them constantly, and post vapid clickbait with catchy titles and cute screencaps. Some of the things that have happened recently show us that the problem is much bigger than that.

You would have to be living under a rock to not have heard about Logan Paul's latest stunt in Japan's Suicide Forest, in which he accidentally captured footage of a man who had very recently ended his own life. After a few seconds of stunned silence, the Paul brother actually laughs at the situation. I'll admit, in times of distress and trauma, our bodies don't always react the way that we want them to-- it is common to laugh at inappropriate times because of nerves or shock. What cannot be attributed to nerves or shock was Logan Paul's decision to edit the footage, keep the man's body in the video, and post it onto his channel. He has since released an insincere apology about the incident, and is receiving backlash from sponsors.

Not only are people outraged about the incident, they are outraged by what little responsibility YouTube is taking for what happened. After being screened (as every video posted to YouTube is) the platform allowed this video to remain on the site's trending page for days before speaking on the matter and taking the video down.

Logan Paul isn't the only YouTuber to royally mess up during his career. Other content creators have been guilty of using racist imagery and language in their videos (PewDiePie), and abusing their children on screen in what they call "pranks."

One of my favorite creators, Shane Dawson, has recently faced some very serious allegations regarding an old podcast he recorded 6 years ago. Another YouTuber edited the podcast and accused Shane Dawson of pedophilia-- a very serious implication considering the stories that have been surfacing recently in Hollywood. Dawson has opened up on his channel in the past about suffering from sexual abuse in his childhood, so he was especially distraught when these rumors started circulating. In an impassioned response, Shane Dawson apologizes for the offensive and "out there" humor and content that used to get him views, pointing towards a very dark and insecure time in his life. He also speaks about how much he has grown and changed as a person and creator, and how he now uses his channel to better himself and help others.

All of this-- posting a video of a deceased man (who probably had a family that was grieving him), showing abusive and horrible pranks played on your own children, and accusing another YouTuber of an unthinkable crime-- it all goes to show how far people will go to get views and have their piece of the YouTube fame. Not only that, but it shows how as viewers, we need to take a long hard look at the creators we are supporting and the content we are viewing.

Cover Image Credit: Wired

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Turning The #MeToo Movement Into Music

Haley and Michaels are taking on the role of musical activists.

The #MeToo Movement has become incredibly powerful. After many women came forward and told their story's, the barriers of silence that surrounded sexual assault began to break. Both men and women then felt more comfortable coming forward and speaking up by using the #MeToo.

Haley and Michaels, a country duo, took their experiences and the pain from others stories and turned it into a song called "Me Too". It's a song that makes the listener feel less alone; that ensures them that their experiences are valid and that speaking up is so incredibly brave. I got to ask them a few questions about the #MeToo movement and about their song. Check out the interview below and stream the song right here.


Question 1: How did you decide to take the #MeToo movement and turn it into a song?

Answer: The best way we know how to express ourselves has always been through writing music. This movement is very inspiring to us and it really affected us emotionally when we started seeing women and men being brave and posting "#MeToo". For us, music has always been healing and we wanted to bring another element of healing to this powerful movement by writing a song.

Question 2: How has the #MeToo movement personally affected the two of you?

Answer: We have both been affected personally by this in different ways, and we have loved ones that have also experienced sexual harassment and assault. But for us, the song isn't specifically about our personal experiences. Our experiences gave us fuel to write it, but the song is about the strong message of unity that the #MeToo movement is spreading. We want this song to be everyone's story, to uplift people and make them feel like they're not alone.

Question 3: Why do you think now is the time to stand up and take a stand against what is going on in the world? How do you plan on contributing to that change?

Answer: We feel that our country and our world is very divided right now. While it is unsettling, we also feel that the divide is partly because people are really starting to openly address major cultural and social issues that need addressing. We feel like people are starting to really talk about the issues that have historically made us as a collective feel very uncomfortable. In history, the only way that change has ever been made is by people taking a stand, insisting on speaking up about what is really going on, and refusing to back down. This is just one of the many issues that needs addressing and there is no time like the present. We have always been inspired by music that does this in one way or another, and the best way that we know how to make an impact is through music. We hope that our song #MeToo can bring not only more awareness to the movement, but also help others feel like they can speak up in their own way too.

Question 4: What does your song “Me Too” mean to you? How do you hope it impacts other people?

Answer: When we were writing this song we knew it was inspired by the issues that the #MeToo movement addresses, but we also felt that it was bigger than just one issue. We wanted this to represent a message of unity and we found ourselves compelled to write it in such a way that anybody who has ever been victimized in any way could relate to it. There are many ways that people have been subjected to the abuse of power and we wanted this song to capture the message that regardless of your experience, you're not alone with your feelings. We hope that regardless of what anybody's story is, people will hear this song and feel like it's written for them. If they could feel for three minutes like they're not on their own, that would be the most gratifying thing for us.

Question 5: As musicians with a platform and a fan base do you personally feel a sense of responsibility to speak up and take a stand on matters such as sexual assault?

Answer: We've always believed that having a voice comes with a responsibility. We personally feel like we want to write about things that we know about in an honest way. When there comes a time to write about an issue that we are passionate about, we feel compelled to put it out there rather than being afraid of it. We believe that music is one of the driving forces of change and if we can be any small part of making a difference with a song, we are honored to have the opportunity.

Question 6: Do you feel that if you have a platform as a musician, actor, public figure, etc. that it is important to use that platform to voice your opinions and ideas? Why or why not?

Answer: We believe in the value of using your voice when you have a platform of people who look up to you listening. However, we think every artist in the public eye has a right to handle these things in the way that feels right to them. Not everybody feels comfortable or compelled to use their platform for their personal opinions and ideas. But if artists feel strongly about certain issues and they feel they can contribute in a positive way, we always respect when they speak up about it because speaking up is an opportunity to inspire other people and create change.

Question 7: You don’t directly mention sexual assault as the cause for the #MeToo movement in your song. Do you feel as though the #MeToo movement is part of something bigger than just one issue?

Answer: While sexual assault is absolutely a part of the #MeToo movement, we also believe that the movement represents more than just one issue. When writing our song, we wanted to focus on the inspiration, the hope, the unity, the strength, and the healing quality that the #MeToo movement represents to us.

Question 8: The music in the 60's was tailored toward political activism and activism in general. Do you feel as though that is where music is headed with the current state of the world?

Answer: We certainly hope so. We've all heard the sayings, "Only love can save us." Or "Only music can save us." We put all of our faith in both. We think the world needs music to help lift us up and unite and we hope the time is now.

Cover Image Credit: Haley and Michaels

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