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.
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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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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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It Is Pointless To Pity The Homeless

Guilt is the silent killer of political action.

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Two summers ago, when I was an intern at The Father McKenna Center in Washington DC, I met Jason, who was homeless. I had just finished closing the shelter's computer lab for the evening, and the attendees of the AA meeting in the shelter's cafeteria had started to say their goodbyes and disperse until next week. As I was leaving to take the subway home, and as he was leaving to walk back to his encampment, wherever it may have been, Jason and I converged with each other at the front door of the shelter, and we introduced ourselves to each other.

Jason had two children, aged four and six, both of whom were protected from him under custody by his former wife. She had made the decision to divorce him because of his drug use, which posed a danger to the couple's children. (Jason did not hesitate to admit to this.) Shortly after the separation from his family, he became homeless. He had a high school degree and some former experience doing construction work. Aged into his mid 30's with minimal employment, Jason had been struggling to find a job for years.

As we walked, he told me about his kids, and how sometimes he hears about them during occasional phone calls with his wife. For a moment, he turned his head to look at me in my eyes, and he quietly told me about how proud he was of his daughters for completing the first and third grades of elementary school.

If you are homeless, it takes an immense amount of courage to make the commitment to go to a homeless shelter. I believe that the one thing that most people struggle with, homeless or not, is the challenge of confronting one's own demons. Jason had demons, luggage, regrets, and so on - I had those too. Jason had first stepped at The Father McKenna Center shortly before I began my internship. As I performed the duties of my internship, Jason and I, together, experienced a great turbulence in our individual missions to confront our demons; and with that turbulence came sobriety. Not relief or improvement, but sobriety. True self-improvement is a year-long commitment, but self-awareness is a skill which can be utilized at any time.

Jason and I spoke several times throughout my internship. One of the last interactions I had with his before I completed my term happened again at the front entrance of the shelter. He told me that after years of searching, he had found the initiative to apply for a job. "Even though she and I needed to go our own ways," he said, "I still want to show my wife that I care about her. We're not married, but I still want to provide for her and the kids. I don't know how they feel about me, but I want to show my daughters that I am still their father, and that I love them."

When I started my internship at the shelter, I genuinely believed that I would come out of it depressed and disillusioned. But I learned to look beyond the misfortune and suffering, and with that perspective, I started to find more and more inspiration in the facets of life by which I had previously felt discouraged and depressed. I have not seen Jason in two summers, but I think about him every day, for strength.

Say, for instance, that you start to feel as though the daily grind of your summer job is starting to become too monotonous. Us undergrads are tirelessly told by our advisors that the best possible use of our time during the summer, outside of college and other than working for pay, is time spent volunteering and building up our resumes. After some online research and phone calls, you break down your volunteering options to three different nonprofit organizations in your area: Your first option is to spend 3-5 hours once a week helping a local community center care for its flower garden, fresh herb greenhouse, and wildlife sanctuary. Your second option is to spend Tuesday and Thursday evenings bathing, petting, and reading storybooks to all the dogs and cats at a nonprofit rescue shelter. Your third option is to spend 5 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at an inner-city homeless shelter and rehabilitation center for men who have been recently released from prison.

This where the conflict begins. Deep inside, you know that volunteering at the men's shelter is, in your opinion, the most valuable kind of work you can do. Human beings require more attention than plants and pets. Humans beings need to be kind to each other, and so, you may want to volunteer at the shelter.

The problem is certainly not that nobody wants to volunteer at homeless shelters. I consider myself an optimist, and I still think that the majority of people living in the United States wish to care for and support each other. The true problem is that even when a good-minded, empathetic, caring person wants to offer their kindness to the homeless, there are layers upon layers of illusions, false impressions, misconceptions, misunderstandings, and (most importantly), miscommunications which prevent them from doing so. What must truly be addressed is not how much attention is being paid to homelessness, but how attention is paid. There are many kinds of layers of illusion; the majority of them are certainly racial illusion. A vast number are economic. Others, however, are emotional. A lot are just flat-out moral as well.

The growing epidemic of homelessness, as an affliction, is the product of political injustice, racist systems, and greed. But the homeless lifestyle itself, however, is not political in nature. Homeless people are not statistics in a study, neither are they variables in a social equation. Homelessness is a daily struggle for a human life, and those who are homeless suffer. They are as emotional and as sentient as the well-off office workers who pelt them with quarters as though they're fountains.

Understanding homelessness is especially hard for people on the polar opposite side of the social/economic spectrum from the homeless. It is somehow harder for a wealthy and educated person to understand homelessness than it is for someone from lower-class origins to do so. As I said before, I genuinely believe that the vast majority of people on this Earth have the moral initiative to help those less fortunate - but this initiative is excessively overridden by the reflexive tendency most people have to compare and juxtapose themselves. This act of reflexive juxtaposition is what scares most people away from homeless shelters.

Call it what you want - "juxtaposition" is not the only word one can use to describe this feeling. Some people might call themselves "overqualified." From a political perspective, some have referred to it as "white guilt." Regardless of what you call it, it is reflexive. Homeless people, just upon sight, are registered with labels and false truths. The visceral, instinctive reaction to a homeless person is "Look forward, walk firm, and don't make eye contact." This is what needs to change.

In western society, people who grow up privileged - with parents, shelter, an education, and relationships - are subconsciously taught, unintentionally encouraged, and silently conditioned by the people around them to treat the homeless with, above all else, pity. The etiquette of reacting to a homeless person suggests something of a "passive melancholy." Like I mentioned before, under this mannerism of avoidant sorrow, homelessness is not a condition of life. It is a political symbol. The stumbling beggar in the subway and the raggedy busker on the street corner are effectively dehumanized by default; as long as they are evidently homeless, their role in the social dynamic of these public places is automatically different from yours and mine. The status of homelessness completely nullifies - no, prevents - a person's worthiness and rightful entitlement to human attribution, and without mercy, they are turned into something which is not human: a figure which is nothing but a representation of itself.

After years of riding the bus and subway, I have become aware of several different categories in which the people around me fit; I see the day laborers, who are categorized by being older men, clad in paint-stained construction pants, functioning in close-knit groups of six or seven. I see the government employees, who are categorized by the loudness of their gazes of exhaustion, directionless and unfixed, garbed in outdated albeit notably well-fitted suits, bland floral blouses, sky-blue button downs, the incredible pant suits, and khakis, and khakis, and khakis. I see the college-aged summertime interns running coffee for politicians who never remember their names, and they, too, are categorized; specifically by their calculated movements, blatantly artificial exteriors, and the endearing aura of simultaneous youthful naivety and capitalistic millennial-themed ambition (they also act like they know where they're going, when really, they don't, but they never stop to ask for directions). I see the mothers, the trust-fund white kids from Gonzaga, the beatniks from Howard, the Reagan-bound luggage-bearing vagabonds, the punks, the academics, the racists, the anarchists, the activists, the drunks, the wandering, the sleeping, and of course, the emblematic tourists in their MAGA hats, graphic tees, and jorts.

What kind of a response is demanded of those who choose to protect the weak? How are the wounded addressed by the healers? How should I talk to someone who suffers? The photographers, the journalists, and the volunteers cannot hope to rile a revolution alone. Neither can the teachers hope to raise a generation freed from toxicity alone, nor can the young politicians on the Hill hope to deliver their country to safety and stability alone. The problem of homelessness can be addressed, as can it be confronted, observed, studied, and journalized. Don't get me wrong, though - this type of action is deeply important: The awareness of a problem creates an opportunity for its solution. But the raising of awareness is not enough. The confrontation of our reality is not enough. To take the first step beyond awareness is to give attention to those who are in need of it; to attend to the weak and the wounded, and to act for their protection and their healing. In the words of the French revolutionary Simone Weil: "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."


Song suggestion: LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

Cover Image Credit:

Paul J. RIchards/Getty Images

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