Play Piano 15: Improvise You Light Up My Life by Ear Chords
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Play Piano 15: Improvise You Light Up My Life by Ear Chords

Apply 2-5 Power Jazzy chords into the song. Learn to improvise beginning with C Key and escalate to G Key chords by Ear
5.0 (4 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,021 students enrolled
Created by Rosa Suen
Last updated 12/2016
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 21 Articles
  • 19 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • IMPROVISE over chord progression with ease
  • DO VOICING to create beautiful bass line movement
  • IDENTIFY basic chord progression to the song
  • DRESS UP the music of a song to make it sound mature
  • CREATE beautiful mood to the song by adding the right chords
  • PLAY 2-5 Power chords at ease with smooth voicing
  • KNOW where the song requires chord change
  • MODULATE from one key to the next with smooth transition
  • PLAY impromptu on chord progression
  • IMPROVE piano playing by understanding chord reharmonization
  • CREATE b9 Jazzy Cocktail sounds easily
View Curriculum
  • Students need to have some understanding of chords

Play Piano 15:  Play Popular Songs By Ear Using Chord Progression!  Improvise & Put 2-5 Power Chords to "You Light Up My Life"  + WORKBOOKS

I have developed this Amazing 2-5 Power Chord Reharmonization Method to help you gain success to playing your favorite standards.


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Course Updated: Nov 1, 2016


 2-5 Power Chords are found in many standards and popular movie themes.  They make rich full sounds that will captivate your audience wanting more.

"You Light Up My Life" is ballad written by Joe Brooks.  The song became the most successful single of the 1970s and set a new hot 100 record for the longest reign at No. 1

In this song "You Light Up My Life", I show you how to take a tune from its basic harmony  ( I  IV  V7 )  to advanced sophisticated chords.  

"You Light Up My Life" is theme song of the Titanic Movie in 1997. The music is written by James Horner, lyrics by Walter Afanaseiff and recorded by Celine Dion. This became Dion's biggest hit and one of the best selling singles of all time.

Here's the Secret Tip to this Song:    There is a change of Key at the bridge to bring the song to a higher intensity.  The song begins like many standards with the 2-5 chords: Dm7 G7. Even though the first section of the song is in the Key of C, C Chord is not even used at all in the arrangement. Em7 is used in place of C for the melodic flow of the song.

We are going to follow a Play by Ear Procedure:

First, we need to establish a harmonic foundation to the song with basic chords so that you understand how complex chords come into play.   You are going to improvise the song with basic chord progression by EAR.

I put in a section on Easy Improvisation.  I show you different ways to improvise around the chord progressions so that you learn "tone motion voice leading".  Even when you don't play the actual melody of the song, you can hear the song in the background when you play the harmonic chord progressions. This is a good ear training program to help you play many standard and pop songs by EAR.

Second, Learn 2-5 Powr Chord Rules & Chord Substitutions to "You Light Up My Life Improvisation". 

In this song, I teach you how to use 2-5 Power chords to reharmonize the song from the harmonic basic chord foundation.  

  • Learn how an easy chord progression of using 2-5 standards chord progressions. 
  •  Learn how to create half-step chromatic movement to create beautiful sounding basslines.  

In the full arrangement, you will be playing the song in Key of G with the following chords: 

  • Dm7
  • G7
  • Em7
  • A7b9
  • G13
  • Bm7b5
  • E7
  • Am
  • Em7b5
  • B7
  • B7b9
  • D7
  • D7b9
  • G7b9
  •  Dm11
  • Dm9
  • E7b9.

Come on in and join us,


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Who is the target audience?
  • Students who want to play standards
  • Students who want to play by EAR
  • Students who want to learn advance chord progression
  • Students who want to improvise
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
79 Lectures
Introduction to the Course
4 Lectures 03:00

Introductory Workbook 1: Understand 2-5 Power Chord Method

Rosa's 2-5 Power Chord Step by Step Method Manual

Rosa's DIY 2-5 Power Chord Slide Rule Template
Basic Chords & Sheet Music to "You Light Up My Life"
2 Lectures 03:35
Workbook 2 - Lyrics & Improv Sheet Music to "You Light Up My Life"

Song Demo Chord Progression
Improvisation Skill 1: Improvise on the Basic Harmonic Structure of the song
5 Lectures 05:05
Workbook 3 - Fun Activitites

Unique Features of this Song

Unique Chords in this Song

Section A Improvisation with Chords

Improvisation Skill 2: Learn Ballad 9 Fingering Technique
10 Lectures 10:02
Lecture 4 Workbook + Fun Activities

LH Accompaniment: Open 10th Ballad

The Finger Pattern

Secondary Dominant Chords Fingering

LH: Open 10th Ballad

LH: Open 10th Ballad + RH: first couple of melody tones

LH Accompaniment: Nostalgic Ballad 9

The Finger Pattern of Nostalgic Ballad 9

Improvisation Skill 3: Improvise with target tones approach
4 Lectures 02:40
Workbook 5 - Fun Activities

RH improvises on “target chord tones” from below:

RH improvises on “target chord tones” from above:

RH improvises on “target chord tones” using repeated notes
Improvisation Skill 4: Put 2-5 Power Chord before Chord I
5 Lectures 03:19
Workbook 6 - Fun Activities

Dm7 G7 CM7

Line 1 Bar 1&2: Dm7 G7

Line 2 Bar 1&2: Dm7 G7

Line 3 Bar 1&2: Dm7 G7
Improvisation Skill 5: Put 2-5 Power Chord before IV
1 Lecture 00:18
Workbook 7 - Fun Activities
Improvisation Skill 6: Put 2-5 Power Chord before V7
4 Lectures 03:36
Workbook 8 - Fun Activities

Am7 D7 G7

Line 1 Bar 4 to Line 2 Bar 1 & 2

Line 2 Bar 4 to Line 3 Bar 1 & 2
Improvisation Skill 7: Put More 2-5 Power Chords in Line 1
4 Lectures 02:51
Workbook 9 - Fun Activities

Line 1 Bar 3 & Bar 4

Apply Other Chord Substitutions in the empty spots

Final Chord Chart for Line 1
Improvisation Skill 8: Put More 2-5 Power Chords in Line 2
6 Lectures 03:30
Workbook 10 Fun Activities

Line 2 Bar 1, 2, 3: Bm7b5 E7 Am

Apply Other Chord Substitutions in the empty spots

Final Chord Chart for Line 2

Why the Progression works
9 More Sections
About the Instructor
Rosa Suen
4.7 Average rating
932 Reviews
25,142 Students
86 Courses
Best Seller Music Teacher, 35 Years Pianist, 25,00+ students

Rosa is the Pastor and Church Pianist for a local community church in Hong Kong for over 30 years. She graduated from University of British Columbia and received her teaching certificate specializing in Chemistry and teaching English as a second language. She taught public schools in Canada for a couple of years and then went on to receive her Master's degree in Christian Theological Ministry at Ontario Theological Seminary in Toronto. She started full time ministry with her husband in 1989 and received intensive Pastoral Counselling and Discipleship Training at Christian Disciples Church. They were ordained to become church ministers as Pastors in 1996 in a local church in Tsuen Wan and have been ministering to this same congregation for almost 20 years now.

Over the years, she has gone on church missions to Mongolia, Sydney, Nepal, India and expedition trips to the Holy Lands: Israel, Greece and Turkey. Wherever she went, she found herself taking up the music ministry and became the church pianist for that church.

Many people at church have asked her to teach them to play piano. As a result of her passion in playing piano, she started developing piano courses initially for church pianists online since 2008. The piano courses are very unique because she was finally willing to share her Unique Piano Method: Color Chord Improvisation Method known as CCI. The CCI method works for all types of music: Gospel, Pop and Standards.

This Piano Method is easy, fun and creative that you learn to play piano not only from music score sheets, but to play chords from fake books and eventually to play by ear. Students all over the world have requested for courses to teach them play standards and popular songs. As a result she developed 3 Great Reharmonization Method courses for them to play from fake books and play by ear. The Dreamy Piano Techniques courses, especially the one on Autumn Leaves is her students favorite. She has a piano website at Learn Piano With Rosa where she continues to offer new courses to her students. She also holds piano workshops for her local students and train church pianists.

With her education and expertise in teaching, her students love her piano courses and found her piano lessons extremely easy and fun to play piano. They are highly motivated to play piano and playing piano had never been more fun and satisfying for them. You can read their testimonies on her website.

She is now an instructor at Udemy. Come and join her hundreds of students to play piano in a fun and creative way.