The Playground

The Simply Music blog

Learn Someone Like You by Adele

Found in: Tutorials

Some of the most memorable songs have been among the simplest – a single voice accompanied by just a strummed guitar or simple chords on a piano can concentrate the attention on the way the melody interacts with the chords. This song is a case in point.

The piano part is a simple accompaniment with a small number of chords, and broken up the same way right through.

If you’ve been through the Accompaniment 1 program, you could play the chords in root position and break each one up ‘bottom, middle, top, middle’ four times each measure and it would sound great. But it takes very little extra effort to make the piano part sound almost exactly like the original.

Firstly, purchase your copy of the song.

Although I name a lot of notes in this guide, the idea is definitely not to memorise every note. We are going to process the song by looking at what happens from one chord to the next, and reduce this down to a series of clues. I recommend you get pretty confident with each section before moving on to the next.

Let’s start with the verses (the first couple of pages). Don’t worry about breaking up the chords just yet. It’s best to handle one thing at a time, and playing the chords as simple block chords will help you focus on what’s happening from one to the next. The first chord is A major, which if you’ve begun Accompaniment 1 you’ll know is a triangle shape with the thumb on A (if you don’t know that much, just play the notes A, C# and E). For the next chord keep the top two fingers in place and bring the bottom finger down a half-step to the next black key, G#. For the next chord you’ll do a stretch out from the middle – keep your middle note in place (it’s best to use finger 2 for this note) and bring the bottom note down and top note up, to F# in both cases. F# is the bottom note of the group of three black keys. Finally, keep the top note in place and move the bottom back to the A where it started, and the middle note up a half-step to D.

Do this again, taking note of how the chords shift: triangle, bottom down, stretch out, bottom two up. Say it as you go. You’ll have it memorised in no time. When you’re ready, break up the chords bottom, middle, top, middle four times each and you’re done.

The left hand is just four notes: A, G#, F#, D. Did you notice that the first three are the same as the bottom notes of the right hand?

On page 3 we then have a little bridge with three chords: the first is the bottom two black keys of the group of three (F# and G#) with an E on top. For the second just move the middle note up a half-step to A. For the third, bring the top note down one white key to D. So only one note changes each time. Left hand is just E, F# and D. Timing-wise, there’s a small change: the first two chords are played twice each instead of four times.

Play this pattern twice. If you want it to be even closer to the original, the second time you play, play the third chord twice instead of four times and then (as Adele sings “over”) go back to the first chord two times, but keep your left hand on the D.

Then we go to the chorus, which, according to the chord symbols is almost the same as the verses, and could be played that way, but the original is played differently. Firstly, the chords are played twice each instead of four times. The first chord is played as A, C#, and the next A up – a large, odd-shaped triangle. For the next chord everything comes down, to G#, B and G#. A great way to remember this is that the colours (and the triangle) are reversed from the previous chord – black, white, black. For chord three, even though the chord symbol is different, you’ll play the right hand exactly the same as chord one. Finally, for the fourth chord, just bring the middle note up a half-step to D.

Repeat the pattern, observing and saying the changes. The left hand is A, E, F# and D.

On page 5 we have another short bridging passage: Start with G#, B and E, move them all up to A, C# and F#, keep the bottom note in place and stretch the other two up to D and A (an octave from top to bottom). Then move all up to the next white keys, then squeeze in to C#, E and A. In the final measure of this passage (on page 6) keep the A on top and bring the others up to D and F#, then finally keep the shape and bring all up to E, G# and B. So the clues might sound like “black on the bottom, all up, stretch up, all up, squeeze in, bottom two up, all up”, but if you see other clues – colour combinations, shapes, common notes – use them.

The first three chords are played four times, the remainder are played twice. The left hand plays B, C#, D, B, C#, D.

We then return to the chorus, but again the chords are played a little differently. We start with C#, E & A, pivot down to B, E and G#, all down to A, C# & F# (my clue for this is two whites to two blacks) and bring just the middle note up to D. Left hand is A, G#, F# & D.

We finish off with a little coda: D, F#, A all below middle C, top two up to G# and B, up again to A & C# top note only up to D. The last chord is played four times, the others are played twice. The left hand is held on D. Finally, we close off with an A chord played low.

There are a few details that I haven’t covered, but after mastering as much as I’ve described, you can go to your Simply Music Teacher and have them show you more. If needed, he or she can also help you with repeats of the different sections, but if you have a recorded version of the song, you should be able to work it out.