The Playground

The Simply Music blog

Learn I Dreamed A Dream

Found in: Tutorials

i_dreamed_a_dream-cover-230It was a tribute to the life-changing power of music (as well as the wonders of the internet) when the world was charmed by the story and the voice of Susan Boyle when she sang “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent and showed us that everyday people can genuinely offer the world surprising and wonderful gifts. Of course, it helps to have a fabulous voice, but the rest of us can still find great joy in playing this powerful song as a simple Accompaniment.

When buying sheet music for this song, I recommend you choose the version with Artist listed as Les Miserables and format Piano/Vocal/Guitar. This format is very versatile and can be used as a reading-based piano arrangement, a lead sheet you can use to create your own arrangement, and an accompaniment which allows others to sing or play the melody on another instrument.

With our printable sheet music you can change the key to fit your voice, but if you don’t need to, keep it in the original key (three flats). That way you could even play along with a recording of Susan. If you don’t even know what a key is, no problem – using our Accompaniment strategies, you don’t need to know about key signatures at all.

We’ll see that this song is just a small number of related chords, with a LH that travels downward.

Starting from where the singing begins, our first chord is an Eb Major, which you’ll know from your lessons is an upside down triangle shape. Play it slowly with a 1:2 ratio.

Next chord is the same in the RH, but the LH comes down to D. We know this by the slash symbol. Remember not to get confused – the LH note is written to the right of the slash. It comes down again to a C, but now the RH has changed to a C minor. If you don’t know how to make a C minor, here’s how: play a normal C Major, then move the middle note down a half step to the black key. You’ll see it’s a triangle shape. Very simple.

But there’s an even handier trick in this instance: if you get the Eb Major chord, and move the top note (Bb) up to C, you’ll be playing another version of the C minor chord. You only have to move one note! That’s extra handy when you see the next chord is back to the Eb Major. How can this different-looking chord still be C minor? It’s what’s known as an inversion of the chord, but again, you don’t need to know that, just know that it’s okay.

Next chord is an Ab Major, another upside down triangle, then, like earlier, we stay there in the RH while the LH continues its downward path.

Now for another handy trick: the next chord (F minor 7) is a little more advanced, but if you just keep the RH right there on the Ab Major and move the LH down to F, guess what? You’re playing F minor 7! How can this be? Again, just know that it’s correct. The theory can come later.

Next chord is Bb Major, a curve shape (as an Australian, I see this as a boomerang shape). The LH has finally finished its descent, and comes up to Bb. Then we’re simply back to the beginning again, and repeating the process.

This time, there are a couple of small changes to the chords. The first chord on page 2 is C minor 7 instead of C minor, but this is actually easier! Just like our F minor 7, if we keep the existing chord in the RH and just move the LH, we magically have the correct chord. The cycle repeats again with no change until the last line of page 2, where you have a Bb6 chord. If you’ve already learned how to find a 6th chord, great, but otherwise a plain Bb major will do fine.

Line 2 of page 3 introduces a brief different passage. The LH doesn’t have quite the same clear descending pattern, but you can still spend some useful time uncovering the path it takes, and distinguishing it as a pattern. This section includes an F minor. Like C minor, and Eb minor a little further on, you can find it by playing the Major and bringing the middle note down a half step. Then there is C7, which, if you don’t already know, you can find by moving the bottom note down a whole step.

The last two pages are in a new key, which turns out to mean simply that you’re playing the same sequence of chords a whole step higher, and the same tricks apply. For the second last chord, C9, just play C7 and add a D with finger 2.

Make sure you sing while you play. Have fun!