๐Ÿคก Katy Perry — Smile Free Piano Sheets

Piano Player Ability Rating: Beginner

๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿซ As I learned, many of you are self-taught piano players and never had a piano class. I try to cover several popular mistakes in piano-playing techniques that we are prone to do.

About Katy Perry — Smile

The song, Smile, was released on .

Listen Smile on Spotify, see wikipedia entry for more details.

๐Ÿ’ฟ certainly liked to challenge himself when recording! This song conforms to convenient symmetrical pattern for the Pop-song: Smile is composed in a binary verse-chorus form that consist of two four-bar phrases. Both sections are repeated before a short coda.
It's perfect for those with elementary skills. This piece fits well under the fingers, it makes coherent musical sense and it’s not too hard to memorize.

Practical Tips for Piano Playing

✋ Before touching the piano keys, warm up your fingers and wrists with slow and soft circular motions and moderate stretching, rotate your shoulders and arms.

๐Ÿ“ Instead of sight-reading the piece as it is, get to know snippets of the music bit by bit. Break the piece down into tiny units (enough to hold in our working memory) at the speed of no mistakes (this might be extremely slowly to start with) and with the mind fully engaged. 3️⃣ To begin with, practice hands separately. Practice each piece no more than three repetitions in a row as you risk to decrease your ability to concentrate (a phenomenon known as habituation), and this is when sloppy mistakes can easily creep in.

⏳ Work on the hardest bits first without caring about technical difficulties — repetition and practice will do the job and you will learn the sheet music faster than you think. You might focus on just one or two sections in a single practice session if you are learning the piano notes for the first time.

⏯️ Don’t always begin at the beginning; if we you able to start from any section you will be much more secure in performance.

๐Ÿ’ฌ Count out loud to ensure precise rhythm. By counting I mean a tA-ta, tA-ta, not an old inefficient one-and, two-and. Use a metronome app.

๐Ÿค Make sure to arch the fingers. This is crucial for the health of your wrists and palms. Slacking your fingers will overwork them and cause strain. Keep relaxed, flexible wrists, hands and arms when playing Smile — a flexible wrist allows producing a warm sound. Both hands should play smoothly (tenuto) if not indicated the opposite (staccato) although not with the fingers glued to the keys.

๐Ÿฅ Focus from the very beginning primarily on phrasing. With the right technique, a pianist’s phrasing can be as persuasive as a singer’s. Create the illusion of a singing piano by
  1. accenting strong beats,
  2. playing the first bar of any phrase louder than the last bar,
  3. peaking near the highest-pitched note of a phrase.

Guard against a bar-by-bar approach — phrases don’t obey the barlines.

How to Memorize Sheet Music

๐Ÿ™ˆ Start memorizing Smile from the very beginning. Use the sheet music as a hint and avoid looking at a paper sheet (or a monitor) as long as you can when rehearsing the music piece.
๐Ÿ›️ Read the score in bed in the evening, analyse the whole piece to see where the different themes were, and to find out what the Katy Perry message was.
๐ŸŽ™️ Sing original lyrics, la-la-la or ta-ta-ta, or simply hum the melody out loud, so you can easily memorize the notes.
๐Ÿ”  In the left hand there are only four chords that are repeated for the whole song. It takes nothing to remember only four chords instead of 100 bars of an accompaniment.
✍ And the last, be artistic, be creative. Print the pdf, take correction fluid and a black pen and add or delete whatever you want in this arrangement.

How to Play Katy Perry — Smile Sheet Music


๐ŸŽญ Accuracy in articulation is essential for playing Smile piano sheet music. Make the piece sound as expressive as you possibly can. Your touch should be sparkling and passionate.

Smile is speedy. Always keep the hands relaxed, especially with repeated notes, piano keyboard is not lightweight and causes a muscle pain. Its rhythmic basis is sustained throughout, so the LH’s primary duty will be to provide an even and danceable footing.

๐Ÿ– The articulation in this piece is tricky because it alternates between legato and staccato. To learn the legatos hold them as a chord, it stretches your fingers and helps to learn the fingering naturally.

Accent every note, varying the accents each time you play. Play as if you are being listened to.

๐Ÿ”Š There’s a lot of repetition throughout, so be creative with phrasing and dynamics when repeating the same phrase. This will create some drama in your performance. Katy Perry presents us with a wide range of dynamics (the sound volume levels). Be generous in varying the dynamics, it’s the easiest way to sound expressive:
  • The Opening phrase imitates quiet guitar picking. The RH should be short and snappy.
  • The Verses demand two different tone-colors. The first verse requires an intimate tone, the second is more energetic. Give the music a beautifully graded, warm tone. Make sure to grade the repeated patterns s they don’t sound monotonous. Think in long lines, not short phrases.
  • Save a full weight and depth of tone for the Choruses. Feel free to play a strong Forte. Keep the phrases as long as possible. Pedal carefully in this section. Make a well-judged decrescendo at the end.
  • At the little Bridge, the mood changes, the articulation becoming more legato, the sound is losing its weight, so it’s important to change your touch. Try plucking each note with the tip of the fingers. There is potential to make a small crescendo.
  • The Coda requires a full tone and a slight diminuendo over the final bars — make a sudden lowering of dynamics to piano here. Place the last chord with a soft, emotional sound and a sensitive touch. Make a gradual and smooth decrescendo to pianissimo.

Write down all these crescendo/diminuendo (< & >) and piano/forte (๐“Ÿ & ๐“•) markings in order to make your piano sound more noticeable or prominent, to emphasize the Katy Perry's lyrics.

The Right Hand

✋ There is no need to learn hands separately: the score is very easy. Practice slowly with an obvious emphasis on the topline while playing the accompaniment as gently and calm as possible.

Listen to the track Smile as you begin to learn the arrangement. Think like a singer — breathe where a singer would, and aim to contour every phrase and line imaginatively. Notice how short phrasing is. Put the emphasis on the first note of each phrase. Don’t attack the keys.

The Left Hand

๐Ÿคš The LH is generally soft throughout. Ensure that the LH line is always softer than the RH. The LH is the rhythmic foundation over which the dramatic RH melody shines.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ While it might seem counterintuitive to use the left thumb to reach down for single bass notes, it ensures a smooth, decisive downward progression.

In the last phase of learning a piece the use of a metronome is vital as you will be working on rhythmic partnerships between both hands. Nearly all modern pop music contains a firm beat. Become aware of the underlying pulse and accent where the stronger beat falls but remember that more is less. Avoid over-using your left hand. Aim at simple and clear playing. When speed is added, lighten the touch and the playing should feel easier, with fingers running smoothly over the keys. Focus on soloing with the right hand without relying on the accompaniment in the left hand. Make every single note that you play to mean something.
๐Ÿง‘‍๐Ÿค‍๐Ÿง‘ = ๐Ÿคฒ In playing any piano transcription of a song, the aim is to give the impression of a singer (the RH) that is being accompanied by a sensitive pianist (the LH). Imagine a duet between a band and a singer, so color the two hands differently.


๐Ÿฆถ At the very late stage of learning the Smile add a pedal, sustaining or sostenuto — your choice. Practice without the pedal until fluent and smooth.

It is common practice today that the pedal is depressed when the hand is lifted, and released as a finger is on a key. You should remove the pedal wherever you see the rest in the LH. With excessive and inappropriate use of the pedal, it greatly compromises clarity in the overall tone quality. Think of it this way: the sustain pedal should be used as an aid to playing fine legato, not as a substitute for our fingers. Short dabs of pedal are generally better than long ones.

The Song should sound light, in the tradition of the genre; it will not benefit from being bathed in pedal.

Change pedal every new bar.

๐ŸŽผ More Piano Sheet Music from ๐Ÿ”– EDM
๐ŸŽผ More Piano Sheet Music from ๐Ÿ”Ž Katy Perry
Katy Perry Smile piano sheets

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