How To Play Bridge Over Troubled Water

Bridge Over Troubled Water: Paul Simon l Piano Diana

Major and Minor Chords

We've learned how to construct the major Interval and how to construct the perfect Interval.

Major Third: Distance between the root and (3) degree.
Perfect Fifth Interval: Distance between the root and 5th.

The Major Chord

The major chord is created by combining the major third and perfect intervals.
For example, in C major, a major third interval is from C to E. A perfect interval is from C to G.

Combining these two intervals looks like the following:

C to E and C to G.
Since the root is used in both intervals and can only be played once, the C major chord is:

C + E + G.

The Minor Chord

The minor chord is created just like the major chord. the only difference is that it utilizes a "minor third" interval instead of a "major third" interval (the perfect fifth remains the same).

The minor third is a major third interval squeezed in by a half step. For example, in C major, the major third interval is from C to E.

The minor third simply lowers the E a half step to E flat. a minor third is C to E flat.

Major Third = C - E
Minor Third = C - Eb
Perfect Fifth = C - G

Combining a Minor third and a Perfect fifth creates a minor chord: C + Eb + G

Take the 1-3-5 of the major scale and play them together. Take the 1-3-5 of the minor scale and play them all together. Try learning the major and minor chords in all 12 keys. Just use the same exact pattern.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Words and Music by Paul Simon
© 1969 Paul Simon

Key: C
Time: 4/4

Moderato, not too fast, like a spiritual

                         C       F            C
When you're weary, feeling small
F                       C          F           C            F  C  F
When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all (all)
C                 G     G                            C
I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough
C7                       F    D7/F#  G
And friends just can't be found
C        F         F#dim CsusA/G A7sus
Like a bridge over troubled water
F     E7       Am
I will lay me down
C       F           F#dim CsusA/G
Like a bridge over troubled water
F     G         C
I will lay me down

F/C  C  F/C  C  F/C

When you're down and out
F                             C
When you're on the street
F                     C         F
When evening falls so hard
C                   F   C  F
I will comfort you (ooh)
C                  G    G                             C
I'll take your part, oh when darkness comes
C7              F  D7/F# G
And pain is all around
C        F            F#dim CsusA/G A7sus
Like a bridge over troubled water
F     E7        Am
I will lay me down
C        F            F#dim       Am
Like a bridge over troubled water
F   Am/E E  Am  D7
I will lay me down

C/G  F  Am  F  Fm  C
F  C  F  C  F/C

            C            F
Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
F                     C           F
Your time has come to shine
              C                             F  C  F
All your dreams are on their way
C                      G
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
C7             F    D/F#  G
I'm sailing right behind
C        F           F#dim  C/G    Am
Like a bridge over troubled water
F      Am    E     Am
I will ease your mind
C   C9  F          D   C/G       Am
Like a bridge over troubled water
F     E7             Am  D9  C/G
I will ease your mind

Here's an advanced chord chart to the song, Bridge Over Troubled Water

Play Piano By Ear Course Book: Piano Diana

If you would like to look into the formation of chords with a music theory resource in your hands, then look into 300pg Piano By Ear Home Study Course

All the best,

"Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life." -- Art Blakey

Pete Seeger: Turn! Turn! Turn!

Pete Seeger: Turn, Turn, Turn l PianoDiana

When I think of folk songs, I immediately picture Pete Seeger with his guitar. I grew up in an era of so many talented artists like Pete and the Kingston Trio. Playing Turn, Turn, Turn on the piano is an easy way for me to get out of my music and play this easy progression in all the keys. Can you do that? Have you learned what chords you have in common with the key that you are playing in and where you plan to modulate to? How do you know what transition chord to play?

Read About:

How Do I Modulate?

Turn! Turn! Turn!
(To Everything There Is A Season)

Words from the Book of Ecclesiastes
Adaptation and Music by Pete Seeger
Key: C Major
Time: 4/4 Moderately Slow

                C   F      Em     Dm
To everything, turn, turn, turn,
                  C         F     Em     Dm
There is a season, turn, turn, turn,
 F           G                    Dm     G          C           
And a time for every purpose under heaven.

                     G7                    C                    G7                   C
 A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap,
                    G7                 C
    a time to kill, a time to heal,
                     G           C          F
    a time to laugh, a time to weep.  


                            G7                               C
 A time to build up, a time to break down;
                     G7                        C
 a time to dance a time to mourn;
         G7                       C
 a time to cast away stones,
                     G F         Em G/D Dm C F Em            
 a time to gather stones together.  


                     G7                     C               G7                     C
 A time of love, a time of hate, a time of war, a time of peace,
         G7                   C
 a time you may embrace,
                    G  F         G   C F Em
 a time to refrain from embracing.  


                 G7                     C                     G7                C
 A time to gain, a time to lose, a time to rend a time to sew,
                  G7                    C
 a time to love, a time to hate,
                  G F           G                       C
 a time for peace, I swear it's not too late.  


Chords in the Song:

L.H. / R.H.

C = C/GCEG and C/EGC 
F = F/ACF and F/CFA and FA/CE
Em = E/GBE and E/BDG
Dm = D/FAD and DF/AE and D/ADF
G = G/BDG and G/GBE and G/DGB
G7 = D/FGB

Read about Song Robot and Song Tutor

photo credit: Pete Seeger via photopin (license)

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