How to Play "We Three Kings" on Piano

Learn how to play "We Three Kings" on piano from musician Paul Sandberg in this Howcast video.

Transcript

My name is Paul Sandberg. I'm an actor, singer, and teacher in the New York City area. For more information, please visit my website at paulsandberg.net. We three king of Orient are, bearing gifts, we traverse afar. Field and fountain, moor and moutain, follow the yonder star. Oh, star of wonder, star of night. Star with royal beauty bright. Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light. That was We Three Kings. This is a beautiful Christmas carol that uses, really, 3 main chords in the first half. And then it just switches to another set of chords, but in the relative major key of E Minor. So we have E Minor, then we have A Minor, then B major. Then we go back to E Minor. You can play that all with just 1 hand, with no bouncing around at all. If you place your pinkie, 5 finger, on E, your 3, also middle finger, on the A. And your index finger, or 2, on B. And then you just add in the melody. We three king of Orient are. Then when we get to, oh star of wonder, star of night, all these chords switch to the major. Which means we have D Major, G Major, C Major, and E Minor. And those fingers can be lined up with your pinkie finger, 5. Playing it C, 4 on the D, 3 on the E. And then, let's go ahead and put our thumbs, 1 finger, on the G. And then you just pluck each one of those finger individually when the chord changes. Which is, for the most part, once a measure. Oh, star of wonder, star of night. Star with royal beauty bright. And 1 more thing. This isn't really about playing the piano here. But pay attention to where commas are placed in the line of music. On the very first line, we have We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts, we traverse afar. See that pause I took? 99% of people will always put a pause there. But there's no comma after are. We just wanna do it because we have this dotted quarter note, which has a bit of finality. But the phrase is actually, we three king of Orient are bearing gifts we traverse afar. So when you're singing it, try to put that flow through it. Really resist the urge to take that deep breath there. So that would just be, We three king of Orient are, bearing gifts, we traverse afar.

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