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How to Play "Gabriel's Message" on Piano

Learn how to play "Gabriel's Message" aka "The Angel Gabriel" 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. "The angel Gabriel, from heaven came/His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as full of flame/All hail, said he, thou lowly maiden Mary!/Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria". That's the first verse of ‘The Angel Gabriel', also known as ‘Gabriel's Message'. It's really a fun song, and it kind of goes through Gabriel's coming telling about the coming of Christ. It's really pretty, and you don't hear it performed a lot. This song can be broken down to just a handful of chords. Those chords are G Minor, B Flat, C Minor, D Major, and E Flat. Now, you can get away with just playing the roots of those chords in your left hand, and that would keep you from having to move your left hand a whole lot, but what I find is easier to do, is this: put your pinkie on the D, this corresponds with ‘the' which is the first note in the song, your index on G, your thumb, or one finger, on the B Flat. So we have D, G, and B Flat all formed out. By having our fingers in this position play the chords G Minor and D Major, without having to move at all, other than rocking back and forth. So, it looks like this: ‘The angel Gabriel, from heaven came' Now on "Heaven came", I moved away from that D and G Minor chord and just played the roots of E Flat and C. So that finishes off that system, the rest of the systems basically follow the same formula: pick the two predominant chords, and split the diference. One more thing to take note? This song is filled with quotation marks. Now, you don't have to make any drastic changes, just really note that when you sing ‘Oh hail thou lowly maiden' you're no longer telling the story, I mean you're part of the story. At that moment, you are the Angel Gabriel. That knowledge alone is going to change how you interpret the song. ‘All hail, said he, thou lowly maiden Mary!/Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria'.

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