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How to Play River Flows In You On Piano - Part 1



Table Of Content


About River Flows In You


River Flows In You is one of the most popular piano songs and it is written by the famous pianist, Yiruma. There are many who have been inspired to learn how to play the piano just so that they can play this one song. Hence, in this blog article, we will be teaching you how to play a simple version of River Flows In You.


What To Note When Playing River Flows In You On Piano


If you've never head River Flows In You before, be sure to listen to it first! Here's our beginner friendly version of the song:



In the following sections, we will be going through how to play 'River Flows In You' in a step-by-step manner. We will start by learning the left hand part first.


Playing The Left Hand Part


In many piano arrangements, the left hand often plays an accompaniment part of some sort, and this accompaniment part is constructed from the chords that make up the song.


One of the things that makes playing River Flows In You easy to play, is the fact that it uses only 4 chords throughout the entire song, and in the exact same sequence (also called 'chord progression') over and over again. These chords are: Am, F, C, and G.


While we will not be going into explaining what these chords are, what you need to know is that, because of the repeated chord progression over and over again throughout the song, the accompaniment part is also repetitive, and once you've learnt just four bars of the left hand part, you will have effectively learn the left hand part for almost the entire song!


Here's a note-for-note explanation on how to play the left hand part of River Flows In You. As demonstrated in the video, you will notice that the fingering also repeats every three notes with the following finger numbers: 5-2-1.



Once you are familiar with the notes that make up the left hand accompaniment part, you are ready to play it in time. When played in time, this is how the left hand part would sound:




How To Use The Sustain Pedal


Even after you've gotten the notes of the left hand part and the timing correct, you may have noticed that what you're playing doesn't quite sound like the video demonstration yet. This is because in the video demonstration, the sustain pedal is used to sustain the notes and create a thick and lush wash of sound. However, it's important to understand how to use the sustain pedal correctly, and with the proper timing: you don't just want to hold down the sustain pedal throughout the song as this would create a nasty smear of sound. The basic concept behind how to use the sustain pedal, would be to clear the pedal and re-engage it again at every change of the chord.


Here's a step-by-step explanation of how to play the sustain pedal



And here's a demonstration of how the sustain pedal is played in time:



Playing the Right Hand Part: Phrase 1


For the right hand part, we will be dividing it into four phrases. Here's a note-by-note walkthrough of how to play the first phrase (right hand) of River Flows in You:



When played in time, this is how the first phrase would sound:



Playing the Right Hand Part: Phrase 2


Here's a step-be-step video explanation of how to play the second phrase (right hand only) of River Flows In You:



Once you're familiar with the notes, you are ready to play it in time. Refer to the following video to listen to how it sounds when played in time. You might also consider playing along with the video demonstration to check your timing.



Playing the Right Hand Part: Phrase 3


The third phrase of the right hand part is very similar to the first; there are, however, some differences in the second half of the phrase that you'd want to take note of. Watch the following video for a step-by-step walkthrough of how to play the third phrase.



When played in time, here's how the third phrase of the right hand part would sound:



Playing the Right Hand Part: Phrase 4


And for the final phrase of the right hand part, here's a note-for-note guide on to play it:



Here's a video demonstration of how to play the fourth phrase of the right hand part in time. If you're not sure about the rhythm, be sure to play along with the video demonstration:



Putting Both Hands Together


Once you are familiar with the right hand and left hand parts separately, you are ready to put them together. When putting both hands together, be sure to break it down into smaller parts or sections before stringing them together.


Here's a video demonstration of how it would sound when you put both hands together:



Yiruma - River Flows In You Piano Sheet


Learn How To Play River Flows In You With Some Help


With the readers of this blog article being of differing levels of experience and knowledge at the piano, it can be challenging to create a tutorial or article that is able to cater to readers who may be at different levels of development in their piano journey.


Moreover, this is not taking into consideration the fact that different piano players of the same playing facility may have a different profile of which sensibilities (hearing, reading, memory, tactile sense, etc) they rely on to play the piano. A video tutorial or blog article is not able to respond to each individual student's learning needs.


There's just so many aspects of learning to play the piano that cannot be captured in a blog article or a video tutorial. If you want to avoid wasting precious time in your piano learning journey, the best thing you can do is to engage an experienced piano teacher to help you in your learning. Here at Alpha Piano Studio, we provide one-to-one piano lessons with experienced piano teachers to help super charge your piano learning journey. We are offering two free trial lessons, no strings attached, to all first timers with us. Sign up here!

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