July 30



By Thomas Gunther

July 30, 2023

What Was I Made For (Billie Eilish)

Solo Piano Arrangement 

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About the arrangement

The 2023 Barbie Movie features Billie Eilish's song WHAT I WAS MADE FOR. Here you find Thomas Gunther's beautiful and highly accurate piano arrangement of it. It includes even Billie's quiet humming passages.

This solo piano version can be played all by itself, or with Billie's recording of the song.

From the Arranger Thomas Gunther

 "The most challenging task when writing this solo piano arrangement of What I Was Made For was to notate Billie's rhythm accurately. Her melodic rhythm is very important as it supports the flow of the lyrics perfectly. Notating a singer's rhythm can unfortunately never be 100% perfect (notation is by definition quantized), but I think I got very close.

An other challenge was to get the accompaniment sound like the original without stepping on the melody notes.
Looking at my final version I think it is as good as it gets for a piano adaption of this highly emotional song.

How difficult is it

The song looks simple, but to play it well there is a lot of things the pianist has to take care of. The most challenging aspect is to sustain some notes by either using clever fingering or employing the sustain pedal.


I included fingering numbers to give the pianist a starting point. But fingering is a highly subjective affaire. Every pianist should feel free to adapt her/his own fingering as see fit.

Sustain pedal

The sustain pedal usage is very important in this arrangement. For one, it helps sustaining some notes that can't be held otherwise, and of course to make the sound fuller (more cinematic). It is important to use the pedal to create a sense of space (distance). After all, the original recording uses a lot of reverb to achieve that.

Thomas Gunther

About the author

Thomas Gunther (Thommy Günther) is a versatile internationally active jazz pianist and keyboardist, music producer, and music educator. Born in Germany, Thomas moved to Chicago after receiving his masters in teaching and performing popular music and jazz piano (from the State University of Arts & Music Stuttgart/Germany) to become the principle pianist with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Soon he formed his own bands playing piano and keyboards all over town and touring Europe regularly. Today, Thomas is a well respected member of the Chicago music scene. For many years he has also worked as an instructor at Columbia College Chicago where he still designs and teaches courses for its Contemporary Urban Music Program (CUP) such as Pop-Jazz Keyboards & Theory, Applied Music Production with Logic Pro, Contemporary Arranging and Orchestration, Harmony & Rhythm, etc.. Thomas is also the creator and owner of several educational websites such as popjazzkeys.com and MusicTrainingOnline.
Visit http://www.ThomasGunther.com for more info.

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