What you will learn
Why this song?
Just The Way You Are is a famous pop ballad by Billy Joel that features a beautiful chord progression that is definitely worth exploring. The quality and function of the chords are very jazzy and somewhat unusually sophisticated for a pop song. This means that there is a lot we can learn from, especially those keyboardists that want to learn how to play more colorful and harmonically sophisticated pop styles.
I created the first video in this post for my secondary piano students at Columbia College Chicago years ago. It show how to play a relatively simple accompaniment over those chord changes. The beauty of it is, that you can apply the same technique to many other pop ballads. This is really great news for singers who want to accompaniment themselves playing this kind of music, but are not real pianists, if you know what I mean.
Below is my video tutorial that demonstrates how to play the intro and an easy accompaniment that get’s you through the changes. I suggest you watch it first before you read on.
I am in the process of creating the second video to explain in detail how you can learn to play this kind of piano accompaniment. So please check back soon.