Jason Mraz I Won’t Give Up for piano ensemble

Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” is a ballad suitable for arpeggio accompaniment, in the key of E major.


Unlike “I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz‘s “I Won’t Give Up” is a ballad, requiring broken instead of block chords. Similar to “I’m Yours” the chord progressions repeat: A/E E | E | A/E E | A/E E | E | Bsus | B |

Mraz sings it in the key of E major. While this key is easy for the guitar, the four sharps a pianist has to remember is slightly more taxing though not impossible.

Will Koerten’s arrangement (lead sheet), which can be freely downloaded, specifies the 6/8 to feel in two. Similar to ““I’m Yours,” play the chord progression once as introduction, then three more times for the first verse before the chorus comes in.

The chord progressions for the chorus is A | E | C#m | B A | E | Bsus | B | and back to the A major with E in the bass etc.

Then it goes into a very interesting verse, as if in double time, nonstop, nearly no space for a breath:

I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make.

Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts we got, yeah we got a lot at stake

And in the end you’re still my friend at least we did intend for us to work. We didn’t break, we didn’t burn, we had to learn how to bend without the world caving in.

F#m | F#m | B | F#m | F#m | B | B | D| D| D#m | D#m | D | D#m B | E |  before arriving at the end which is E | A | E | C#m | B | A | E | B | and repeat.

My piano students learned early on to do cross-hand arpeggios for warm-up. It’s a matter of practising the above chord progressions instead of the great white keys of C major and A minor as they’ve been doing all semester. “I Won’t Give Up” is a wonderful study in improvisation.

I tried it in the last class, running the arpeggios on the Baldwin baby grand piano. Against a Youtube version on our loudspeakers, my piano class and I got so carried away that we forgot sound travelled through the open doors and windows. We haven’t had air conditioning for more than a month, and we had to overcome the sound of four blazing fans, too!

I would love to find the official video for this song, for Jason Mraz has performed extensively unplugged, solo, with Raining Jane, with the talented Korean guitarist Sungha Jung, and others. There’s also a version for four-part choir, freely downloadable from the Web.

Author: BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s