Jason Mraz I’m Yours for piano ensemble


I discovered Jason Mraz one night watching “The X-Factor” and other talent contests on Youtube. His “I’m Yours” sounded very familiar, for the ukelele version that’s played in the Hawaiian Islands. Then I saw his face on the cover of the latest edition of “On Maui” magazine.

He’s going to be in town?

Across the road from the place where I work?

Last time there was an outdoor concert, my colleagues and I brought our picnics and sat on the lawn of the agriculture studies department, a stone’s throw away from the Maui Arts and Cultural Center to see Elton John’s sold-out concerts. I should say, to hear not see. The outdoor concerts were plenty loud enough. On another occasion, we sat on the balcony of Kupa’a Building at UH Maui College.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a crowd on the balcony and the lawn on Sunday December 14th, 2014.

To prepare my piano class for his arrival, I introduced the “lead sheet.”

A lead sheet is a way of reducing a song to its barest essentials: melody, lyrics, and harmony as indicated by chords above the melody notation. A fake book is a compilation of lead sheets. Such simplification makes good use of repeat signs, symbols, and Italian terms such as fine, DS al fine, DC al fine, DS al coda, DC al coda. To be able to play from a lead sheet, one needs to know these symbols and terms and be able to improvise an arrangement from the chords.

In the case of Jason Mraz‘s biggest US hit single “I’m Yours” it makes sense to play the bass in the left hand, i.e., the name of the chord itself. The right hand can play an interval or a triad. A reggae feel means accenting on the weak beats, a.k.a. “back beats,” as shown below.

Reggae feel means accent on the “backbeats”

Mraz’s official video for  “I’m Yours” shows him flying to Hawaii. It was filmed in Ka’ua’i and O’ahu. While Mraz recorded it in the key of B major, it’s much easier to play and think in C major.

You can follow Jacques van Lindt’s arrangement in C major – lead sheet – on two pages with the video, but you’ll need to add four bars in bar number 41 where it returns for verse two. To play it with the video, however, you’ll need to press the transpose button on the digital piano to go down a semitone or else transpose it yourself C becomes B; G becomes F#; Am becomes G#m; F becomes E; D7 becomes C#7. These five chords are the only ones you need.

Thus instead of C-G-Am-F —– and eventually D or D7, play B-F#-G#m-E —- and eventually C# or C#7.

C-G-Am-F repeats itself many times before a D major chord enters the picture. Basically, start the introduction with C-G-Am-F and the first verse comes in with a pick-up before the pattern repeats four times. The chorus comes in on the sixth occurrence of this chord progression (recall the first was the introduction, the second was the beginning of the first verse). After the second set of C-G-Am-F in the chorus, play a D major on “loved” and follow that with another three rounds of C-G-Am-F before ending in a D7.

Another way to think about this is — play two sets of four-chord progressions for the following lyrics:

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it,

I tried to be chill but you’re so hot that I melted, I felt right to the cracks,

Now I’m trying to get back Before the cool done run out I”ll be giving it my besttest,

And nothing’s going to stop me but divine intervention,

I reckon it’s again my turn to win some or learn some But

—-

Fading out is one way to end a song. The same four-chord progression is repeated until fade out.

Ending for Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”

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