Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & Mø - Cold Water | Tutorial

A Primer! This week, my good buddy and awesome pianist Jeroen breaks the ice, being the very first guest teacher on Piano Couture. He's making his début with Major Lazer & Justin Biebers' hit single - Cold Water; and how!

As a professional Pop-Pianist who -like me- solely plays by chords, ear and heart, Jeroen shows yet again a fine example of how to use the chord & pattern approach that form the Piano Couture methodology to create this awesome instrumental accompaniment version.

Talking about (guest) teachers

If you're looking for one-on-one help (in person or online via Skype) and you don't want to sit on the waiting list when I myself am not available (tends to happen a lot lately since demand is high) - I highly recommend Reverb Lessons. Really, just check them out and give it a try. It's risk-free and super convenient, customisable to your needs and agenda plus they have a huge database of skilled teachers.

Or maybe you ARE a teacher or a professional musician and - just like Jeroen - would like to become a part of Piano Couture and teach with us - showing your skills and helping over 250,000 monthly students and music enthousiasts? If so please let us know here!

Jeroen's approach

Translating both guitar- and synth parts to the piano and using multiple techniques, ranging from triads in different inversions, melodic patterns derived from extended chords (Premium Couturians - check out the chord sheet) to impressive left hand techniques like 10's and a very nice bass walk up (for those of you that are waiting on Advanced Hacks - these are cool new technique handled in there too!).

Can you believe after watching this version with all its different variations, that this song still only consists out of -hell yes again- 4 chords? (ok, ok there's one extra - that E, but it really doesn't count now does it?) yet another fine demonstration of the many options you have when you're comfortable speaking music with chords.

In his version Jeroen demonstrates the following techniques:

  • Chord breaking-up in various ways and patterns
  • Left hand triad playing to demonstrate keyboard wit
  • How Major & Biebs used broken extension chord patterns / the key to form their melodic hooks in the chorus
  • How to play those with the right while accompanying with left hand "10" voicings
  • How variating between full and bare voicings can make all the difference
  • How awesome he is

Jeroen starts the song with a nice breaking-up technique played in different patterns to perfectly imitate the picked guitar from the original, after which he demonstrates why it's sometimes convenient to play a basic triad with your left hand for the break down on E.
In this case it frees the right to comfortably position it for playing those extension-note (or scale of the key) derived melodic phrases in the chorus.

In the chorus Jeroen also makes perfect use of his HUGE hands by playing these "10" voicings - root, fifth and a third on top. Nice.

Tip for those of you with smaller hands who can't reach that far, which includes myself, try breaking the chord - sort of "rolling" up from bottom to top, stretching in the same way that Jeroen does, but so you won't have to play that interval of a 10 (root - third above) with pinky and thumb at the same time.

His tasteful decision to take it back a notch in the bridge by stripping the chords down to their most basic triad form (albeit using inversions for some better voice leading) proves his expertise on how to use and choose the perfect chord / pattern combination to create his very own version of Cold Water.

Used Chords image below the vid.

Let me know what you think in the comment box below!



Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber | Cold Water


About Coen

Founder of Piano Couture and creator of the Hack the Piano method. Coen is a musician, reader, writer, web-designer, eater and traveler. Find him at

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