Stevie Wonder - Isn't She Lovely | Tutorial *Update*

With Isn't She Lovely, Stevie Wonder was an early pioneer, bridging a gap between Jazz -with its heavily extended voicings and 2-5-1's- and Pop -where four chord loops would become the standard.

Although premiering this blunt form of turnaround, because of it's juicy implied "V" (the dominant in the "in between" 2-5-1, leading to a 1 in fact being another 5 of the actual root) in the main loop and alternation with the tasty progression in the verse, Isn't She Lovely is definitely a tune that manages to keep up expectations from this giant in contemporary music history.

Updated

Three years ago I posted a video on Youtube on how to play Stevie Wonder's - Isn't She Lovely that became quite the popular lesson (almost 200k views at this moment of writing!). Unfortunately, back then I failed to put in the second part of the song (the verse, although I must be honest it wasn't completely obvious to me which of the two rounds of this tune exactly was the verse, and which the chorus. Anyway..).
With this new version, I've fixed that mistake and even went a bit further, updating the tutorial as a whole.

Isn't She Lovely?

Celebrating the birth of his daughter Aisha, with "Isn't She Lovely" Stevie wrote a song that is thought by many to be a hallmark song of the fusion between fundamental jazz and pop elements in music.

Although the song holds some heavily extended voicings, it is in fact for the most part just a four chord loop - Jazz meets Pop.

However, as most of my followers know by know, I am a strong believer of the "practice something difficult by keeping it simple on the other end(s)" - not too many chords to think about, but adding (and understanding their function and relationships) all those extensions might be quite the challenge for many of you.

Left-hand bassin', a groovy challenge

On top of the extensions, on the rhythm side of the challenging story there's also keeping that alternating right hand pattern in a steady groove along with the awesome bass groove played with left.
Yet again a fine example of how to use the left hand to play a killer bassline, as I've already shown a few times before that Stevie is quite proficient in.

Such a good exercise to practice these type of songs / arrangements, strengthening both your timing, left hand technique and two handed coordination & independence.

Enough talk, let's get to the song!

Lesson | contents

In this weeks tutorial I'll show you:

  • How to play one of the most iconic classics out there in musical history.
  • A quick summary of the first -main- round (the chorus)
  • How to combine two counter-grooves, both taken from different instrumental parts from the original tune, with left- and right hand.
  • The might of the Wonder that uses the most beautiful AND functional forms of extensions.
  • A complete runthrough of both parts together (want the MIDI?)

Oh.. one more thing!

Exciting news | AH

Advanced Hacks is a comin'
After two long years of plotting, planning, pondering, writing, editing and creating I am proud to say I am currently editing the very first video of my brand new course "Advanced Piano Hacks" - the follow up to Hack the Piano.
It will dive deeper into the matter of hacking the musical language, including:

  • Extensions - all the way up to the 13 and -obviously- how this works and how to use it in any musical situation.
  • Building upon our rhythmic / pattern vocabulary: A TON of extra, more advanced patterns and techniques
  • Chord analysis, using modes and transposing, more ways of improvising, dressing up and much more.

It's all taking form and I'm looking for Beta testers. If these type of tunes -or comparable, more heavily dressed up music- is your thing, if you've finished Hack the Piano, are proficient with all that is in there and want to get more advanced at piano, I'd like to invite you to sign up here for free. (update: now closed). That will get you an exclusive intro to this brand new program plus a front row seat to the (also exclusive) pre-launch when it's finally officially there.

*Update* - Beta offer closed

If you haven't yet finished Hack the Piano, I highly recommend doing that first - we've had a recent price drop that I think many of you might find very interesting. Check it out!

 

Stevie Wonder | Isn't She Lovely

(part 2)

Isn't She Updated Part 2 Used Chords

 

Like this? Please share!

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 CoenModder.com

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Get Free Updates

Stay up to date & receive free exclusive tips, tricks, lessons and offers.

Item added to cart.
0 items - 0.00

want to finally learn how to actually play like Elton, Billy, Jamie etc... ?

Get Started Free

the Hack the Piano

Launchpad

Get this 5-part video class for FREE.
Learn the proprietary "musical language" framework that allows pro-pop-piano singers/songwriters to play and sound like they do - without sheets.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

the Couturian

The Couturian is a free email newsletter with tips, tricks and lessons for playing modern piano without sheets.

Play It For Me

Get a custom-arranged piano recording
professionally played & recorded by Coen

Teach Me

If you want to learn how to play Chord Piano yourself,
this free workshop is the quickest way to learn how

Let's find what's right for you

How would you like your arrangement?