About Our Song
Below are lead sheets for our folk song "Skip To MY Lou" in three different keys. We've already tried
to play it without music starting in music5. This song uses the first five notes of the major scale just
like "Some Folks Do". It's in 4/4 time just like "Some Folks Do".  It has quarter notes and half notes just
like "Some Folks Do". It uses the I and the V7 chord just like "Some Folks Do". How is it different? It
uses one more note of the scale and it uses eight notes. The one more note is the 7th note of the
scale, which is also the 3rd note of the V7 chord. The 7th note of the scale can be the 7th note above
the key note or the note directly below it. In this case ti's the note directly below it. Eight notes are half
a beat long. Looking at the lead sheets below you can see that eight notes can have a common tail as
well as the individual tail.  As you tap your foot to the beat you play the first eight note as your foot
taps down and the other eight note as your foot comes up. Say the number when your foot goes
down. Say and when your foot comes up. Let's use a + sign for the and. First lets examine the rhythm
of the song. The count for the first two measures or bars, with the I chord of the song, are 1,2,3,4; 1
2+, 3,4. That time pattern repeats with different notes on the V7 in bars 3 and 4.  Bars 5 and 6 are an
exact repeat of bars 1 and 2. Bar 7 is 1,2+,3,4  and then the song finishes in bar 8 with two half notes.
Playing The Melody
Playing The Chords
Skip To My Lou lead sheet in C
ti,do,re,me,fa,so = 1,1,2,3,4,5 = b,c,d,e,f,g
Skip To My Lou, Melody, C
Skip To My Lou, Melody & Chords, C
Skip To My Lou lead sheet in G
ti,do,re,me,fa,so = 1,1,2,3,4,5 = fsharp,g,a,b,c,d
Skip To My Lou, Melody, G
Skip To My Lou, Melody & Chords, G
Skip To My Lou lead sheet in F
ti,do,re,me,fa,so = 1,1,2,3,4,5 = e,f,g,a,bflat,c
Skip To My Lou, Melody, F
Skip To My Lou, Melody & Chords, F
The  Whole Story
We know that the notes in "Skip To My Lou" are the first five notes of the major scale, do, re, me, fa,
so plus ti below do. We know that it is backed up by the I chord based on the first note of the major
scale and V7 chord based on the fifth note of the major scale. The I chord is major and the V7 chord
is dominant. The only thing left is to see how the notes relate to the chords. The melody notes in the I
major chord measures are all chord notes.  They are the root, 3rd or 5th of the  I chord. The melody
notes in the V7 chord measures are the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th. Remember we are counting these in
relation to the 5th note of the scale, the root of the V7 chord not, not the root of the scale. The V6 is
common in the dominant position harmony. We could also look at it as a passing scale tone in this
song.
Applying The Knowledge
Let's cover this information again in the key of C to make it less confusing. I've put the lead sheet
below for quicker reference. The first two measures are the C chord. We start out with e's followed by
c's in the first measure. These are the 3rd and root note of the C chord. In the next measure we have
e's followed by g. These are the 3rd and 5th note of C chord. The next two  measures are the G7
chord. In the third measure, we have d's followed by b's.  These 5th and 3rd note of the chord. The
4th measure has d's followed by f. These are the 5th again followed by the 7th.  The 5th and 6th
measures are the same as the 1st and 2nd measures. The 7th measure is G7 again. We have  d, e, f,
e, d or 5th, 6th, 7th, 6th, 5th. Notice the run of consecutive notes like "Some Folks Do"  except now it's
both up and down. The final chord is C and the final notes are it's root c. Songs almost always end
with the root chord and the root note of that chord. Notice we can look at e in the 7th measure as the
6th note of the G chord or as a run note between f and d. Play "Skip To My Lou" in C, F and G. Look
at the music for each as you play and understand the notes in relation to the key and chords, not as
unrelated notes.
Skip To My Lou lead sheet in C
©2004 - 2008
Skip To My Lou, Piano
About This Page
This page is part of free music lesson 8, "Timing The Notes". The free music lesson 8 lesson is part of
the free music lesson series that teaches you how to read music. This page teaches you how to play
"Some Folks Do" in three keys C, G and F through the use of lead sheets. It shows you how to play
melody with the right hand and accompaniment chords with the left hand. It also teaches you the
theory of the song.  Two of the links below bring you to free music lesson 8, "Timing the notes" and
the Music Site Map. Both of these pages give you access to the rest of the music pages and also the
rest of the website. The other two links, "Some Folks Do" and "Tom Dooley" bring you to pages like
this one for those songs.
fingers of the left and right hand numbered for keyboard playing
As we look at our lead sheets in three different keys C, G and F, each has different notes if you go by
letter names and actual pitches. But remember,
it's not the actual notes that make the melody,
it's the spaces between the notes.
If we look at each lead sheet in terms of the major scale they
are all the same. The song only uses do, re, me, fa, so, and ti below do, no matter what key it is in.
I've added the right hand finger numbers over the notes to help out. A normal lead sheet wouldn't
have the finger numbers.  As you will see, the fingering is the same for all three keys. For reading,
playing, arranging, and composing music, you have to know your notes as they relate to a key. In
other words you have to know and understand the key. You start playing the song "Skip to My Lou"
with your third finger on the third note of the scale me. For C major that's e, for G major thats b and
for F major that's a. Then you can play the whole song in that key without moving your hand. For this
song do,re, me, fa so and fingers 1,2,3,4,5 match up. Do, re, me, fa so is c,d,e,f,g for the key of C.
Do, re, me, fa so is g, a, b, c, d for the key of G. Do, re, me, fa so is f, g, a, b flat, c for the key of F.
You stretch out your thumb to play ti below do. It is b in the key of C, f sharp in the key of G and e in
the key of F. Play the melody for  "Skip To My Lou" in all three keys on your piano or keyboard. Make
sure you are thinking of how the notes relate to the major scale of the key you are playing in. In other
words not unrelated letters but do,re, me, fa, so and ti below do.. I've placed the sound sample for
each key below it's lead sheet. I've also put the equivalent fingers, notes, and scale name to help you
out. Make sure you can read and play these.
This song is a two chord song. It uses the I chord based on the first note of the scale and the V7
chord based on the fifth note of the scale. We play the chords with the left hand in the octave below
the melody octave. We are going to keep the chord rhythm simple for now. We are playing chords on
beats 1,2,3,4. Playing on 1,2,3 at the end is common. You can do this even if you are going to repeat
because it tells you've reached the end. Listen to the sound sample to hear how to play the rhythm.
I've placed keyboard pictures of the chords under each song. I'm using the root position of the I chord
and an inversion of the V7 chord so you can play the chords without changing position. We are not
using musical notation for the chords. That would be giving you only one rhythm. Once you learn
them you will be able to play them in varied rhythms, just from the letter names of the chords above
the lead sheet.
C major chord in root position for piano
G7 chord in inverted position for piano
You can see that to change between the
C chord and the inverted G7 chord, you
can leave your thumb at g and just shift
your other fingers slightly. Even though
I've shown finger 4 playing d on the G7,
since you can leave the fifth note out on a
7th chord, you can leave it out.
I, C
V7, G7
D7 chord in inverted position for piano
G major chord in root position for piano
Changing between G and D7 is the
same as changing between C and G7.
Just like on G7, you can leave out the
fifth of the D7, in this case a. The only
difference is that finger 5 is playing a
black key instead of a white key
because the third of  D7 is sharped. It
is the f sharp required by the key of G.
I, G
V7, D7
C7 chord in inverted position for piano
Changing between F and C7 is similar
to changing between C and G7.  As
always, you can leave out the fifth of
the 7th chord, in this case g. The
difference this time is that finger 2 is
playing a black key instead of a white
key because the seventh of  C7 is
flatted. It is the b flat required by the
key of F.
F major chord in root position for key board
I, F
V7, C7
This page is part of free music lesson 8, "Timing The Notes". The free music lesson 8 lesson is part of
the free music lesson series that teaches you how to read music. This page teaches you how to play
"Some Folks Do" in three keys C, G and F through the use of lead sheets. It shows you how to play
melody with the right hand and accompaniment chords with the left hand. It also teaches you the
theory of the song.  Two of the links below bring you to free music lesson 8, "Timing the notes" and
the Music Site Map. Both of these pages give you access to the rest of the music pages and also the
rest of the website. The other two links, "Some Folks Do" and "Tom Dooley" bring you to pages like
this one for those songs.
About This Page
For reference I've repeated the information that
numbers the fingers for playing keyboards. The
picture to the left shows how fingers of the left and
right hand are numbered for playing the piano or
key board. We start with the thumbs as number 1
and count up to the pinkies as number 5.
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