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Lesson notes

Angel is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, from her 1997 album ‘Surfacing’. It later appeared on numerous soundtracks, including the movie ‘City Of Angels’. It was inspired by articles that McLachlan read in Rolling Stone about musicians turning to heroin to cope with the pressures of the music industry and subsequently overdosing.

The arrangement is in ¾ time with swing feel. It’s done in the key of C, where the guitar is capoed on the first fret, although Sarah often performs the song in the key of D instead of Db. The progression uses all the chords in the key, including several colorful chords, except chord VII.

The lesson covers the chords, progression and shows a look at the right hand, which is a combination of picking and strumming. The latter is absolutely my take on how I would approach such an accompaniment done on a piano.

Since Sarah’s playing is very free and different in every performance, students trying to tackle this song are encouraged to work on their abilities to play freeform and random as well. The play through shows a way of how it could be done.