How to play Bruno Mars 24K Magic:

Allan McConnell – Music Production & Keyboard

A lot of people when entering the world of live music may or may not know the importance and usefulness of performing “covers” in their sets. To cover a song is to perform a song that another artist has composed, either identically or with some rearrangements. This is effective in a live scenario as audience members respond incredibly well to musical materials they are familiar with. Another positive to the performance of covers is the wealth of knowledge you can acquire by really learning and understand how some of the best songs have been written.

In my video I am going to deconstruct and then put back together the huge Bruno Mars song “24K Magic” with special attention to the harmony (chords), the bass and the drums. On first thought a lot of people may think that this, or any other song they may be interesting in learning, is too complicated or an unachievable goal. This is a very common train of thought for musicians but if you break it down quite simply into our areas of focus.

For example, the drums consist of only 3 primary parts: Kick Drum, Snare Drum and Hihats (Native Instrument Maschine 2). The Bass is a relatively simple bass line played on the Roland Juno synthesizer with a fat bass tone. Finally we look at the chords and in this song there are only really 2 primary chords that are used.
When broken down you can see how easy it is to understand the most complicated music!

Allan McConnell – Music Production & Keyboard
UTAS Conservatorium – Bachelor of Music (Music Technology)
Career Highlights:

– Performed with Chris Watts supporting Elton John at Rochford Vineyard
– Played keyboard and Ableton live for Dylan Joel on 31 date Bliss N Eso “Off The Grid” national tour
– Winner – Mercury Foster A Band Competition (Close Counters)
– UTAS Dean’s Honour Roll (GPA higher than 6.0)
– Clarice Tegg Award for Outstanding Musical Composition
– R.J Shield Memorial Prize for Exceptional Musical Performance
– Performing and writing with electronic duo Close Counters
– Produced song for New York rapper big Momma, Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire, singer-songwriter Azura
– Performed on keyboard with R’n’B outfit Lazer Baby at Party in the Paddock Festival, the Taste of Tasmania and Fractangular Gathering
– Performed keyboard with Hobart band Chase City on their 14-date/Lost Myself Australian Tour
– Programmed/performed keyboard for the Old Nick Company’s Uni Revue production Indiana Joe and the Budget of Doom
– Recorded at Studio 301 in Byron Bay with producer Lachlan ‘Magoo’ Gould

I have been playing piano since 9 years of age. It began with me begging my mum for piano lessons after fanatically listening to a lot of pop music with prominent piano playing such as Ben Folds, Joni Mitchell and Tim Minchin. I loved the dynamic nature of the instrument, how it could be applied to multiple different emotions and styles of music and how these particular songwriters enabled it to support their melodies. My mother eventually caved and gifted me a small yamaha keyboard which not only played piano sounds but also some basic synthesisers – little did she realise, as well as engaging my newfound love for piano she also allowed me to explore the versatility of sound libraries that can be played by a keyboard. This passion continued throughout my studies at school and university, and still to this date I’m always fascinated by the unlimited range of sounds you can make through synthesisers and sample libraries. I believe that the teacher needs to first and foremost be a good role model to the student, and inspire them to engage with music through their own work. I know this is true as it was through seeing the work of my own teachers, both in music and music technology, that inspired me to pursue music seriously as a career.

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