How to Apply Great Intros and Finales on the Piano - dummies

By Hal Leonard Corp., Adam Perlmutter

A good pianist should always be able to begin and end a piece in an interesting way. You can join the ranks by filing away some stock intros and finales (sometimes called outros) you can apply to any piece of music at any given time. An intro or finale is your time to shine, so milk it for all it’s worth.

Few things are more fun than playing a great intro or finale. Heck, some of them sound great alone, without a song attached.

When it comes to classical music, the composer usually gives you an appropriate beginning and ending. Of course, if you really want to fire up Chopin’s Minute Waltz, you can always add one of these intros.

You can add intros and finales to virtually any piece of music. Just follow these steps:

  1. Check the song’s style.

    Each intro and finale has a different style or sound. Consider the style of the song you’re playing and choose an intro that works best with it. For example, a rock ’n’ roll intro may not sound very good attached to a soft country ballad. But, then again, anything’s possible in music.

  2. Check the song’s key.

    Adjust the notes and chords of the intro and finale you choose to correspond with the song’s key by using the helpful hints shown with each intro and finale.

  3. Check the song’s first chord.

    Make sure you transition easily into the first chords or notes of a song, provided that the song begins with a chord built on the first tone of the scale. For example, if the song you’re playing is in the key of C and begins with a C major chord, intros written in the key of C work nicely.

  4. Check the song’s last chord.

    Like intros, you’ll need to adjust the finale to the appropriate key.

Adjusting existing intros and finales into different keys involves a lot of transposing work. If you’re a piano beginner, you may want to start with existing intros written for a particular key. When you’re ready to apply an intro or finale to a song of a different key, check out which note of the scale it starts on and try to match the interval patterns in the new key.