Take Me Out to the Ballgame is not only a well-loved, almost-traditional song, but it is fun to sing and fun to play. Download the song sheetmusic with song lyrics, FREE! Here is a Middle-C version for beginner piano students, a super-easy-to-read "alphanotes" version, and a duet arrangement with primo and secondo.
Though this song is arranged for beginners, I can't promise you that this version in C is super easy, because Take Me Out to the Ballgame is full of skips (3rds and 4ths) and perhaps, unfamiliar higher notes.
Now what if you wanted to arrange your own simple chord accompaniment for, say, the easier version in Middle C position of Take Me Out to the Ballgame? If you don't know how, I will show you how to do that!
Because this song has 3 beats per measure, a very nice accompanying chord pattern is a basic "Bass note, triad, triad" pattern. (Oom-pah-pah)
Things get more interesting if instead of always choosing the root of the chord (a G for a G chord, for example) on each beat 1 of the measures, you make use of alternative notes of the chord (the 3rd or the 5th instead of the root), especially when that note happens to be "on the way" to the root of the next chord. This is how a "walking bass" is done. See the walking bass from notes G to C, in measure 4 of the Secondo arrangement above.
In the example of the Secondo, again, see how F, the root of the F chord (line 5 measure 5) walks up to G by stepping through an F# (the 3rd or middle note of the D chord) instead of jumping down to root D and then jumping back up to a G, which would be okay, but clunky. This works because the in-between chord has that F# in it. Sounds nice, too.
And what about that C chord using the 5th, a G bass note, instead of repeating the C root again? Well, it's more interesting to have a different bass note instead of hitting that same bass note again, when you find 2 measures in a row with exactly the same chord. Not always - just try it and see how you prefer it in each case.
The broken chords in the last 2 lines of the Secondo make a nice break from the split chord pattern, and also help build a little excitement coming up on the end of the song.
Now, I could have written out a Secondo part for the Middle C arrangement and dressed it up a bit, but it's nice for piano teachers to understand how to turn anything into a piano duet. Now go show your students.
It's a lot like teaching a man to fish, versus giving him a fish! "Give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day. Teach him HOW to fish, and you'll feed him for a lifetime." Just like the fisherman, YOU can teach your students how to make chord backups to duet and other melodies!
Sylvain: I found great ideas for my guitar unit on your site, as I didn't know where to begin. Thanks to you I will survive my next 6 weeks. I also teach choir to middle school, and I love your little morning warmups. Looking forward to more of that in the future. Keep up the great work, it is very inspirational for us beginner teachers.
Susie: Wow! I cannot thank you enough for the free collection of piano sheet music that you created here. My daughter and I are following everything you wrote and we LOVE it. It is super fun!!! She loves to play because of your website. We have a small binder now that is slowly growing! THANK YOU!!!!
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!
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