How To Play “Don’t Stop Believin’ (Updated)” by Journey | HDpiano (Part 1) Piano Tutorial


– [Devon] What’s up
everybody, this is Devon with and
thanks for tuning in, because today we are
checking out the classic “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. One of the most epic and most recognizable piano parts, probably in the world, I mean, this song just
gets the party going. It’s got that sing-along,
special vibe and people love it. I’ve played it countless
times, hundreds of times at weddings and bars and all that stuff. And I love the piano part, it’s honestly really fun, and it’s a great part. So I’m excited to show you guys what’s up. We’re gonna look at the
main riff in this video, but the rest of the videos
with the rest of the song can all be found over at All right so here we go,
I’ll show you what’s up. One, two, three, four. (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) All right, so that’s the main riff. And that’s gonna get us through
the intro, the verse, etc. And yeah, it even works in
the chorus, if you want. So before I dive in, got a
quick question for you guys. You know, obviously this
part is very iconic. This song is epic, I mean,
everyone knows it but, I think what’s also kinda cool is that there’s a very unique effect on the piano. It’s an effect that is
often used with guitars, I’d say, but it’s pretty
unusual to hear it on just the raw sound of a piano. So I’m curious if you guys know what that effect might be, that gives it that kind of honky-tonk, kind of warbly sound? So yeah, go ahead and comment
below with your ideas. All right, we are in the key
of E Major, a guitar key. And let’s start by looking
at the left hand, all right? So I’m going to teach you guys that kind of melodic bass
line that defines the part, and then we’ll look at the right hand. So we start on E and middle
C is here, by the way, so I’m a couple octaves down. And we go one, two, three
and four and one, two, three. All right, so that was E, F#, G#, B, and then we go to C#, D#, C#. All right, so if we put
that in rhythm, we always hold for two and a half
beats, and then we carry on. So one, two, three, and
four and one, two, three and four and one, two,
three and four and one. So those notes I added there are D#, E, A. And then to get back and repeat
the cycle, we go D#, E, E. So, up the octave, down
to the lower octave. Now we more or less repeat it exactly, but check out this minor difference here. So one, two, three and four and one, two, three and four
and one, two, three and four and one, two, three, and
four and one, all right? So just instead of going
to the C#, I went to a G#. So I’ll do that one more time. (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) All right, so normally it would’ve been C#, D#, C#, the first time. For the second time, C#, D#, G#. And now, we wait three entire beats, one, two, three, four and. And on the end of four, we
repeat the G#, and play an A. And then, at the end of that measure, two, three and four and one,
we go back down to the E. All right, so let’s do that in time. I’ll slow it down a bit for you guys. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, up to B, two, three, C#, D#, C#, two, three, down to A, two, three, down to E, two, three, up to B, two, here comes the G#, one, two, three and four and one, two, three and four and one. And you’ll notice at the end there, I did and four, one, not hitting
the upbeat on the E. And that’s because once
we start the verse, we start hitting down
beats every other note. But we’ll talk about
that in just a second. All right, so let’s
look at the right hand. All right, so our first chord is E. (chord playing) We’ve got this pattern of
using our top two notes and our thumb, and
alternating between the two. So we start with the top two notes, and we alternate with the
thumb in eighth notes. So one and two and three and four and. So that first group is B, E, B. Second group over, B is B, F#, B. (notes playing) All right, so then our
next chord is C# minor. And it’s actually C# minor 7. So we have B, E, B again, but it’s kind of colored by that C# at the base. (notes playing) All right, now we go to A major, and this is where the notes
kind of spread out, here. We’ve got C#, and A,
alternating with the thumb on A. (notes playing) And then we go back to
our E here, so, E, E, B. (notes playing) And we go up to our B chord. Now for our A sorry, for our G# here,
we play B, D# and B on the right hand,
which gives us A# minor. (notes playing) Then we go to A, our familiar chord here, A, C#, A on the right. All right, so I was kind of leaving out the bass line for that
demo, and I’ll do that one more time, just
focusing on the right hand. Okay, so no bass line on the left hand, I’m just gonna play the
roots, slow it down a bit, and focus on the right
hand, two, three, four. (notes playing) To B. C# minor 7. Here comes A. Here comes E. up to B. Now the surprise chord, G# minor. And A major. All right, so it’s time
to add the bass line. So if that was tough, then definitely keep repeating that section there because adding the
syncopation on the left hand might make it a little tricky. All right, so that’s a good place to start putting the hands together. And once you’ve got that, let’s move on. (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) All right, so you’ll see the left hand is always anticipating the
next chord: and four and, so on the and of four is when
we get to the next chord. But the right hand just
kind of plugs along and just makes it through the measure and then it resets for
every consecutive measure. I’ll do that one more time for you guys. One, two, even a little
slower now, here we go. (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) (notes playing) All right, there you go,
so that is the main riff. Now, I just want to talk
about one more thing, which is that, when the verses begin, something kind of interesting happens. We start on the down beat,
so coming out of the intro, and four, one, two, three and four and one, now check this out, and four, one, two, three and four and one, whoops, two, three and four, one, two, three and four and one, two, three and four
and one, two, three, four and one, two, three and four, one. All right, so if you were just like, “Wait, what is he doing?” Well, what I was trying to show you guys there is that every other measure is gonna land on the down beat. So one, two, three to the
upbeat, two, three and four, downbeat, two, three and four
and, so that’s the upbeat, two, three and four, to
the downbeat, two, three and four and, that’s
the upbeat, two, three and four, to the one,
two, three and four and. All right, so our right hand
doesn’t change in the verse, but the left hand, just
to give it a little more of kind of like a focused, centered feel, it starts hitting deep
down beats, all right? Every other measure, so the first, the third, the fifth, etc. All right, so that’s
important to check out, I actually didn’t know that for a while until a bass player on
a gig pointed it out. He was like, “Yo, Devon you
should check out, you know, you’re supposed to play the downbeat.” I was like, “Oh, really?” I thought, I was like, “Oh, I know this song.” But no, actually, there’s some intricacies to the part, so now you know. All right so I’ll go ahead
and play you guys out one more time with the main riff at tempo. (“Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey) And there you have it, the main riff of “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. Good work my friends, and I hope to see you over at to learn the rest of the song. But while I have you
here, if you wouldn’t mind liking and subscribing on YouTube and following us on Facebook,
Instagram and Twitter, all that would be much appreciated. All right, this is Devon
with, it’s been a pleasure and
I hope to see you soon.


76 Responses

  1. HDpiano

    October 19, 2017 7:05 pm

    Full lesson:
    ♬ Sheet Music for this lesson available at Musicnotes!: ♬

  2. Andrew Pagador

    October 21, 2017 10:09 am

    Hi, would you mind making a downtown train by everything but the girl piano tutorial from the how i met your mother show. It would totally help a lot; thank you in advance 😊

  3. MrOsecour

    November 23, 2017 3:51 am

    Hi, I'm looking this great tutorial again and again to learn it and I'm not sure but I think there is a mistake somewhere. It is suposed to be 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and? Something goes wrong at 6:55. And I think it happen later also. The last "and" is missing. By the way, i'm not complaining but I'm wondering if it is normal or not?

  4. Joash Britto

    December 6, 2017 7:53 am

    Thanks a lot man! I literally hardly ever touch the keyboard but I'm beginning to get this… Thanks again 🙂
    If you don't mind me suggesting, could you take down the other tutorials? It's kinda confusing seeing so many different videos…

  5. PiiTA

    January 3, 2018 12:01 am

    In my school’s band I play trombone, but ever since my birthday, where I got a keyboard, I can’t seem to stop playing piano to practice my trombone! You guys are the reason for that, great tutorials let me learn great songs quickly!

  6. Paul Lackenbauer

    July 1, 2018 1:10 am

    Small mistake at 6:56 wich you dont repeat when you do it again.Threw me listining to it.

  7. Vicente Martinez

    July 3, 2018 6:54 pm

    You’re amazing to explain how to, i admit that i was playing it the wrong way. 👍

  8. Trevor B

    July 21, 2018 7:01 pm

    My right hand hurts from playing those octaves, is this normal? I can barely practice the right hand because of how much pain my hand and wrist end up getting, and it sucks cuz the right hand is what I need to practice the most lol… Any tips people?

  9. Johnny Plays

    October 29, 2018 11:50 pm

    Too hard for me, no matter how much I try. X_X I think it is too complicated for my brain to handle and my hands are smaller so it is harder.

  10. feast 4 good knowledge

    January 1, 2019 9:13 am

    Plz make a tutorial of dream it possible (huawei)
    Sheet music link (

  11. Need2Retire

    March 6, 2019 3:23 am

    Very good tutorial! I like how you do the count in the lesson and it help with the timing a lot. But I don't think you do the counting for the other lessons that I've seen? Is there a way you can add the count in the scrolling window?

    Anyway, so good that I'm thinking to sign up as members. Please do Beth by Kiss someday.

  12. Just a random dude

    March 28, 2019 9:11 pm

    I've never played the piano but I learned to play this reasonably well in 3 days because your videos are really good! thanks

  13. Ryan Broomes

    April 4, 2019 12:17 pm

    The sound that you call a warbly sound is reverb using the sustain pedal it's made similarly to vibratoing on guitar by sort of vibrating the hands on whatever chords/series of notes but you also add the sustain pedal to further ring out the notes. 🎹🎹

  14. Maverick 13k

    June 27, 2019 3:11 am

    Ughhhhhh I can't play with 2 hands it's so difficult had piano if u see this please help me try to fix this

  15. Donnie Gauvin

    August 8, 2019 4:59 pm

    I see that you have put a lot of work into this video. And of course music is subject to interpretation, however, your bass line is incorrect. When it goes into the verse, the bass line just follows the 1-3-5 triad for the E. There is no F# during the verses.

  16. N Sl

    November 29, 2019 6:22 am

    i love this song! i learned it in a different key, so the fingering is way different. but they both sound great

  17. MartyMcTube

    December 12, 2019 9:49 pm

    Still missing a note in the bass line. At :56 seconds, there should be a G# played 1 octave higher on the 3-and followed by the lower G# on the 4.


Leave a Reply