New Song: Can’t Hold Us

Posted on October 10, 2019

Let’s learn this hip-hop hit! As you listen and tap your foot, you’ll notice it has a pretty fast beat and feels full of energy. The speed of a song is called the “tempo” – it’s measured in beats per minute (BPM), and has a huge effect on the musical mood and energy levels. You’ll find that slow relaxing ballads typically have a tempo of around 60-80bpm, mid-tempo toe-tapping pop songs tend to be around 80-120bpm, and faster dance songs tend to be around 120-140bpm. This song is around 146bpm, so it’s noticeably faster and more intense than most pop songs, but not a mind-bending fast 200bpm thrash metal song!

“Can’t Hold Us”, made famous by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, is now available in Yousician for Guitar, Bass, Piano, Ukulele, and Singing.

Can’t Hold Us for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

In the basic riff exercise (level 1) you’ll play along with the main riff, using the A-string and D-string. There are only a few notes repeated, but the rhythm can be quite tricky, so listen carefully as you play along.

In the cowboy chords exercise (level 5) you’ll play the chords of the song: Am, C, Em, F, and an occasional G (using a capo). The rhythm is the most challenging aspect, with lots of syncopated up-strums. Start slow until you feel like the strumming clicks for you, and you can gradually build speed as it becomes automatic.

Can’t Hold Us for Piano
by: Sunny Choi, Music Education Designer for Piano

Melody exercise (level 4): Learn to play the recurring piano riff with this melody exercise!

Accompaniment exercise (level 6): The recurring piano riff keeps this song fun to play all the way through the end!

Can’t Hold Us for Bass
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

The basic bassline exercise (level 2) follows the chords of the song. You’ll need only the A- and D-strings, but rhythms can be a little complicated so focus on them and have fun!

Full bassline exercise (level 5): This electronic hip-hop song has quite a funky bass riff in it. There are basically just two different parts, but there are tricky rhythms to keep an eye on!

Can’t Hold Us for Ukulele
by: Joona Hasan, Music Education Designer for Ukulele

With the chords exercise (level 6) you’ll play the main accompaniment along with the piano.

Can’t Hold Us for Singing
by: Sonja Patrikainen, Music Education Designer for Singing

Now here’s a word monster for all you rap lovers out there! The verses are full of tongue twisters with complicated rhythms in a fast tempo, so take it slow at first. Switch to practice mode and reduce the tempo to at least 50 percent, break the song into smaller pieces and master each section well before moving to the next part. The key here is r-e-p-e-t-i-t-i-o-n. Be systematic, and you will be rewarded!

As a bonus assignment, think about the story. What are the lyrics about? There are lots and lots of references baked into the text, which will give you a fun day of character building for sure!

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