New Song: Ocean Eyes for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, and Singing

Posted on June 10, 2019

Let’s learn to play this moody pop ballad! Notice the stripped-back instrumentation and repetition gives it an intimate, hypnotic feel. The tempo is quite slow, but the syncopated (off-beat) chord pattern keeps it moving forward. “Ocean Eyes”, made famous by Billie Eilish, is now available in Yousician for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, and Singing.

Ocean Eyes for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

In the basic melody exercise (level 1) you’ll play along with a simplified version of the melody. Each phrase is fairly quick, so make sure you start slow and try to memorize the repeating pattern to get it under your fingers.

In the main melody exercise (level 4) you’ll play the main melodies in the song, mostly following the lead vocals. Look out for the large string-skips, and start slow to memorize the pattern, so your fingers know what to expect.

In the cowboy chords exercise (level 5) you’ll play the chords of the song: C D Em G. This is one of the most commonly-used sets of chords, and great to practice. Look out for the fast chord-changes, and syncopated (up-strum) rhythms. If you start slow and memorize the pattern, you’ll have the whole song under your belt very quickly.

Ocean Eyes for Piano
by: Sunny Choi, Music Education Designer for Piano

Melody exercise (level 4) – Get familiar with the melody! Reading ahead will help with any upcoming changes in hand position.

The chords exercise (level 5) fits in nicely with the melody. Get familiar with the bass line – also known as the root of the chords – so that you can play with a fuller texture.

The accompaniment exercise (level 7) of this song stays close to the chord exercise while covering more melody line along the way to create a more complete frame around the song as a whole.

Ocean Eyes for Ukulele
by: Vellu Halkosalmi, Music Education Designer for Bass and Ukulele

The chords exercise (level 4) is all about the fretting hand, and smooth transition from one chord shape to another. The rhythm stays the same all through the song, so you can put most of your attention to the fretting hand coordination. The verse is written without the D-chord to make it less busy, than the chorus with all the chords.

Play the full melody with the melody exercise (level 6), which is also a great workout for your plucking speed. There are many fast groups of 4 consecutive melody notes. Start slower and once you get comfortable, dial up the speed.

The fingerpicking exercise (level 7) is a solo ukulele arrangement of the song combining melody and chords. Try to memorize it part by part, and then try to play it also without the backing track. When playing fingerpicking arrangements like this, it is usually best to pluck each string always with the same finger. The top G string with your thumb, C string with your index finger, A string with your middle finger and the E string with your ring finger.

Ocean Eyes for Singing
by: Sonja Patrikainen, Music Education Designer for Singing

This song is ideal for practicing an even airflow with singing! The phrases are long and combined with a breathy sound it is easy to run out of breath.

Our tip is to start singing the melody first with an open “ah” vowel. Concentrate only on your airflow, try to keep it as natural as possible without crunching your stomach at the end of phrases. Instead of that crunch, try to relax the stomach and think of an open feeling in your sides and back. After this, see if you can maintain the free airflow with lyrics too.

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