June Free Sheet Music: Chopsticks Duet!

Red Chopsticks

Although we think of Chopsticks as a quirky beginner’s tune, it is actually not that easy to play! Chopsticks is most fun when we play it as a duet, but if you are sheltering in place, a duet partner might not be so easy to find.

This Chopsticks arrangement has a secondo part that is easy and repetitive enough so that even a non-musical but willing companion in your quarantined life should be able to pick it up with a little patience and practice after watching the video below.

CLICK TO PRINT CHOPSTICKS for 2 or 4 hands

The first page of the sheet music shows an easy secondo accompaniment you can teach your partner by rote. In the video below, my husband is playing the first page secondo part throughout, which is the best choice for a non-pianist. My husband felt most comfortable using his Right Hand 3-4 fingers for F-G, and 2-4 fingers for E-G, but your partner might prefer using just RH 2-3 fingers for both chords. (You can make it even easier by having your partner play just a RH G throughout, instead of RH F-G and E-G.)

The second and third pages add some notes in the secondo part which you can teach to someone who has some piano skills. The primo part changes on each page.

From our Upper Hands Piano Youtube channel

These were the variations I learned as a child, but I bet you know some others! Click Download below for some additional (more advanced) variations that include some fun glissandos:

Chopsticks was originally called The Celebrated Chop Waltz and was composed by a 16-year-old girl named Euphemia Allan, in 1877. Her brother was a music publisher and helped her get it published under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli. Allan gave this instruction for the primo: “Play both hands turned sideways, little fingers lowest, so that the movement of the hands imitates the chopping from which this waltz gets its name.”

I hope that you are coping as well as possible during this sad and difficult time. If you are sheltering in place, I hope you have a bit of fun learning the Chopsticks duet with a partner! 🎵 😊 🎵

With love and music, Gaili

8 Replies to “June Free Sheet Music: Chopsticks Duet!”

  1. Thank you Gaili…I’m so grateful for your posts and generous sharing of music for us. Although my adults are not coming to lessons during this time (and not comfortable with on-line) I’m saving these gems for their return!

  2. Love your blog, and look forward to it every month. You really are the inspiration to keep practicing. Will enjoy playing Chopsticks with my wife when the grandchildren come over. Lots of fun for all. I see way back when, Jan 30 2015 to be exact, you showed Moonlight Sonata in the seven pieces to sadness. Is this “easier” version still available to print off. Hope so, just love that piece, and would like to make it my party piece.
    Cheers, keep up the good work and stay safe.
    Colin

    1. Hi Colin! Thanks so much for your comment! I’m enjoying thoughts of you and your wife playing Chopsticks. I hope you are both well. I will send you the Moonlight. Stay well

      1. Thank you Gaili for your prompt attention to my request for Moonlight. Really is one of my favorite pieces. Unfortunately all our grandchildren live several hours from where we live, so with the covid virus we haven’t been able to see them, but we do skype often. Anyway this does give my wife and I a chance to practice a bit before our grand performance of chopsticks, hopefully soon.
        Many thanks again. Play safe.

        1. Good luck with the Moonlight Sonata Colin! If you are motivated to do so, please send a video of you and your wife playing the chopsticks duet when you feel ready! It would be so fun for me to see you playing together! Maybe not possible to have a third party there to take phone video, so no pressure. I hope you have a beautiful summer up in Canada 🙂

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