I'm trying to learn "Can't take my eyes off you" on piano, but the sheet music is confusing me.

In the third and fourth measures, it starts with a chord composed of B♭+G, then you hit a bunch of notes and finally you're supposed to hit G again?

X: 1
K: Cmin
%% score (0 1 2)
V: 0
(B,8 x | B,8)
V: 1
(G8 x | G8)
V: 2

And further down, on the 11th measure, right below "eyes off of you" a D+G chord, and then the notes C, B♭, G?

X: 2
K: Cmin
%% score (0 1)
V: 0
(3C'2B2G2 (3C'2B2G2 | z4
V: 1
[D8 G8] -| [D G]

What would be the correct way to play these G notes?

  • 1
    could you possibly attach a photo while marking the parts you have problems with in red? and maybe naming the chords properly would be helpful too. I am having trouble relating to the heading and the description :/ – Sazid Ahmad Aug 27 '14 at 13:30

You will run into this a lot — basically any time the arranger or composer is trying to make it clear that it should sound like more than one voice. In fact you find it everywhere in the keyboard works of JS Bach, where it can be challenging to play the voices clearly.

The way to play it in the 3rd measure is as if the first G was a dotted half note tied to an eight note. This is then followed by an eighth note tied over the bar to the whole note. The trick however is to really try to make it sound like the moving line is its own voice, not part of a melody.

When you listen to a recording you'll hear that the long chord is held by winds or stings while a different instrument plays the moving melody. The arranger has tried to make this clear, which is why it's written like this.

  • I've had very little formal training with piano, basically enough to be able to read sheet music on a basic level, and no training with music theory, so thank you for the high-er level explanation, this would never have occurred to me! – Nickolai Sep 3 '14 at 14:33

On the third measure, you play the chord, and hold it for 3.5/4 of the measure. At the last eighth of the measure, you play G again and on the 1st beat of the 4th measure you play the chord again (thus you also play the note G again).

On the 11th measure, you play the chord, then you play the notes that follow: Bb, G, Bb, C, Bb and then on the next measure you play the G-D chord again.

  • For the third measure, that makes sense to me. But for the 11th measure, I'm only holding the G until I play it again, and then don't hold it anymore? Or is the intention to never hold the G in the first place? – Nickolai Aug 27 '14 at 13:58
  • You hold it until you play it again and then hold it again – Shevliaskovic Aug 27 '14 at 13:59
  • No, the G should not be played again at the beginning of bar 4. The intention is to make it sound like it is tied, and striking the note again would break that illusion. Rather, the G should be held down across the bar line. The goal is to approximate the sound that would be generated if the piece were played as a two-piano duet. – 200_success Nov 25 '17 at 8:02

I guess you're asking about the G note which is written as held for 2 bars, along with the Bb, except that you're told to play the G again, at the end of bar 3, while it's still pressed down. It's not written too well, perhaps simply, to show that the Bb+G are one voice, while the tune is another. To do it correctly, maybe the G should not be shown as held over, but written as a shorter note, to accommodate the next G in proper time, which then could have been tied over to the next bar. But that starts to get complex to read. To me, it's a simplified way to write it, but that in itself causes problems ! It's the same syndrome for the other part as well. I'd just pedal the bar, thus holding the Bb+G, and play it again where the 'top part'says to.


The notation shows a musical intention rather than precise piano-playing instructions. You'll come across this a lot, particularly in trasscriptions of pop songs.

Ideally, one instrument holds the note G, another plays the melodic riff that also includes the note G. But there's only you, and one piano keyboard. So you do the best you can.

The example you posted includes playback facility. Listen to it. That's just about what we need to hear from your playing.


Actually quite simple...

The notes are tied, meaning you hold the Bflat-G while your other fingers play the other notes. When you come to the last G in the third measure, you play it again then hold it down just like you did the first time.

Sometimes we over-think stuff, making it more complicated than it really is. :)

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