Monday, November 09, 2009

Lady Gaga Plays and Sings Paparazzi

This is one very pleasant surprise: Lady Gaga is also an accomplished pianist, as this acoustic performance shows. Her piano transcription of the song shows harmonic imagination, played with a fine sense of pacing and note-perfect accuracy.

Previously on the Collaborative Piano Blog:


  1. Anonymous10:06 PM

    How novel: a pop star with talent.

  2. Anonymous2:07 AM

    I'll admit that Lady Gaga is just about the last person I'd expect to see on a classically oriented music blog, but that was enjoyable. Thanks for posting :)

  3. Anonymous12:26 AM

    Wow, was very very surprised while watching this. She can really play and has a very real voice (as opposed to software enhanced voices like Spears & Aguliera) Upon seeing this & further investigation its not as surprising as I thought... She could play piano by ear at age four. By the age of eleven she was invited & set to join Juilliard, but her parents sent her to the Catholic school Convent of the Sacred Heart instead, where she studied arts, religion and socio political order. At seventeen, she was one of twenty people in the world to have gained early admission to the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

    Never thought I'd see a talented Pop Star...

  4. Talented and, judging from the vast amount of money she must be making, smart too.

  5. Okay Chris, with your posts of Lady Gaga playing the piano so well and singing live, you're changing my opinion of her. I admit, I wrote her off instantly as fluff when I first heard her. Thanks for the eye-opening video links.

  6. Meh. Most of that is the kind of big-chord pop playing that sounds big and impressive but isn't actually all that difficult. And her actual technique looks terrible.

    Where I do give her props is 1) that was likely played 'by ear' and maybe even improvised, so even if it's not technically difficult to play it's still impressive enough to come up with it on the fly, and 2) she is indeed a real singer, unlike most pop starlets these days.

    I think it's a real shame, actually, because Stefani is a very talented young woman but Gaga does crappy songs! Maybe it's "smart" because she's certainly raking it in, but I don't see much artistic integrity there and she COULD have had that too.

    Anyway, that sort of pop piano improv is more than I could do, myself, but she's no Elton John or Billy Joel in that respect. Heck, Chris Martin does just as well piano-wise, or the girl from Arcade Fire.

  7. Thanks Heather! From what I've seen of Gaga's latest piano playing antics (like in the HBO live concert), she's trying to be as weird as possible...

  8. Anonymous5:05 PM

    WWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I din't know that about lady GAGA!!!!My Respects and my Hat is off for this talented lady.

  9. I agree mostly with Heather. Her technique leaves much to be desired. And the rhythmic octaves she plays when singing is typical and unimaginative. But +3 for the harmonic progressions, good pacing, and good ear!

  10. Anonymous10:32 AM

    Nothing special there. Can't see what it's doing on Classical piano blog at all.

  11. ProfessorForever4:23 PM

    This young woman may not be a virtuoso pianist, but she doesn't profess to be. Classical music is my first love and passion, but I give Lady Gaga high marks for her fresh, inventive, uninhibited style of entertainment, both musically and vocally. In my humble estimation, this lady is a legitimate powerhouse and deserves all her fame and celebrity. She makes pop music fun and young, and I certainly would be the last one to begrudge her for whatever fortune she has made. She has proven to be durable and connected to her fans, in a diverse array of social and cultural niches. At least three of her songs have really gotten my blood flowing, and I'm no youngster.

    This lighthearted performance proves that nothing about Lady Gaga is contrived or inaccessible.
    I greatly respect and appreciate this site for making her unique art available to those of us who enjoy classical music as a primary choice. There's nothing not to like about this lady.


  12. Paws in the air, PF!

  13. Anonymous2:13 PM

    Look at her now, this was in 2009....she has improvedo so much her vocals, this is talent :) I actually love her

  14. dave oconnor5:18 PM

    who knew great piano skills