(The “How To” Video is below at the bottom of the page)
I don’t normally do copyrighted music. In this case, I originally thought Yackety Sax was a public domain song. Just to be clear, Yakety Sax is NOT public domain. It was composed by Spider Rich and Boots Randolph, and recorded in 1963. As best I can tell, the copyright is owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
That said, by the time I realized the error, my heart was set on it, and I’d made fair progress learning a new piano arrangement. So… here it is. My cover of Yakety Sax. Advertising will not be turned on for these youtube videos, but if I understand correctly the copyright holder may opt to advertise on my cover of their song… :^)
That’s fine with me. This is more in the nature of a tribute to music I very much enjoy. And of course, the how-to-play video is on YouTube if you like the arrangement. Plus the free midi file and free sheet music for Yakety Sax are available to download.
You might also know it as the Benny Hill Theme Song. If you like the slapstick type of British humor (I do, with some reservations…), you may enjoy finding some of the episodes on YouTube. Warning: Benny Hill’s show was quite racy, especially for its time. Kind of like Vaudeville for television. If you’ve ever laughed while watching a fast-paced funny scene to the tune of Yakety Sax, you can thank Benny Hill for that.
With it’s history, you’d think my first run-in with Yakety Sax would have been on the radio. Instead, my inspiration was my Uncle Freil (again). He made a big impression on me, and most of the songs posted on this site I learned by hearing Freil play. Especially Yakety Sax, which was a constant request from me.
I had some trouble getting used to the new arrangement here. For decades, it’s been ‘key of C, same old same old’ every time. While learning to vary the notes and change the keys, I was also tearing up the back yard deck. The constant work with crowbar and hammer made my hands stiff and painful. You may be able to tell in this video, but hopefully it’s not too noticeable. As a side note, the very few pieces I play that are NOT in Freil’s style, are extremely hard for me to learn and quickly fade. The Peanuts theme is a perfect example. Learning that tune involved listening for weeks, much practice, and at this moment I couldn’t play it if my life depended on it. When playing for my own enjoyment, it’s like humming with my hands. Simple, no key changes, and very repetitive. Relearning an old favorite in a new arrangement is a lot like starting from scratch with an unfamiliar song. I try to make it interesting; hope you enjoy it!
Regarding the “Learn How to Play” videos: I’ve always done titles, credit, links, etc… but some of the software I edit with has ceased to work. For now, the learn-to-play videos are strictly unedited clips, until I can figure out how to make everything work right again.