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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Learning how to play piano accompaniment by reading chords

Playing chord is a real big deal to us especially when we are classical trained, I know how you think about whenever we read no notes, we become handicap.
After being a Christian, I learnt how to play by chords from brother Keng Poo, and found it is real easy, you just have to understand it and play with it often.
Start from C major, you may want to just play all these chords in root position, meaning in 1,3,5 form. 
  • Knowing the chord alphabet well, just skip letters by 3rds, e.g. C E G B D F A C E .....
  • 1st, 4th and 5th (primary chords) are majors, the rest (secondary chords) are minors.
  • 7th diminished chord is rarely used.
R.H: For beginner, you may only have to use fingers 1,3,5 on your Right Hand (RH) to play in minim beat (two counts) therefore you need to repeat the same chord two times in each bar.
L.H: Just play the note according to the chord letter name in semibreve (4 counts) which means only play once in each bar.
If there is only one chord to a bar like this: F | C | F | C |
If there are two chords to a bar like this: C Am| Dm Em | F G | C |
OR to have R.H. play in crotchet beats.
You would love to know what about those chords with '/', C/D reads as "chord C on D, meaning playing C chord on D as the bass note.
e.g. C G/B |Am G | F C/E | Dm G |
So far, try to get a song you are familiar with, starts from C major key, if the song isn't in C major, try the chart provided below to transpose (changing key) into C major.
How it works?
If your chosen song is written in G major, you would like to play it in C major, follow the chart, this progression e.g.
in G major key: G D/F# |Em D | C G/B | Am D |
in C major key: C G/B |Am G | F C/E | Dm G |
I really hope this helps you to understand more about playing accompaniment by reading chords progression.
Click here for "Heaven in My Heart" chords, it's written in D major, original is in E major, it won't be too low if you transpose to C major key. Try it.

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