How to play chords in the right way?

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Post by Yasje » 02-12-14 5:54 pm

Hello all,

I am getting better and better with the keyboard/piano and still lovin it!

but i got a problem i can read chords but dont know how to play with which hand and when...

I wanna play this song but i dont know how to play, i hope anyone can hlep me with!

PS: i can play/read the chords but i dont know in which lines i must play!

song i wanna play: ... -again.htm

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Post by jimhenry » 02-12-14 8:49 pm

Trying to play a song from the type of lead sheet you linked to would be very hard for anyone without a lot of experience of playing that type of music. And playing that in an effective solo piano arrangement would be hard too. The linked page does not include the melody so you would have to figure that out too.

To try to answer your question more specifically, in this type of music you will probably be playing the chords rhythmically with your left hand to provide your "rhythm section" and playing the melody with your right hand. But a good piano arrangement is going to get clever about positioning the left hand chords both to achieve a particular sound and to keep the difficulty under control. There will probably be things from the chords used to fill out the right hand too.

It just about comes down to "if you have to ask, you aren't ready to do it." You need to start by learning to play things where the arrangement is worked out for you and studying what they did and trying to figure out why. Then start modifying these arrangements. Maybe borrow an idea from one song and apply it to another. Eventually you'll work your way up to the point of being able to play from just a lead sheet. But playing from a lead sheet is not just about knowing how to play a chord, you have to know when and where to place those notes on the piano as you've realized. It's called arranging and it is a major skill separate and apart from being able to play piano.

Since you are using Synthesia, I'd suggest finding a MIDI file for the song you are interested in and learning to play from that. But also import it into a music notation program and study how it has been put together to start learning about arranging.

If you want to try just playing the chords along with a recording to get a feel for playing along with a band, try playing the D chord with the D on top and F# on the bottom with the left hand. Try using D above middle C. Then find the positions (inversions) for the remaining chords that require minimum movement. Figure out a good rhythm. Maybe 2 & 4 would work. Play the chords in that rhythm staccato and figure out where the changes are. When you get to the B section you probably should change the positions and the rhythm but start by just leaving it the same.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ

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Post by Yasje » 02-13-14 4:33 am

Thankyou for your reply.

Maybe i am not ready for it yet... But i can read / play chords the onyl frustrating is as you said: is to make a song about it.

Well i hope i can play it one day :lol:

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Post by Pianotehead » 02-21-14 7:48 am

Don't know if the OP (or anyone) is still following this thread, but I'll give my advice. I learned this particular rhythm in the program Piano For All, which I highly recommend for learning rhythmic piano playing, but here is how it goes.

It's based on counting, which is very helpful in mastering rhythm and harmony. It's hard to describe without music notation, but I'll try. I have the notes in parentheses at the beat they are played, for example play a half note chord at 1 AND, the AND beat after 1.

Right hand (treble:) 1 AND (half note chord) 2 AND 3 AND (quarter note chord) 4 AND (eight note chord.)

Left hand (bass:) 1 (root of right hand chord, dotted quarter note) AND 2 AND (third of right hand chord, dotted quarter note) 3 AND 4 (fifth of right hand chord, quarter note) AND.

Try this with the chords in the lead sheet above, I'm pretty sure it works fine for this song. My version actually has it as C Am F G, each chord twice, but I believe that is a simplification. The bass is played an octave lower than the treble, but you can take it down two octaves if you like, to get a deeper sound. Playing the first chord with a glissando, that is, roll the chord, adds an interesting flavor to the progression.

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Post by Yasje » 02-25-14 6:20 am

i understand 50% what you said, do you have maybe some examples? for me and the others?

Thanks for your reply! :D

Posts: 321

Post by Pianotehead » 02-25-14 2:57 pm

You should learn about rhythm and counting, very necessary if you want to get better at the piano. I'm just a beginner in this stuff, but I can share what I've learned. This video here explains some basic things in a very clear manner.

I've made a MIDI file of this rhythm I was talking about, but I can't copy stuff exactly from the Piano for all books, since that would be breaking copyright laws, not allowed on this forum. However, the internet is flooded with information about these things, you just have to find it. I just took the chords from the link you gave in the beginning and applied the rhythm to them. Run this MIDI through Synthesia and try to figure out what is going on. I can't do all the work for you, you have to experiment on the piano and judge with your ears what sounds good and what does not sound so good.

I will post the MIDI file in the MIDI club forum, check it out there. If the moderators believe it's against copyright laws, they'll remove it, but I'm uploading it in the belief it's not, just common knowledge that can be found all over YouTube.

This video is also quite interesting, though the teacher talks a lot in my opinion. Still valuable information, and be sure to check out other videos on this channel, lots of good stuff there.

Playlist about pop piano comping on the same channel ... 0E2153C94A

Hope this helps somewhat.

Posts: 23

Post by Yasje » 02-26-14 1:31 pm

Thanks Now i understand what you mean, i learned alot of it and now i cna improve my skills a little bit more..

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