Do you long to accompany yourself on the piano but don’t know where to start? Well, here’s some great news. You don’t need to be able to read any music at all to do it! Really. You do need to understand how to play some basic chords. But once you know some major and minor chords, you can use this rhythm pattern with both hands to play lots of up- tempo songs. This is especially useful for old show tunes with a strong beat and traditional folk songs. I’ve even used this technique to play Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”. So brush up on your major chords (let’s start there) and then apply this technique. It’s not hard to do and is fun to try. Now you can step out of that shower and sing while you play. Very impressive!
Here is the technique. We are using the C Major triad as an example. In 4/4 time with one chord per measure, you will play the root of the chord with the left hand on beat one. That’s low C. On beat two, play the C triad with the right hand. Use middle C as the root of the chord. On beat three, you will play the 5th of the chord with your left hand which is the G note. Go down to the G note which gives a nice bass quality. On beat four, you will play the C triad again with your right hand.
In 3/4 time, you will simply play the root of the chord with your left hand (C) on beat one. For beats two and three, you will play the C triad with the right hand.
This article written by Contributing Writer, Debbie Gruber B.M.,M.M. Debbie Gruber has a Master of Music degree, performs regularly at restaurants and is a private piano and voice teacher from Massachusetts. She is also the author of numerous books and DVDs on how to play popular piano and is the President of www.EasyPianoStyles.com where she teaches Skype pop/jazz piano lessons.