So the great thing about pop songs is that for the most part the only chords you’re ever going to see are major and minor triads…did you hear that? Let’s let that sink in for a second….
I’m going to say it again. The majority of chords in pop songs are ONLY major and minor triads. By learning just your major and minor triads in the last two posts of mine you can play 95% of all pop songs. So now how do we make use of all the major and minor chords we’ve learned…simple!
Hands Together Step 1: Left Hand
Your left hand will be the easiest to do. There are literally two options I want you to practice.
#1 : Your left hand will play the bass notes of all the chords at or below C3. This is the third note C up from the bottom of the piano. The bass note simply means playing the letter of the chord shown in the chart. If you see a “C” chord, the bass note will be C, if you see an “F” chord the bass note will be F. Easy right? Yes it’s that easy! So again your left hand will play one bass note for every chord. See the example below.
#2 : Your left hand will play and octave using two of the same bass notes and octave apart. For example if you see a “G” chord you would play two G’s in your left hand an octave apart. See below for an example.
Start with option #1 and once you get used to playing the bass notes easily then you can move to option #2.
Hands Together Step 2: Right Hand
So what do we do with our RH? Well this is also extremely simple. We are going to play chords with our RH that the chart tells us to play. If the chart says “G” then we play a G chord with our RH. If the chart says “Eb” then we play an Eb chord with our RH. See example below. Thats it! Do you see why it’s so important to learn your major and minor chords now? Can’t say I didn’t warn ya!
Hands Together Step 3: RH + LH Same Time
So we know what we do with our Left hand. We know what we do with our right hand. Now all we have to do is put the hands together. Easier said than done. So lets take the first three chords to “Sweet Home Alabama” .
See the example below.
We have a D chord, a C chord and finally a G chord. So our LH is going to do either option 1 or option 2 described above. Lets keep it simple and stick to option 1. So our left hand will be playing the roots to those three chords. See below.
Now our right will simply play the corresponding chord with the left hand. So your right hand will play a D chord, while the lefthand plays a D in the bass. Easy. Then we move to the next chord change. Our right hand will now play a C chord while our left hand plays a C in the bass. Finally, our right hand will play a G chord while our left hand plays a G in the bass. See the example below.
Thats it! See how easy it can be? Now you may be thinking well why doesn’t it sound like the song? For one, you’re not playing the melody, just the harmonies, and second, you you’re also not playing with a full band. So there are some things that are slightly out of control, but I will teach you in future posts how to make it sound almost like a full band!
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