Ezine Article Tip

How To Tell What Chords To Play When Not In Sheet Music

Hi there. I am Ron Leegee, the ezinearticles author of this article.

In this piano lesson we learn about chords not in sheet music. When you look at piece of sheet music you see that there are two treble clefs and a bass clef sometimes. Why are there two treble clefs you ask? The top treble clef usually contains the melody line. The second treble clef is an optional line that may contain all the 3 note chords and their rhythm pattern.

What if it does not and all you see are 2 note chords occasionally and you see the melody line repeated again?

How are you going to play the 3 note chords if you cannot find them in the sheet music?

That second treble clef line is an arrangement that is put there so that you can play some 2 note chords in the same hand as the melody. That is usually your right hand. In this piano lesson we learn how to use the left hand to play chords. In the right hand you play the melody.

Again, you ask how are you going to play the chords if they are not in the sheet music?

I figured out a way around this. Just look at the name of the chord above a measure. Look at the Piano Chord Chart of the chords. If the key is in C, and the name of the chord is C, then look at the C Major Chord image on this page. In the key of C, there are usually C, F, and G chords. For F, see the F Major Chord image. For G, see the G Major Chord image.

Go to a Piano Chord Chart like this

C chord

F chord

G chord

They would be in the chord progression of I-IV-V pattern.

Go to the Chord Inversions page on the menu to find various ways to play the 1-4-5 chord pattern.

Then what duration do you play them for if they are not in the sheet music?

You can try to use your play by ear skills or develop them and see if you can guess the chord rhythms in the song. If you listen to the song and you cannot guess the rhythm for the chords, then try the following piano lesson.

In many songs, there are 4 beats per measure. You usually play 4 times per measure. Try it with the piano. Play the 3 note C chord 4 times per measure. Do this for each measure that you see the C chord above the staff. Then play the F chord and G chord each measure that you see the chord in the staff. There is an online piano course that can give you more tips.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.