How do you play notes on piano from guitar chords?
by Renee May
Question by <3livelaughlove: How do you play notes on piano from guitar chords?
i’m trying to learn a song on piano but i can only find the guitar chords to it. i would like to know how you play the notes out of the chords. thank you
Answer by not_smiling
Depends on the printed layout you’ve got for the song in question. If you just have the little grids with pictures, it can be harder to match the chords with note letter names. But if you have the names of the chords, it’s best to learn to “fake” the chords on the piano, rather than try to play the exact guitar chord notes on the piano.
If you try to duplicate the notes of the chord on the keyboard, it’ll work; but it won’t sound as good on the piano as on the guitar. Guitar melody chords are already inverted and voiced to sound good when you’re singing along, but they sound thin and incomplete when transferred to a keyboard, which is capable of much more complex chords than your average guitar player’s fingers can handle. It’s a question of digits: 4 on the fretboard for most guitar chords, vs. up to ten (!) to help you accompany a singer on the keyboard (not to mention what you can do with the pedals).
Learning to fake the chords and picking good voicings on the piano keyboard to make the song work is an art unto itself. It’s not quite playing by ear, although there’s some of that involved as you advance to alternative voicings and inversions.
If you can read music (and know basic keyboard notes), and you know scales, then you’ve got a good start on faking chords already. You can pick up the basics in 4 or 5 lessons with a keyboard teacher, or you can get a beginner teach-yourself chord piano book (sometimes listed as “adult” piano methods–self guided or otherwise) and go at your own pace.
Here’s a good site for some general information: http://www.pianochordfinder.org/html/piano_chord_charts_flash_8.php (Note: I’m not affiliated with this website, nor did I take any information from it. It looks well done and simple, though)
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!