You Can Accompany Yourself

C minor chord
C minor chord (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Big Wilson wrote an article about how to accompany yourself. I wanted to share it with you in its entirety. I thought it was pretty upfront and straight forward about knowing chords and then putting them together in chord progressions. That way, you can find your way around songs. So, who is Big Wilson? Watch the video and he plays a quick lick at the very end .

You Can Accompany Yourself

"If you are a singer, either professional or amateur, I assume that you know the major scale... Do Re Mi Fa Sol, One Two Three Four Five, or No Nee Nay Nee Nah. I assume that you can find middle C on the piano. Given these two assumptions, you can accompany yourself while you sing.

My daddy used to play piano for silent movies. He started at the Binghamton Opera House. He taught me a few chords, and called them "changes." The first chord he taught me was B Flat Major. The first "change" was an E Flat Major, and the second change was an F Seventh. Using these three chords, he ripped into a ragtime version of "Nearer My God To Thee." It was great, and I was hooked.

I spent lots of time at the piano learning and finding new changes, until I could play well enough to put myself through college. I then went into radio and television, often calling on the piano for background to commercials. In those days record artists would visit DJs, and I would get them to sing live. I've had the pleasure of accompanying Steve Lawrence, and Edyie Gorme, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald and others on my radio and TV shows. It was a thrill for me.

Many singers have said to me, "I wish I could play like that, and accompany myself." Therefore, I have devised the most simplistic method of learning to read guitar chord symbols, found on most sheet music. So, if you have the sheet music to the songs you want to sing, you can quickly learn to accompany yourself on the keyboard. You will not be a great piano player. but you will be a fine accompanist.

Let's start with a look at chords. All chords are based on triads. They are either Major, Minor, Diminished or Augmented.

All major triads contain the one, three and five.
All minor triads contain the one, flat three and five.
All diminished triads contain the one, flat three and flat five.
All augmented triads contain the one, three and sharp five.
Unless otherwise indicated, all chords are built on the major triad.
The symbol for a minor chord is a small m. Example: Cm.
The symbol for a diminished chord is a small circle. Example: Co. (Yes, it's a very teeny circle)
The symbol for an augmented chord is a +. Example: C+.

C = 1 3 5

Cm = 1 b3 5

C dim = 1 b3 b5

C+ = 1 3 #5

If you can read simple treble-clef melody notes,
you can play your favorite popular songs using
"Play Piano With Fake Book" system.

Master the following:
*Can't Help Falling In Love
*Smoke Gets In Your Eye
*Never on Sunday
*Chariots of Fire and more
Using "Play Piano With Fake Book"

Also, you may be interested in:

Mastering Piano Accompaniment
Step-By-Step Guidance How To Accompany Somebody On The Piano
30 Days Money Back Guarantee

All the best,

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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