How to Play Songs with Chords on the Piano or Keyboard
This song lets you play a few major chords with your left hand. If you play along with the audio track, you’ll notice that it plays both the chords and the melody. You can play the left hand part by itself until you get comfortable with the shape of the chords in your hand. Then add the melody.
This spiritual gives you practice playing minor chords and a couple of major chords, too. It also has some chord inversions.
You’ll find all kinds of seventh chords in all kinds of music, from classical to pop. Johannes Brahms’s famous Lullaby is an example of how seventh chords can create a little harmonic variety. Just don’t let it lull you to sleep.
This song is in a minor key — D minor. It gives you a chance to play chords in your left hand based on the chord symbols. The bass clef staff is left open for you to write in the notes of each chord.
This song calls for lots of chord inversions. It has triads and seventh chords along with first, second, and third inversions and a few garden-variety root position chords. Notice how the left hand plays half-note chords, with a few quarter-note changes in important places. You can change the inversion of a chord when the chord symbols are infrequent, as in this folk song.