This tutorial is part of my Piano for Singers series, where I teach valuable piano skills that support the needs of singers. Today I will teach you four easy accompaniment strategies that sound great and aren’t too hard!
Creating great-sounding piano accompaniments doesn’t have to be hard. In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to create your own piano accompaniments to accompany your (or your students’) singing. All you need is a basic knowledge of major and minor triads and you are good to go!
Playing Major and Minor Triads
Before we can get into this, you will need to make sure you are able to actually play your major and minor triads in all 12 keys. Practice your major and minor triads clockwise and counterclockwise via the Circle of Fifths and up/down by half steps to really master them with confidence.
Piano Accompaniment Strategy #1: Keep it simple
The easiest strategy to get started creating your own piano accompaniments is to play the chord in the right hand and a bass note in your left hand. This simple accompaniment strategy will help you get your fingers moving while you sing on top. As always, I recommend using a metronome or a drum machine like the iReal Pro to keep you in a steady tempo.
Piano Accompaniment Strategy#2: Basic rock patterns
Once you are comfortable playing the root in your left hand and the chord in your right hand, you are ready to try some more challenging piano accompaniment strategies. This basic rock pattern mimics what a rock rhythm section plays and will sound great for songs from the Beatles to Adele and everything in between.
Beautiful Arpeggiated Piano Accompaniments
If you are looking for a more flowing sounding accompaniment strategy, I recommend these arpeggiated triad accompaniments. In these you will take notes of the triad and divide them between the hands. Arpeggiated accompaniments sound very full and complicated, but they are actually super easy!
To get started, let’s have a look at this simple chord progression. The right hand is playing the chord in root position and the left hand is playing the bass note (root).
Now we are going to take the same progression and divide the notes of the chord between the two hands.
Accompaniment Strategy#3: 4/4 Piano Accompaniment
Left Hand: 1 – 5. Right Hand: 3 – 1.
Accompaniment Strategy#4: 12/8 Piano Accompaniment
Left Hand: 1 – 5 -1. Right Hand: 3 – 5 – 1.
Ready to build your piano skills in a meaningful way? Check out Crash Course in Piano Skills for Singers – a mini workshop designed to get you feeling stronger about your relationship with the piano.
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