How To Read Music From Nothing But Chord Symbols

If you’re interested in playing the piano, you may be interested in learning how you can learn to read music with nothing by the chord symbols to guide you. In many types of jazz and other styles of music today, there are chord symbols that are used to show the changes and progressions in the chords. While you will not find these same notations in classical music, often the chord symbols that are used in modern music will actually make it easier for you to read, acting as shorthand for the music that is so full of change. So, let’s take a look at how you can actually read music from just the chord symbols.

Understand the Root of the Chord: First of all, if you are going to ready music from the chord symbols, it is important that you understand the root of the chord. This is important, and if you don’t know and understand the root, you’ll find yourself having difficulties. When you take a look at the chord symbol, you may see something like G6. In this case, you’ll find that the G is the root of the chord. Of course it is important to remember that in some cases there can be chord symbols that are inverted as well.

What Kind of Chord?: You’ll also need to know what kind of a chord it is when trying to read chord symbols. The second part of the symbol is going to let you know whether or not the chord is going to be a minor one, a major one, an augmented one, or a diminished one. If you see a chord symbol that says Gmaj7, then you’ll know that the chord is going to be a major one.

Other Instructions: Also, you’ll find that the third part of the chord can let you know if the chord is different than a regular triad, which is known as a third chord. Some of the differences from a triad can include a seventh chord or an eleventh chord. If you do not see an extension, then the chord will just be a triad. Of course sometimes if there is no alteration you may find that there are some specific instructions that are written in parenthesis to guide you. In some cases the instructions may tell you to flatten the chord, sharpen the chord, or even play a suspension. When you decide to read the chord symbols you’ll find that it is often easier to read than just reading the notes. You’ll be able to get the basic chords of the piece of music, but it often allows pianists to improvise as well. Of course reading notes is important, but having the knowledge to read both chords and notes is a great idea that will really help to make you a great musician.