Re: How to play chords notation above staffs on keyboard/piano?

There are 3 different answers based on 3 different interpretations of the question. I think Tim has correctly identified the intent of the original author of the notation. But the additional clues from OP's edit and comment suggest (the possibility) that he really is looking for a broader perspective on "how to do the left hand", although he has not expressed this very clearly.

I thought about commenting on the question, but it seemed more appropriate to ask the group. I'm not so certain that Marc Perry didn't successfully read between the lines.

One possible solution is for all answers to preface a statement of assumptions: "If this is a simple exercise, then ...", "If you want to know more about choosing left-hand patterns for chordal accompaniment, then ...", "If your keyboard has the option, you may want to use ...". Or such?

Should we vtc as unclear to spare the answerers from warring about it?

3 Answers 3


It's a tricky one, as several recent questions have been. What I try to do is provide an answer that is appropriate (in my view) to the level of understanding of the OP. That's not meant to be belittling, but that particular question puts the OP as a beginner, otherwise the question wouldn't have been posed.

Yes, it's asked in an ambiguous way, but sometimes we have to read between the lines. Marc Perry's answer is inappropriate in that it addresses a much higher level of expertise and experience, thus not being helpful to the OP. That, and containing inaccuracies.

Your preface idea is absolutely necessary in some cases, and puts a perceived complexion on the answer, which should be a helpful addition in cases such as this.

If it's generally not clear what a question is asking, then vote for closure on those grounds.


I think combining a comment with a close vote as unclear can save a lot of confusion from people answering, as it highlights that they need to think about the context (and possibly explain their assumptions in their post), but more importantly, it hopefully inspires the OP to update and clarify.

And of course if they don't, enough close votes will put the question on hold until they do.


I did make some mistakes with my answer. But I think my main paragraph sounds firm. If a person wants to learn how to play with just the chords and melody then they should start with just playing the base note, then playing the full chord in their right hand, then learn how to add to their left. All while keeping the melody, of course.

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