I have self taught how to play a few of elevation worship song on the piano by watching someone play. I have had no formal music training but learning as I go.

So this is my basic question: when looking at a chord sheet

VERSE 1: F Bb When the weight of life begins to fall F Bb On the Name of Jesus I will call F Bb For I know my God is in control F Bb and His purpose is unshakable

Since it show a F and a Bb I assume that you play a F octave with the left hand and a F chord/triad with the right hand. Then for the Bb play a B octave with the left and a Bb with the right.

Is this how I should read and play the above for all music?

Since the "F" does not say exactly what each hand does?

3 Answers 3


You're right that the chords don't say exactly what each hand should do. You are free to play the chords as you see fit as along as you stay within the boundaries of the chord. The way you described is one very simple way to do it, except that you would play a B flat in your left hand for the B flat chord instead of a B (was that a typo?). There are many variations and embellishments you could use to make that pattern more interesting, as you no doubt have learned. It would not be a very sophisticated accompaniment if all you played were the tonic in the base and triad with your right hand.


Octave with the left and triad with the right is typical (you can also experiment with adding the fifth with the left hand, e.g. F C F). Also experiment with different inversions of the right hand triad - you may want to have the highest note of the triad correspond with the sung note at the point you play the chord.


Octave in the left hand and triad in the right hand is a good starting point, it will work fine most of the times, but eventually you will want to do something different or more sophisticated.

Here are some things you can think of:

  • Adding notes to the chords, like 7th, 9th, 6th..
  • Playing arpeggios with the right hand, using the notes of the triad;
  • Playing a second voice, or the melody, with the top notes of the right hand, like @MotherBrain suggested;
  • Applying rhythm to the left hand, using the notes of the octave and maybe the fifth, like @MotherBrain said;
  • Playing a bass line with the left hand, if there is a nice one in the song for example;

To start, you could try to apply some of these separately in this song, then try some combinations, and maybe other songs. With time you will come up with other cool stuff to do.

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