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Learn To Play Amazing Grace With Piano Tabs

Aug 17, 2007
You can learn to play popular melodies without sheet music. Today you will learn to use piano tab notation to learn a popular song!

Piano tabs show you where to play the notes on the piano. We will today use the numbers 1 to 8 to help you find the notes.

First we will locate the note 1. It is the note that is found to the left of two black keys. There are many such places on a piano but I suggest that you choose a number one somewhere in the middle of the keyboard.

The note 1 is also called C. The notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 and 8 are also called C D E F G A B and C.

The note named 2 in our piano tab notation is the white key immediately to the right of 1. Then note 3 is the white key to the right of 2 and so on.

Let's start by taking a look at the lyrics for the first verse:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see

We will start to play the melody to the first line of lyrics:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound

1 4 6 4 6 5 4 2 1

This type of piano tab does not tell you the length of the notes. If you sing the lyrics you will probably feel how long the notes should be.

Time for the next line:

That saved a wretch like me

1 4 6 4 6 5 6 8

Maybe you are using your right hand index finger to play all notes and I guess it works with this easy melody. I suggest that you try to use all right hand fingers to play the melody, including the thumb.

This will help you prepare for more difficult piano pieces and when you get used to play this way you will feel that it is in fact easier to play this way.

Here are the next piano tab:

I once was lost, but now am found

6 8 6 4 6 5 4 2 1

The last line is here:

Was blind, but now I see

1 4 6 4 6 5 4

If you want to play chords with your left hand I will give you three piano chords that will work with the song.

I will write them down with the same piano tab notation you already know but you of course have to play the chords starting with a 1 note somewhere to the left of the numbers you use for the melody:

F: 1 4 6

Bb: 2 4 7b

C7: 1 3 7b

7b means that you instead of playing on the white 7 key should play the black key to the left of the white key 7.

In the following text I have placed the chord names in parenthesis immediately before the syllable on which to play the chord:

A-(F)mazing Grace, how (Bb)sweet the (F)sound
That (F)saved a wretch like (C7)me
I (F)once was lost, but (Bb)now am (F)found
Was (F)blind, but (C7)now I (F)see

As my old piano teacher used to say, learn one thing at a time. Start with learning the right hand melody by heart, line by line. Learn to play the chords by heart and then try to sing the song together with the chords.

When you have learned to sing the song with the chords by heart it's time to combine the melody with the chords. By now it should be easy.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free piano sheet music, guitar tabs, ebooks, music lessons and read his music blog at Capotasto Music.
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