Playing Chords with a Lead Sheet
Courtesy of Wikicommons
A lead sheet is sheet music with only lyrics and chord symbols, or as above; the melody of the song plus lyrics and chord symbols.
There is no written
accompaniment; this is what you have to "make up" on your own with the chords given.
You can start by playing the melody in your right hand. With your left hand you'll play the chords in either major or minor as indicated on the lead sheet.
The chord symbols are rather easy to understand. The letter name tells you the lowest note of the chord (in root position).
The other two notes you add on "top", spaced a third apart, but those are only indicated in the chord symbol with an "m" or "min" after the letter for a minor chord. The major chord has no indication.
So, for example a C major triad is written with the chord symbol: "C", and played like this:
C major Chord (Triad)
The C minor chord is written "Cm" or "Cmin", and played like this. Easy!
C minor Chord (Triad)
Any other numbers or symbols added to the chord marking are coloring the chord with other notes added to the chord, or removed from the chord.
But this is not necessary for beginners, really. You could start playing with chords just using the simple major and minor chords. Of course this is a compromise in sound, but it's still a rewarding way to get started!