The melody needs some accompaniment, right?
OK. Find the note that finished your piece, the very last note. Does it sound as if that is the end of the piece? This note is called the Tonic.
This is in most cases the first note in the scale your little piece is made from. We will call this note I (1).
Now count up from this note (being
1); the next up is 2 and so on. Find the IV (4th) and the V (5th) note.
Please note: If your melody had some black keys in it, then you might have to alter the bass notes to a black key right next to it too. Listen to what sounds best.
With your left hand play the first note (I) with your fifth
finger (your pinkie), your fourth note (IV) with your 2nd finger, and
your fifth note (V) with your first finger (your thumb). Practice
playing them one at a time.
Now the fun part!
Play the melody you learned with your
right hand. Test the bass-notes you learned with your left hand- one at a
time- together with the melody. See together with which melody notes
they fit best.
Keep the left hand notes longer, but listen to where you
have to change or it sounds ugly. Stick with only these three bass notes for now, though.
You can also try to sing along the melody with your left hand bass notes.
This is a great exercise in ear-training, and you are now playing piano by ear!
Continue to play piano by ear and pick out other songs (or make
up your own!) that you like, but remember to choose very simple songs at
The I, IV, V (Roman Numeral Chords) formula works for many, many songs and you could
also play piano chords this way; just build the bass note with a third
and a fifth to a
chord in root position.