What on earth is a “fake” piece? Instead of the music showing every note the composer put down, “fake” music strips out the melody only and labels the relevant accompanying chords throughout.
For example, if we did this for Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1, the original looks like this:
And the “fake” looks like this:
A lot fewer notes to have to read means it can be played easily from sight, especially if you are familiar with the piece.
This kind of “fake” music is very popular in the world of jazz, rock, pop and the like, but isn’t often found in Classical music. However, despite the fact that much of the original music is stripped away and the accompaniment is very open to the player’s own interpretation, this is still a valid way of tackling this genre.
Of course, you need to be familiar with the chords listed in the music. For example, if you don’t know what notes are in Gmaj7 (G B D F#) or Dmaj7 (D F# A C#), you’ll be hard pushed to play the “fake” version of the Gymnopedie above. The best way to learn chord is incorporating them into scales practice – see my post on Scales, Arpeggios and Triads for Piano for more information.
The rule of thumb for accompaniment is: Left hand plays bass notes only, Right hand plays chords below melody. Stick to that and it’ll all work out swimmingly.
Here’s a PDF with a few “fake” well-known Classical pieces to try out yourself:
Any questions, please do ask!