Basic Piano Chords

This page was last updated on Saturday 30th of August 2014

If you are interesting in learning about basic piano chords you have come to the right place.

To gain a better understanding of chords you should learn the notes on the piano keyboard. If you know your alphabet you are almost there.

Piano ChordsThe first note on a full size piano is called A major. The first note on most electronic keyboards is called C major.

When you look at the piano keyboard you will see a repeating pattern. The pattern is 7 white keys and 5 black keys.

The note C is the first white note of the octave. The next white notes are D, E, F, G, A, B. From this point the pattern repeats as you move to the right. As you move to the right you should hear the pitch increase.


Black keys on the keyboard will be a little harder to learn. These notes have a different color and shape. They are named to correspond to their neighbor white keys. The black note that is above C major is called C sharp. Sharp means ‘higher’. D sharp is the black note above D, there is no sharp above E, then there is F#,G#, and A# (‘#’ is the musical symbol for a sharp note).

Discover More About Basic Piano Chords

The black keys are also called by another name, according to the note before the key, which is the flat key. This identifies the note before D as D Flat. The black note before E is called E flat, and so on. The symbol for a flat note looks like a ‘♭’, and E flat is written as E♭.

All types of piano music use chords as the building blocks for the musical sounds.

A chord is a group of notes played simultaneously to create harmony. You strike two or more notes on the keyboard to make the chord sound. Chords provide the texture to accompany the melody and provide the rhythm for the song being played.

Some piano teachers believe a pianist can play almost anything on the piano with a understanding of basic piano chords. A good knowledge of chords and musical terms will help most beginners learn to play the piano faster and to increase their potential for mastering the piano.

Types of Piano Chords

Piano chords are major, minor, whole tone, chromatic, pentatonic, octatonic, lacrian, dorian, lydian, diminished, and augmented.

Memorize Chords

To begin it is very important to learn the basic structure of chords and to learn the different types. It is best that you memorize them. Learning chords early in developing piano skills will help them come to you later naturally while piano playing. They are not hard to learn once you understand the basic structure.

Chords

The piano keyboard with white keys and black keys are made up of whole and half-step keys.

Chords start on a particular note and is made up of a combination of several whole and half-step notes. The starting note determines whether you are playing a major key or a minor key.

The basic chord is made up of three notes which are known as a triad. All chords are built around notes on a scale.

A triad can be defined as a collection of three notes that are played at the same time where the

- first note is the root note
- the second note is 4 half-steps higher than the first
- the third note is 3 half-steps higher than the second

Let’s Build a Chord For Example.

The G major scale notes are G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G.

To play a simple triad is the play the first note of the scale, the third note, and the fifth note on the scale. So the G major chord is a combination of the G, B, and D notes on the G major scale.

If you start with the second note of a major scale and build a triad, you will play a minor chord.

Start with A the second note of the G Major Scale and play note C and note E and you will play the A minor chord.

Now start with B the third note of the G major scale and include D and F# and you are playing a B minor chord.

Starting with the fourth note and playing notes C, E, and G you will be playing the C major chord.

Beginning with the fifth note you creates the D major chord when you play the notes D, F#, and A.

The sixth note returns to a minor chord which is E minor when you play E, G, and B.

The final chord starts with the seventh note F# and is called F Sharp diminished chord when you play F#, A, and C as the triad. A diminished chord has its own unique sound and does not sound like a major or minor chord sound.

So you can see that the starting note identifies whether a major chord or minor chord is being played.

Now you should have a better understanding of a chord and how piano chord progression comes out of the scale that a song’s key is based on.

Chord Harmonize a Piece of Melody

The melody of a song is usually played with right hand while the piano chords that accompany the melody is played with the left hand. For a piece of music to be complete you have to play chords.

Therefore, a good understanding of the theory of basic piano chords is important.

Resources:
Learn Basic Piano Chords – http://learnpianochords.net
Blue Piano Lessons – http://www.playpianotoday.com/blues

18 Responses to “Basic Piano Chords”

  1. Gene says:

    Why are piano chords so important?

    • Larry says:

      Gene,
      Glad you asked.

      The importance part of chords is helping the listener of the music being played to see how the notes go together or harmonize. This is really important if you plan on learning how to write your own music. Chords can be used in many ways to create many good sounding songs on the piano. Through understanding the piano basic chords you can understand how music is written.

      Good luck with learn piano chords!

  2. Sam says:

    What is you recommend method for practicing and learning the different piano chords?

  3. vincent says:

    sir

    Sir what is important to help me learn how to play the piano. Do I need to practice the piano everyday or what?

    • Larry says:

      Vincent,
      Thanks for contacting us about learning to play the piano. I suggest you start by buying Piano For All. After that you should establish a routine and schedule for practicing the piano per the instruction in Piano For All on a daily basis.

      Good Luck!
      Larry

  4. Kelvin says:

    Hy,i appreciate your tips and guidance.my piano teacher taught me that a song is played by 3major keys and 3minor keys.how does one know where to put all the 3 minor keys.thank you!

    • Larry says:

      Kelvin,
      I thank it depends on the person writing the music or playing the song. It is all about how it sounds to you.
      Larry

  5. Kelvin says:

    Hy,could you be having some tips on how to play a lead in a guitar?

  6. John says:

    I wondering what the chords are if they have a 7 in front of them.

    • Larry says:

      John,
      Not sure which chords you are referring to when you write “a 7 in front of them.”

      Please provide an example.

      Have a great day!

      Larry

  7. Darryl John says:

    Good day Mr. Larry!
    How much is the ”Piano for All” package?
    Maraming Salamat! (Thank you!)

  8. Bart says:

    If you would like to learn piano chords cheap and fast then I would suggest to take a look at this app:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=codeconfections.chords&hl=pl
    It is a chords lexicon, it allows you to find all the chords using various chord notations.
    Using this app you can also store your favourite tablatures in user-friendly format that allows you to play particular chords.

  9. sir how can i learn how to read note on the keyboard says:

    God bless you sir

  10. Hey there, I just discovered a awesome piano lesson training on the Internet. I try it and my recommendations is this one: if you want to learn about the piano conveniently then get this training by clicking on How to play the piano

Leave a Reply

© 2013 Piano Playing. All rights reserved.