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chord chart

The first key to remember when trying to make sense of the piano chord is that they’re based on…you guessed it…piano scales! In our examples, we will use the key of “C” but the formula applies to all keys.

Remember that the major piano scale for the key of C is C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C – where the first “C” is the root of all chords in the key of “C”.

Click Here To Learn What A Piano Chord Looks Like And How It Works!

One more thing: We use the terms lowered or raised a lot below.

  • “lowered” means shifted down one-half step or made flat (flat The Piano Chord   Making Sense of This Versatile Music Concept).
  • “raised” means shifted up one-half step or made sharp (sharp The Piano Chord   Making Sense of This Versatile Music Concept).

We will reference this scale in our examples below.

There are Four Main Piano Chord Types each are further distinguished by what’s often referred to as their quality (Major, Minor, Augmented, Diminished, Suspended):

  • Triad
  • Seventh
  • Extended
  • Other

Let’s explore the construction of the triad chords…

The TRIAD PIANO CHORD:

Remember triads are the simplest chord pattern consisting of only three notes.

triad chord The Piano Chord   Making Sense of This Versatile Music Concept

Further, these three-note (triad) chords can be one of the following:

Major:

Symbol: M or maj, implied if no symbol is present

This the probably the most basic and familiar chord form.

It consist of the 1st, 3rd and 5th note in a major piano scale.

Example: Cmaj or CM = C E G

Minor:

Symbol: m

This the probably the second most basic chord form.

It consist of the 1st, lowered 3rd and 5th notes in the scale.

Example:

Cm = C Eb G

Diminished:

Symbol: dim or o

Just like the name suggest, a diminished triad chord is a minor triad chord with the last note diminished or lowered one-half step.

It consist of the 1st, lowered 3rd and lowered 5th notes in the scale.

Example: Cdim or Co = C Eb Gb

Augmented:

Symbol: aug or +

Just like the name suggest, an augmented triad chord will last note in the chord augmented or raised one-half step.

It consist of the 1st, 3rd and raised 5th notes in the scale.

Example: Caug or C+ = C E G#

Suspended or Suspended Fourth:

Symbol: sus or sus4

Just like the name suggest, a suspended chord is a chord that when played doesn’t sound “resolved” The listener is sort left “hanging” or suspended, waiting for another note or chord to finish the sequence. It’s like the following incomplete sentence: “Once you play a chord…”

It ends without giving you what you need to complete the thought.

In a suspended chord the 3rd note is typically replaced by the 4th note.

It consist of the 1st, 4th and 5th notes (sometimes the 3rd note is also played)

Example: Csus or Csus4 = C F G

THE SEVENTH PIANO CHORD

EXTENDED CHORDS

Click Here To Learn What A Piano Chord Looks Like And How It Works!

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Seventh Piano Chords In It’s Many Forms

by Erik Thiede on April 1, 2014

Seventh piano chords are just like the triad chords PLUS the 7th note in the scale. It’s used a lot in jazz, gospel and blues piano music.

seventh chord Seventh Piano Chords In Its Many Forms

Just like with the triads, seventh piano chords can have several forms:

Click Here To Get The Lowdown On Seventh Piano Chords!

Dominant Seventh:

Symbol: 7

The dominant seventh consist of the 1st, 3rd, 5th and lowered 7th notes in the scale.

Example: C7 = C E G Bb

Major Seventh:

Symbol: M7 or maj7

The major seventh is a major triad chord plus the unlowered 7th note.

t consist of the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th notes in a scale.

Example: Cmaj7 or CM7 = C E G B

Minor Seventh:

Symbol: m7

The minor seventh chord is the minor triad chord plus the dominant 7th.

It consist of the 1st, lowered 3rd, 5th and lowered 7th notes in the scale.

Example: Cm7 = C Eb G Bb

Minor/ Major Seventh:

Symbol: m/M7 or m/maj7

Can decide between the  minor seventh and part major seventh? Then the minor/ major seventh chord may be your solution. It’s part minor seventh and part major seventh.

It consist of the 1st, lowered 3rd, 5th and 7th notes in the scale.

Example: Cm/M7 or Cm/maj7 = C Eb G B

Diminished Seventh:

Symbol: dim7

Just like the name suggest, a diminished triad chord is a minor seventh chord with the last note diminished or lowered one-half step. Since the 7th note is already lower by definition, the 7th note is double lowered to become diminished (double flat, flat Seventh Piano Chords In Its Many Formsflat Seventh Piano Chords In Its Many Forms). The 5th note is also lowered.

It consist of the 1st, lowered 3rd, lowered 5th and double-lowered 7th notes in the scale.

Example: Cdim7 = C Eb G Bbb

Diminished Minor Seventh or Minor Seventh Flat Five or Half-Diminished Seventh:

Symbol: m7b5

It’s like a diminished seventh chord but the 7th note is only half-diminished, it’s just lowered once not twice as is the case in a Diminished Seventh.

It consist of the 1st, lowered 3rd, lowered 5th and lowered 7th notes in the scale.

Example: Cm7b5 = C Eb Gb Bb

Dominant Seventh Flat 5:

Symbol: 7b5

Just like the name suggest, it’s a dominant seventh where the 5th note is flat in the scale.

It consist of the 1st, 3rd, lowered 5th and lower 7th notes.

Example: C7#5 = C E Gb Bb

Augmented Dominant Seventh or Dominant Seventh Sharp 5:

Symbol: 7#5

Just like the name suggest, it’s a dominant seventh where the 5th note is sharp in the scale.

It consist of the 1st, 3rd, raised 5th and lower 7th notes.

Example: C7#5 = C E G# Bb

Play around with all of these seventh piano chords and learn to recognize them in your favorite music.

Click Here To Get The Lowdown On Seventh Piano Chords!

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Piano for Beginners – Different Ways of Learning

March 21, 2014

There is a bit of a mini-revolution going on in the world of piano teachers. And it all has to do with teaching piano for beginners. You see, there’s the old way of teaching piano. This way focuses on learning notes, learning to site read music, and learning where each individual note is on the […]

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A Chord Chart for the Piano

September 6, 2009

Using the piano chord chart table, Here are the A Chords: A Chord Name Symbols Chords Notes* A Major (implied if without notation) AM or Amaj or A A C# E A Minor Am A C E A Augmented Aaug or A+ A C# F A Diminished Adim or Ao A C D# A Dominant […]

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E Chord Chart for Piano

August 26, 2009

Using the the piano chord chart table, Here are the E Chords: E Chord Name Symbols Chords Notes* E Major (implied if without notation) EM or Emaj or E E G# B E Minor Em E G B E Augmented Eaug or E+ E G# C E Diminished Edim or Eo E G A# E […]

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F Sharp Chords Chart for Piano

February 20, 2009

Using the piano chord chart table, Here are the F# Chords: F Sharp Chord Name Symbols Chords Notes* F# Major (implied if without notation) F#M or F#maj or F# F# A# C# F# Minor F#m F# A C# F# Augmented F#aug or F#+ F# A# D F# Diminished F#dim or F#o F# A C F# […]

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F Chords Chart for Piano

February 20, 2009

Using the piano chord chart table, Here are the F Chords: F Chord Name Symbols Chords Notes* F Major (implied if without notation) FM or Fmaj or F F A C F Minor Fm F G# C F Augmented Faug or F+ F A C# F Diminished Fdim or Fo F G# B F Dominant […]

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Piano Chord Chart – A Gentle Introduction

February 16, 2009

To make learning chords a little easier, you might want to try using a piano chord chart. This handy reference tool gives you immediate and visual access to some of the most commonly played chords. And although they can be quite complicated for the beginning pianist, this article will describe their fundamentals. Acknowledging that a […]

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Looking for a Chord Chart for the Piano?

February 16, 2009

Instant Piano Chord Chart Finder Need a Quick and Convenient way to find piano chords and voicings? The construction of a piano chord chart can be easy once you understand the formula for each chord. It all follows from the intervals of the respective scales. For example, the major scale for the key of C […]

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