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Piano Chords

Beginner Piano Lessons

by Tania Gleaves on December 15, 2014

Welcome to what I believe is one of the easiest beginner piano lessons you will find anywhere. I’ve built this introduction to piano based on the experiences I’ve had successfully teaching countless others. My method is to keep it simple, make everything make sense, and move at a pace that keeps things interesting.

When you look at the piano keyboard, you see white keys and black keys. Each key represents a note. Notice there’s a pattern; the black keys are arranged in groups of two and three. Everywhere you see the group of three, the white key positioned between the second and third black key is called “A.” If you play an A and read off alphabetically as you play each white key after the A, you will notice that the note after G is also between the second and third black key. It is another A. Notice how the tune of both A’s is identical; one is just higher than the other.

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We call the distance between one A and the next A an octave. “Oct,” the root of octave, means eight. There are eight notes from A to A. The distance from B to B is an octave also, and the same is true for all the notes on the piano.

Find the note “C” on the keyboard. To locate it, you can either count up from A, or I’ll give you a hint: somewhere in the middle of the keyboard, locate a group of two black keys (not three); C is the white key just to the left of the first black key. Now, play the C and each white note to the right of it, reading off the names of the notes – C, D, E, F, G, A, B – until you land on the next C. Congratulations, you’ve played a scale in the key of C!

The scale is the most basic building block for everything we do on the piano. The first note of the scale you played was C. Your scale, therefore, was in the key of C.

You build chords – melodic groups of notes played simultaneously – from the notes in the scale. To play a C chord, you would play a C, E and G together. Go ahead and place your thumb over the C, your middle finger over the E, and your pinky over the G. Press down on all three notes together. That’s a C chord.

While your thumb stays over the C, locate a C two octaves down to the left and play it with your left thumb. Play that note together with the C chord. You’ve just combined bass with your chord. Here comes the tricky part. Counting from the C, move your left thumb to the right until it is over the F. With your right fingers positioned over the C chord, move them to the right until your thumb is over the F, your middle finger is over the A, and your pinky is over the C. Play the left and right hand parts together. That’s an F chord with F for the bass. Finally, move everything one more position to the right – left thumb over G and right thumb over G, middle finger over the B and pinky over the D. Play it all together and you’ve played a G chord with a G bass.

Believe it or not, you’ve just played the basic three-chord pattern of most of the rock songs written over the last six decades!

Get comfortable playing notes and chords and combining them with bass. From here, you can learn to play real songs. Check out the links section to decide where you personally want to go next!

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Piano music is much more beautiful when it’s played with free piano chords because chords create harmony. Built from single notes starting with the first note or root of the simple major triad chords are the result of playing a root note (also called the tonic or degree I), a third tone above the first (major third or degree III), and a fifth tone (perfect fifth or degree V). This odd-numbered combination is called a major triad but its sound is far from being “odd.” The minor triad chords are formed simply by lowering the fifth one-half step (flat Free Piano Chords   Theyre The Path To Beautiful Music5):

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major minor chords Free Piano Chords   Theyre The Path To Beautiful Music

If you’re familiar with the work of Bela Barok, then you know what we mean. Bela Bartok was a Hungarian composer whose work is known for its “odd-numbered” chords as well as its “even-numbered” chords.

There are approximately 12 different root keys that you can use to build a chord, and there about 600 chords that you can learn to play by using free piano chords. As you practice them, you’ll discover some interesting patterns that make a few of them more memorable than the others.

Here some of the more common ones played in the Major and Minor triads:

Root Key Major Chord Triads Minor Chord Triads
C C, E, G C, Eb, G
C# / Db C#, F, G# C#, E, G#
D D, F#, A D, F, A
D# / Eb Eb, G, A# Eb, F#, A#
E E, G#, B E, G, B
F / E# F, A, C F, G#, C
F# / Gb F#, A#, C# F#, A, C#
G G, B, D G, A#, D
G# / Ab G#, C, Eb G#, B, Eb
A A, C#, E A, C, E
A# / Bb A#, D, F A#, C#, F
B / Cb B, Eb, F# B, D, F#

To find more free piano chords, you need only to search for them on the Internet! It’s easy to find free piano chords online and some of the better ones will have the following:

  1. display all 50 chords (or more)
  2. visually demonstrate the keys that should be played
  3. literally send each chord to your computer’s speakers as a sound file.

Working with audio will help train your ear to recognize a chord the moment that it’s played. And with enough practice, you should be able to identify a chord in any music (jazz chords, gospel, blues, rock, etc.) with little difficulty.

So if you’re looking for something a little different from the all the static music books out there, then you should enjoy the interactive quality of free piano chords online. There’s so much more to explore in the world of music and it’s great to live in an age where technology and music mesh together to broaden our understanding, skill, and appreciation through tools like these. And we can certainly sympathize with those individuals who learned piano in the pre-Internet era.

Even though the former pre-Internet approach is the same as the approach of the masters, few of us can deny the fact that technology is an enabler. Taking advantage of today’s accomplishments makes us no less of a musician. So enjoy!

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Seventh Piano Chords In It’s Many Forms

December 9, 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. 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 […]

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Chord Progressions – The Basic DNA of Music

December 5, 2014

Many things in life have a pattern. In music, we refer to those patterns as chord progressions. They are simply a sequence of chords that tends to repeat throughout the song. Have you ever noticed how easy it can be to learn a new song you hear on the radio? Sometimes it only takes hearing […]

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Top 10 Ways To Improvise On The Piano

November 6, 2014

1. Use fake books. Fake books, as one of the top 10 ways to improvise on the piano, are gentle introductions to what could be interpreted as the Wild West of improvisation. Improvisation is largely based on freedom of expression. Without having a good foundation of the basics, beginners may feel intimidated by the possibilities. […]

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How Popular Chord Progression Works – A Simple Guide

October 21, 2014

What is a popular chord progression? Chord progressions are actually series of chords which are played one after the other to produce a harmonious tune. By now you have learned the different piano chords and may have memorized them a bit. The knowledge you have about chords will help you a lot in playing the […]

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The Many Benefits of Taking Piano Lessons Online

October 11, 2014

If you’ve ever wanted to play the piano but think that you don’t have time now that you are a working adult, think again! Piano lessons online make it easy to pick up your old hobby or learn a new one. When most of us think about taking piano lessons, we think about having a […]

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Piano for Beginners – Different Ways of Learning

September 14, 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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Piano Chords – More Than Just a Group of Notes

August 14, 2014

At their most basic, piano chords are formed by playing three or more notes simultaneously. The combinations that result set the mood of a musical piece – happy, sad, powerful, soulful, etc. Historically, major chords have always evoked positive emotions while minor piano chords evoke the opposite. That’s a fairly simplistic observation, but it gives […]

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Extended Piano Chords

June 22, 2014

As the name suggest, extended piano chords extend beyond the range of the major scale. Recall that chords are created with respect to there corresponding scales. For example, the major scale of “G” has this 8-note sequence: G,A,B,C,D,E,F#,G. Chords that require notes beyond the 8th note (e.g. the last “G”) are extended piano chords. The […]

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