On the piano, there are a lot of different chords you can play, so learning them all might put off beginner players. The good news is that if you master only a handful of the most fundamental chords, you’ll soon be able to play a wide variety of well-known piano tunes and have fun while learning the instrument.
For all of you newbies, the notes are represented by the distinct white and black keys on a keyboard or piano. Groups of three or more notes played simultaneously form chords. Chord progressions are made when you play a number of chords together.
On the piano, a melody of some form is usually accompanied by chords. Your left hand will often play the chords, while your right hand will typically play the melody. Although learning to play these chords with either hand will be necessary, you can get started by first grasping these fundamental chords with your left hand.
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Songs often use simple major and minor chords in their chord progressions. You can start playing simple tunes on the piano and even start writing your own songs once you’ve mastered a few of the fundamental chords.
Major chords and minor chords are the two categories of basic chords.
Also, remember that you can practice any of the chords listed below on our virtual piano!
3rd Perfect Fifth in Major on the Root Note
Three notes from a major scale are present in every major chord. A major chord is produced by playing the root, third, and fifth notes of a major scale.
Any chord’s root note is represented by the letter that serves as the chord’s letter name. The chord’s major third is located two full steps above the root. The fifth note, the last note, is one full step and one half-step above the major third.
You can locate the root, major third, and fifth to learn how to play a chord on the piano if you know the name of the chord you want to play and the other notes in the scale.
Think about playing a C major chord.
The notes in the C major scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, and B as the final note. When we examine this scale, we can see that C serves as the root note, the third note is E, and the fifth note is G.
C Major Chord
- Root: C (Pinky)
- Major 3rd: E (Middle)
- Perfect 5th: G (Thumb)
You may now locate those notes on the keyboard and play them all at once. Keep your left hand’s pinky on the C note on the keyboard. Then, raise your middle finger to E and look two full steps higher. Finally, locate G by looking one full step and a half above E. Employ your thumb.
To play a C major chord, use your thumb, middle finger, and pinky.
You can use this technique if you’re learning a new major chord because, over time, you’ll memorize how to position your hands for various chords to build muscle memory.
- Root Note
- Minor 3rd
- Perfect 5th
Because all minor chords use the same three notes, but these notes come from a minor scale, minor chords function similarly to major chords.
The chord’s name derives from the root note, which is the first note in the scale. One full step and one half step separate the root from the minor third of the chord. The chord fifth can be found by moving up two full steps from the minor third.
You may learn how to play a minor chord on the piano if you know the name of the chord and the notes that make up the minor scale.
Let’s use A minor as an example.
A, B, C, D, E, F, and G make up the A minor scale. So, to create the minor chord, we use the root (or first note), third note, and fifth note of this scale.
A Minor Chord
- Root Note: A (Pinky)
- Minor 3rd: C (Middle)
- Perfect 5th: E (Thumb)
Find the A note on the piano and keep your pinky there. To find C, where your middle finger goes, look one full step and a half higher than A. Then, locate E, where you will place your thumb, by looking two full steps higher than E. Use those fingers to play all three notes to produce an A minor chord.
You will learn fundamental piano chords, which are divided into smaller groups based on their key signatures. C, and A majors are the respective keys. You will see how you can play many different types of tunes using just a tiny set of chords once you have mastered these basic piano chords.
With just these chords, you have begun to unlock the piano. From here, you can begin to learn songs in the C, and A major keys or begin writing your songs in these keys.