How Piano Chords Work!
Learning Piano Chords ... Free Piano Chords Introduction
At your piano or keyboard locate middle C.
(The C note closest to the center of the keyboard is called middle C.)
If you are unable do this, you need the free Beginner Starter Report,
"How to Read Music in Just 30 Minutes"
Otherwise, play the C note on the piano that's one octave below middle C (the next one down) with the little finger of the left hand.
While keeping the little finger on the C, add the E note (two white notes higher) with the middle finger, and then add the G (another two white notes up) with the thumb.
X <- Middle C
Now we are going to try something a little more creative with the right hand. You're going to play the melody to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" with the right hand. Here's how to do it:
1) The melody starts on middle C. That's your first note.
2) Now pick out the rest of the notes "by ear."
Play by Ear
Sound impossible? Nonsense. It's just a question of trial and error. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Just keep at it until the song starts taking shape. Once you get it, play it through several times to cement it in your memory.
If you're having trouble, here are some hints.
Hint 1: It's all on the white keys.
Hint 2: The first three notes are the same (middle C).
Hint 3: After the first three notes the melody goes up.
Hint 4: The "merrily, merrily, merrily" part is more challenging. It starts on the C above middle C.
Got the melody? Good. Now here's where it gets interesting. We are about to add the left hand , in other words the chords . This song has only one chord in it. Can you guess what it is going to be? That's right, C. Or what we call C major.
Your job now is to put the whole song together. You already have the melody in the right hand. You add the left hand C chords at regular intervals.
As you play each C chord keep holding it down with the left hand until it's time to play the chord again. Two things to keep in mind as you're playing the chords:
1) Play the chord simultaneously with the melody note that corresponds to the underlined words in the lyrics below.
2) No matter what else happens, the left hand chords must be strummed at very even intervals. In other words your left hand must provide a very steady rhythm.
Now try it.
Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
Good. That's a C chord you're playing.
Remember the C chord is formed by simultaneously playing the C, E and G notes on the piano keyboard.
Take a look at our Virtual Piano Keyboard and play around with the key of C.
The above exercise is based on using just one chord and is designed to give you an idea of how to form a piano chord and play around with the right hand melody notes.
A lot of songs use just 3 chords.
Take a look at the three cords used in the key of C. Start with the root chord, C
Try these 3 chords on a familiar song. Practice these chords using the left hand and the right hand.
If you have gotten this far, you now have a basic understanding of how 'piano chords' work. This is the basic formula all pro piano players use (except those who play classical music).
Recommendations for Beginner Pianist
If you still would like a review and be able to "hear" as well as "see" the information presented above in greater detail, don't feel bad. Remember this page is for beginners, as well as people with all levels of piano experience. I would suggest that you continue with the following stylebook and audio cassette program, an excellent start for beginners.
Chord Progressions - For the Intermediate Pianist
After you are comfortable with the above information that we have covered on this page, you are ready to take the next step............
(If you are interested in learning to play blues, country and gospel piano, Instant Piano is the answer.)
Note: To advance from the Beginner to Intermediate/Advanced levels, will not take you very long at all.
Continuing Chord Piano, How to Play Piano by Ear picks up where Chord Style leave off.
Continuing Chord Piano was created for the student who has already learned the very basics of chord piano playing. It will give the novice a chance to improve his sound dramatically in a very short period of time. This program takes you from the beginner to the advanced level of chord piano knowledge.
You can play piano, or any chord instrument, without written music. Learn to figure out the melody and the chord accompaniment to virtually any song. All you need is some familiarity with piano chords.
You can start learning the play by ear secrets today.
Also in our
, we have special programs for the person that wants to learn more about the Blues Piano playing style. (Audio and Video programs)
Special Intro and Endings, Power Chords and Piano Tricks and Licks are for the intermediate pianist that wants to learn special tricks to put more power in your piano music. (You should know your chords first)
All of our programs were written by the same author, Robert Laughlin, so they are designed to add to what you already have learned from previous programs.
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