How To Play Piano Chords For Beginners?

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How To Play Piano Chords

The piano is an exceptional musical instrument that soothes the ears of the listeners with its soothing chords and exceptional music. The idea of striking black and white keys that feels as soft as snow to strike some pleasant music amazes many people. And there are some who take some google classes to play the instrument completely in a span of a few weeks. The best way to master the instrument is to take it slow and learn it step by step in a progressing manner. This applies to beginners and amateurs who wish to pursue piano lessons as their passion or profession. Let us learn how to start playing piano chords as a beginner and progress to new lessons in the instrument.

Piano for Beginners – Mastering the Basic Terms

At the first look, I do admit that the piano sheet looks like some rocket science formulae paper. It is tough and at times overwhelming, but it is not that tough that you cant handle. To master these lessons, it is important to thorough certain basic piano terms.

Before getting in-depth to the piano chords, understand that the left hand generally plays the chords and the right-hand deals with the melody. The chords are generally a set of either two or three or more notes that are played concurrently. Such chords will get repeated through the song, and once you get the first few chords at your fingertip, then you can master the entire song easily.

The piano chords are essentially the combination of piano notes, which are the sounds you get by hitting the individual keys on the instrument. Each of the keys emits different sounds and the pattern of these keys repeats through the length of the instrument. These notes either start from A- G or from C-G, with A and B at the end (C-D-E-F-G-A-B).

Check out: Top 10 Piano Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Fingering to Play Piano Chords

Before getting into the details of chords and notes, you should have noticed that the instrument is played with two hands, just like a typewriter. You should be aware of the keys for your left hand and right hand separately.  For the left hand and the right hand, the count starts from the thumb finger as follows – 

1- Thumb Finger

2- Index Finger

3- Middle Finger

4- Ring Finger

5- Little Finger

For chord fingering, you will mostly be using 5-3-1 from your left hand and 1-3-5 from your right hand.

What Are the Major Chords and Minor Chords?

Major chords are simple to master and the reason why we recommend these for you to learn first is that these chords are strong, bright and upbeat. You gain tremendous confidence when you start your lessons by mastering these chords. Also, major chords make up the entire fast beat song that are in your list to learn.

There are 12 major chords that one can play on the piano, with a number of variations. There are hundreds of probabilities to play with these chords and the only good news here is that you don’t have to memorize all of them. There are certain formulas, that you can remember, so as to learn piano pretty fast, with taking them by heart. 

The minor chords occupy your sad and sentimental songs and comprise of dark and moody sounding chords. There are 12 minor chords with many variations and you can remember them with the help of formulas again. 

Apart from major and minor chords, there are also diminished chords, suspended chords, all 5ths, all 7ths, etc. 

Chord Progressions

Chord progressions are the different chords in succession that you have to master, in order to play a song. The chord progressions are the combinations that make up the song and you will have to know what chord to play, in what order so as to complete playing a song perfectly. The best way to start is to play the chord progressions of famous and known songs, before trying to learn new ones. 

Some Basic Piano Chords

Beginners have to learn and master the basic piano chords before progressing to much-advanced levels and attempting the different types of piano chords such as diminished, augmented, etc. In order to learn the basic piano chords, you should do skip counting as 1,3,5 and use your index, middle and little fingers to play these three alternating notes.

To master these alternating strokes, it is important to ascertain the difference between a half step and a full step. A half step is achieved when you jump from one note to the one above it directly. Jumping from C to C# (the black key) is a half step. A full step is achieved when you jump from between successive keys, which is from C to D. Thus, in order to get a major chord, you will have to choose a note, such as C major and then go C#, followed by D, D# and then E. complete the chord by progressing to E, E# (which is F), F# and then G, which will be completed by your little finger. ***(The half step after E is actually F, the white key, which is denoted as E#. The next full step will be F# which is actually a black key) 

Thus in order to complete a full major chord, you will have to do two full steps and one 1.5 steps, starting from C to G. If you wish to play the minor chord, it is just the opposite. You will have to start with 1.5 steps and then progress to 2 complete steps.

Related Reading: How to Sit Properly at The Piano: Correct Your Posture

Wrapping Up

What we have explained here is the simplest of all piano lessons, reserved for beginners, there are of course more advanced chords that you can master with practice. Once you master the augmented chords, suspended chord, and diminished chords, you can consider yourself a master of this musical instrument. It is your skills and your imaginative power to manipulate the instrument into playing different types of music. Learn the basics from the books and master the piano with your own hands.

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