Simple formulas help you find any keyboard chords


4 Steps to Learning How to Play Any Song on the Piano

1. Determining the melody - Melodies determine what chords will be played. If you can use your ear to figure out what notes are being played in the melody, you are 1/4 on your way to learning a song! More resources on learning how to determine melodies

2.Harmonizing the melody - Once you have figured out the melody (using some of my techniques on the resource page), it is time to harmonize it. This is simply choosing various chords to accompany the melody. There are several techniques and tricks to doing this. More resources on learning how to harmonize melodies

3. Altering Chords - This is the best part! Now that you have strategically figured out the melody to a song and have harmonized it, altering your chords to produce certain sounds is the next step. If you were playing gospel music, you would alter your chords differently than if you were playing classical or country music. More resources on altering chords

4. Listening - After you have determined the melody, harmonized the melody, and altered some of your chords, there are various techniques you can use to make sure that your song sounds right. More resources on listening techniques

I personally recommend "The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" 300-pg Course and through my relationship with Jermaine (the author of this course), I've been able to get him to throw in a few bonus items (3 additional piano software programs). He has taught literally thousands of musicians how to play the piano by ear. If you understood just half of what he discussed above, you'll definitely benefit from his 300-pg course. Click here to learn the secrets to playing absolutely any song on the piano in virtually minutes! I highly recommend it.

The All-New Song Tutor: Internet-Powered Song Learning Software


In this free keyboard chords theory lesson you will learn simple formulas to help you find absolutely any chord on the piano keyboard without having to rely on bulky chord charts or written music.

Understanding these keyboard chord formulas will make a big difference in your ability to enjoy making music on piano or electronic keyboard.

Please take a minute now to sign up for your free periodic E-Zine at the top of the page right. You will receive regular updates, tricks, and helpful hints on a regular basis. You will be glad you did!!


In our previous lesson on finding the 12 major chords we learned a simple formula and learned that by choosing the First, Third, and Fifth note of any major scale we will end up with the major chord named by that scale.

New term: Musical Intervals.

A musical interval is simply a distance between two notes on any major scale.

No matter what scale we use, the major chord associated with that scale will have a Root which names both the chord and the scale from which it was taken. a Third, (in the case of a major chord we call it a major third) and a fifth sometimes called a perfect fifth.

Using a C major scale as an example, the distance from C to E is a major third. The distance from C to G is a perfect fifth.

As we move through this lesson you will encounter more of these interval names 2nds, 4ths, 6ths, and 7ths.. Again these refer to distances from the root note of any scale or chord.

Lowered and raised intervals.

We will use our # (sharp sign) and b (flat sign ) to raise( # )or lower( b ) an interval one half step as we learn more and more different types of chords. All this will become clearer as we move through the formulas and pick out some chords in a few different scales or keys.

Here are the formulas for your most commonly used chords

We have already figured out a C major chord by choosing Notes 1,3,and 5 ( C, E, G, ) from the C major scale.

Using the chart below we see that the C minor chord uses scale notes 1, b3, 5, or (C, Eb, G)... the flat sign means lower the third one half step.

A note from your Personal Piano Professor... It would be great if you could memorize all the formulas below but there is no need to do it all at once.

If you are a beginner I recommend that as you encounter any new chord in your playing, take the time to figure the chord out using the right formula and then commit it to memory by playing the chord with both hands in all its possible inversions up and down the keyboard.

Remember to notice the patterns and similarities you will surely see, and feel, as you practice. Concentrate on the major and minor triads first.

Best Home Study for "Ear Players"

After checking out dozens of home study courses that teach you to play by ear and focus on chord progressions I am convinced that the folks at Hear and Play have the best, most well rounded program available for just about all styles of music from Gospel to Jazz. Read my review or visit Hear and Play for more information.

Contact me

If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas for future lessons feel free to Contact Me.

Diatonic chords and chord progressions

As you continue learning about keyboard chords you will benefit from understanding diatonic chords. Click the link below to begin this valuable lessons as an introduction to basic chord progressions.

Diatonic Chords and Chords Progressions

As always your questions are welcome and help me to better serve you and others. Use the contact form below to ask a question or make a suggestion or register for customized free lessons from your Personal Piano Professor.

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