In this free piano lesson on chord progressions you will learn how chords move, or progress from one to another.
Almost every song you will play, popular, jazz, country ,rock, classical, etc. will use some sort of chord progression.
The lessons contained in these pages will guide you in the most commonly used of these chord movements.
Learning to play these common chord sequences in all keys will greatly add to your ability as a pianist, and songwriter.
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To review, you can build a chord on any note of a major scale making any given note the root of a chord.
For these lessons on basic progressions we will begin by focusing on the diatonic chords.
Diatonic chords are those chords that are naturally related to a given key. They are built on the seven notes of the major scale which is also called a diatonic scale.
You may remember from the lesson on diatonic chords that the chords built on the first, fourth, and fifth note of any given major scale are major triads.
These three chords combined contain all the notes of the major scale and therefore can be used to harmonize every note in that scale. That is why there are so many songs that contain the I, IV, and V chords exclusively.
The same major scale will give us three minor chords that are closely related to the three major chords.
The ii minor triad contains two notes from the IV major chord, the iii minor, two notes from the V major chord and the vi minor from the I major chord.
They are built on the second, third, and sixth degrees or notes of the major scale. They are often notated as ii, iii, and vi with the small (i) meaning minor.
These three chords stand in the same relationship as the three major chords and can be viewed as the I, IV, and V chord in the relative minor key. Basic minor blues chords.
In addition to these six common diatonic chords, the chord built on the seventh degree of the major scale will be a diminished chord.
Adding notes to these triads.
we speak of adding notes to the triads discussed we generally mean
adding the 7ths that are part of the diatonic scale. They add richness
and color to the simple triads. (See the lesson on chord formulas.)
If we add a sharp or flat that is not related to the scale to any chord than a change of scale or modulation happens which may temporarily change the whole tonal center or Key of the song.
This allows for a large number of possible chord sequences but in practice certain progressions of chords are used more often that others.
Click on the links below for a more thorough discussion of these basic chord progressions.
The circle of fifths.
Used as a way to learn key signatures and develop a fundamental understanding of chord movement on piano.
Common chord progressions.
This lesson includes some of the most used progressions and offers helpful exercises to help you get them under your fingers.
Popular Chord Progressions.
This lesson will give you the 4 most common chord progressions used in popular music.
More common piano chord progressions
For more of the most widely used piano chord progressions and helpful finger exercises click on the link below.
Country Chord Progressions
Country chord progressions are not really all that different from the basic chord progressions you would find in Rock and most popular music.
Jazz Chord Progressions
This lesson will give you a basic intorduction to the most common jazz chord progressions and other musical elements both rythmic and harmonic that give a song that Jazz flavor.
More great chord progressions and voice leading.
Master more widely used chord progressions and learn the smoothest way to move through the changes using voice leading. Clink the link below!
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If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas for future lessons feel free to Contact Me.