Learn and play the twelve major chords.

In this free lesson on major chords you will learn simple formulas to locate and find all twelve major chords on the piano keyboard.

The lesson will also focus on exercises and tricks to help you develop the understanding and dexterity to turn the knowledge into beautiful music.

To get the most benefit you will need to be seated at your keyboard. If you don't have one, what are you waiting for?!!

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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.

Just a reminder, this lesson will require knowing the formula for finding a major scale starting on any note.

To find the notes for any major chord, choose the major scale with the same letter name and use scale notes 1, 3, and 5.

In other words, The first, the third and the fifth note of any major scale, when played together, form the major chord with the same name as the scale used.

Lets start with a C major Triad.

To find and play the C maj. chord first we locate the C major scale. If you have done your homework you know that the notes of the scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C.

If we take the first note C and the third note E and the fifth note G and play them together we have the C major chord.

The graphic below shows the C major chord in its root position on the treble clef.

About chord inversions..

Because each major triad you learn has three notes in can be played in three different positions or inversions on the piano keyboard. The graphic below shows how the C chord looks on the staff first in Root Position, second in First Inversion, and lastly in Second Inversion.

The symbols above the chords are called Chord Symbols and tell the keyboard player or any musician what chord is to be played underneath the melody or soloist. The Slash Chords indicate that the chord should be played in that specific inversion. The letter after the slash also lets the bass player in a band know what note to play underneath that particular chord. In this case the C chord.

Below you will see how the C maj. chord in its three inversions look on the keyboard and also the recommended finger numbers to be used when playing the chord.

Important hints on playing any chord you learn on the keyboard.

Because learning to find and play chords on the piano is so important I recommend that you take the time to really see and feel the chords in all their inversions on the keyboard.

Play the chords with both hands at the same time!

When playing solo, left hand chords support the melody and knowing the chords in the right hand can add color and harmony in the right hand as well.

Also when playing in a band or accompanying a singer you will be using chords in both hands so start now to play them with both hands together.

More on chord inversions.

Learning to play chord inversions is basic to learning basic chord progressions. To continue your work on chord inversions click the link below.

Recommended exercise from your Personal Piano Professor!

This exercise should be used with any new chord you learn.

Start with both hands playing the chord first in root position and then move up the keyboard to first inversion, followed by second inversion and then root position again. Depending on the size of you keyboard continue up and down the keys.

Watch for the patterns, the spacing between keys.

We are working on muscle memory. Muscle memory takes time.

The really cool thing is once you see and feel the C major chord with your eyes and you hands you will have no problem with the chords D minor, E minor, F maj, G maj, A min. and B diminished. Why? because they all are chords with three white notes. They will look and feel the same!

Time to move on......

If you understand the formula for the major chords and and have practiced a few, you are ready to move on.

As always if there is anything you need help with just use the form below to contact me, your Personal Piano Professor and I will be glad to help. Click the link below to continue your study of piano chords.

More on chord inversions.

Learn more about chord inversions and how to make use of them in your playing and writing by clicking the link below.

learn to use chord inversions
Learn all the chord formulas here
from major chords to Free Piano Lessons for life HOME

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.

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

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