Piano Chords And Inversions

Posted by Yoke Wong on 9/22/2011 to Piano Chords
Little did I know the importance of piano chords inversions when I first studied music theory back in the old days. I thought it was just a bunch of musical notes rearranged in different orders. As I started to understand a bit more about improvising, composing and music arrangement, I started to experiment with various chords inversions and got to fully understand the role of chords in piano playing.

Piano chords are the building blocks of music. They're also a shortcut to understanding overall music playing.

Once I understood the importance of piano chords, I started to dive in and play around with chord progressions. Chords progression is basically a group of piano chords played together in a different order. Its like a puzzle thats made up of various little pieces. Most songs are composed using different combinations of chord progressions.

Take a look at the following video and you can see how powerful piano chords and chord progressions are:

Now that you understand a little bit about the importance of piano chords, we need to find a more systematic tool to memorize and construct piano chords. A good formula I found to memorize major chords is the "4 and 3 semitones" formula. Lets say you like to know how to play C major chords, you can use the "4 and 3 semitones" formula to figure out the four semitone from the C notes is E, and the three semitone from E is G, thus C major chords consist of the C, E and G notes.

Piano Chords

There are hundreds of piano chords available; you only need to understand a few categories: major chords, minor chords, diminished chords, augmented chords, color chords, extended chords and altered chords. You may be aware that major and minor chords are the primary chords used.

To learn more about piano chords and improvisational techniques, I recommend Learn to Play Piano & Improvisation in 7 Days course if you are a beginner.

Learn to Play Piano in 7 Days Lessons



Rose H.
Date: 9/24/2011 2:44:42 AM
Now this helped me get a better view with piano chords. I'm note really good with my piano chords but this helped gave me a better view that i really need to earn it. Thank you so much. Very informative and easy to understand. Great piano lessons, Ms Yoke.
Date: 9/24/2011 10:05:53 AM
I like the major chord formula you provided. Wonder if they are also formula for minor chords and other chords?
Date: 9/24/2011 9:57:42 PM
Thanks for the technique and the formula you provided. It helped a lot in my piano chord improvisation learning. Thank you.
Yoke Wong
Date: 9/25/2011 8:44:29 AM
Justin: Minor chords, augmented chords, and diminished chords also have their formulae. Please check out http://www.pianomother.com/Piano_Chords.html
Nica Valencia
Date: 9/26/2011 6:55:09 AM
Thanks for this article. And thank you for the formula. I took piano lessons when I was in high school but I learned the classical way to play piano. I play piano at church but I need to learn how to use piano chords. This has helped me how to use piano chords. Thanks.
Diana S.
Date: 9/28/2011 8:00:00 AM
I see, so piano chord progression is similar to piano chord pattern. Now I know. I'm so confused of this piano chord progression. This blog article is helpful. Thanks.
Date: 10/18/2016
Thank U very much. I want find chord C+ on piano. Thank U agian.
Date: 10/24/2016 7:41:00 AM
C+ is also known as C augmented. The + after a chord name means it is augmented. To play the augmented chord, play the fifth note one step higher. In C+ the fifth note is G which you play one step higher, and that is G#. C+ or C aug notes are C-E-G#.

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