The piano has long been a mainstay in music around the world, and that trend doesn’t seem to be letting up. Globally, there are millions of people that play the piano.

Why is the piano so popular?

Other than being able to create beautiful music, the piano can be one of the easier instruments for beginners to get into. It doesn’t require you to physically hold anything and with the invention of keyboards, you can take this elegant music with you almost anywhere.

To start playing beautiful music yourself, begin with this introduction to piano chords.

Piano Basics

Pianos have 88 keys, which include 52 naturals (white keys) and 36 accidentals (black keys).

Naturals, as the name implies, have a more natural sound. There are only seven natural notes on a piano and the range is C-D-E-F-G-A-B. Once you reach the B note, the scale will repeat itself in the same order.

Accidentals, also as the name implies, are not as natural sounding. They are your sharps and flats. There are five accidentals and seven naturals per octave.

Since octaves are a combined grouping of 12 naturals and accidentals, you will find seven complete octaves on a piano.

Piano Chords

Playing an individual key, either natural or accidental, would be considered playing one note. When you play multiple (two or more) notes simultaneously, you have what is called a chord.

To learn to play chords you’ll need to know the different types and how to place your fingers.

There are two chords to learn: major and minor.

Here is the finger number system:

  • Thumb: 1
  • Index: 2
  • Middle: 3
  • Ring: 4
  • Pinky: 5

Chords are normally played with the left hand while the right hand plays the melody.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

One of the most common beginner tunes to learn is “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Placing your right hand on the Middle C (the middlemost C key on your piano) position, with the thumb on the actual C key, is how you start the melody for the song.

Then, the tune follows the notes in this order, E-D-C-D-E-E-E, then D-D-D-E-G-G, then E-D-C-D-E-E-E, and E-D-D-E-D-C. Each note corresponds with a syllable in the lyrics of the song.

Easy enough, right?

Now, you need to add in the chords. For this song, you will be using C and G chords with your left hand. The C, E, and G keys played together will make the C chord. The G, B, and E keys played together will make the G chord.

The chord progression to go with the melody is as follows:

  • C chord with melody E-D-C-D-E-E-E.
  • G chord with melody D-D-D and then C chord with melody E-G-G.
  • C chord with melody E-D-C-D-E-E-E-E.
  • G chord with melody D-D-E-D.
  • C chord with melody C.

That probably sounds a lot better than just the simple melody, right?

Exactly! Chords are meant to increase the overall sound of a song.

Continue Your Growth

There’s no better substitute for practice when it comes to learning piano chords, but there are products that can help you practice more efficiently.

To learn more piano information, please check out our blog. Feel free to contact us with any questions.