Broken Chord Exercises for the Piano or Keyboard
Great Finales for the Piano or Keyboard
Great Piano Intros

Creating a Chord on the Piano

If you’re at the piano and play three or more notes at the same time, you’re playing a chord. Chords, which you can play with one or both hands, have but one simple goal in life: to provide harmony.

You hear chords all the time in the sounds of a barbershop quartet, a church choir, and a sidewalk accordion player (monkey with tip jar is optional). Even the sound of a car horn is a chord, albeit a headache-inducing one.

Chords begin very simply. Like melodies, chords are based on scales. To make a chord, you select any note and put other scale notes on top of it. Most chords begin as triads — three notes added together. A triad consists of a root note and two other notes: a third interval and a fifth interval:

This C chord is a simple triad.
This C chord is a simple triad.

In a C chord, which is a typical triad, C is the root note, E is a third interval from C, and G is a fifth interval from C.

You can build new chords by altering this C triad in any of the following ways:

  • Raising or lowering notes of the triad by a half-step or whole-step

  • Adding notes to the triad

  • Both raising or lowering notes and adding notes

blog comments powered by Disqus
Playing the Piano or Keyboard: All the Key Signatures
How to Play Songs with Chords on the Piano or Keyboard
How to Play Songs with Challenging Rhythms on the Piano or Keyboard
Pedal Exercises for the Piano or Keyboard
How to Play Melodies in the Right Hand on the Piano or Keyboard
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com