Common Piano Chords Chart
When it comes to playing the piano, pianists have thousands of chords to select from, with some chords being more popular than others. Check out some of the most common chords in the piano chord chart below, or keep reading to find out more about piano chords.
The most common piano chords include:
What Is A Piano Chord
A chord is created when more than one note is played at once, and contains two, three, or more individual notes. On the piano, this means you push down more than one key at the same time.
All piano chords contain a root note — this is the note the chord is named after — as well as one or more additional notes. Basic piano chords often consist of only two or three notes, while the more advanced chords tend to incorporate even more notes.
The most common type of keyboard or piano chord is a triad, or three-note chord. A triad contains a root note and two other notes, most often the notes that produce the intervals of a third and fifth above the root note.
The most common type of keyboard or piano chord is a triad, or three-note chord.
One way to get the basic shape of a triad is to place your thumb and fingers on adjacent white keys and push down with your thumb, middle finger and pinky. Learning this technique will set you up to play various basic piano chords with ease.
Why Different Notes Have The Same Name
I understand that sounds strange to have many higher and lower versions of the same note if you havent heard it before because they are all clearly different pitches that come from different keys. Whilst that is true, if you listen closely when you play a few different versions of the same note in different ranges, youll notice that theres a quality to them that sounds very similar, like theyre connected in some way. The note C up to the next C for example, is said to be an octave higher
Play a bunch of Cs in various octaves for a while and then youll really hear the difference when you suddenly throw in any other note. This is a really important concept to try and get used to in music. Sometimes you may want to play something in a particular range for a certain effect. A melody played high up may sound light and sparkly but if you played the exact same thing lower down, it may sound thicker and warm.
There is a scientific reason for this. The pitch of each note of the same name is double the frequency of the last one. For example, if an A is 440HZ, the next A up is 880Hz, then 1760Hz and so on. There is a simple ratio of 2:1 to this pattern and our ears can detect that making them sound like lower and higher versions of the same note. There are also simple ratios between other notes that harmonize well together, liek a perfect 5th is 3:2 .
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Printable Piano Keyboard Diagram
This article may contain compensated links. Please read the disclosure for more info.
In this lesson, you can print piano keyboard diagram templates for free and learn all the note names quickly and easily on the piano keys.
The templates are helpful tools when you first start to learn how to play piano, so you will not get lost among all the piano keys!
But keep on reading, and you may no longer need it by the end of this piano lesson! 🙂
How To Memorize Notes On Piano: 3 Practice Methods
I like to use 3 steps with students to help them get familiar with the notes and be able to name them quickly and confidently. You can also apply this method to the black keys when you get there.
Step one: Going in order up and down and naming the notes
This is best to do first to start familiarising yourself with the keyboard, how the note names work and what each individual note looks like. Remember to use the black note blocks as a guide. Each white note will look different because of where it sits amongst the black keys. Start at C, go up to the next C, playing every note and back down.
Step two: Naming notes at random
Step three: Finding notes at random
This is just the reverse of step two, so name a note at random and then try to find it on the piano. Its good to do this both ways as practically speaking, you will need to use both methods when learning and playing the piano. If youre on your own, you can just select a note at random or perhaps draw note names out. Again, start slow, get faster, start with a small range then use more of the piano and use the image of the keyboard to check your answer. This step is also easier if you have someone to help name notes and check for you but if not, my practice video has this covered too.
My 4 page PDF worksheet is a clear recap of all of this information PLUS how to name the black keys that you can have in front of you at the piano
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What Are Note Values
In sheet music, the notes we see on the staff give us important information. They tell us what notes to play on the keyboard. They also tell us something else: how long to sustain those notes, and what rhythm to play. There are four basic types of notes to learn first: eighth note, quarter note, half note, and whole note.
Every note has a specific value. The value refers to the number of beats that note is held within a measure of music. Whole notes are four beats, half notes get two beats, quarter notes get one beat, and eighth notes get half a beat.
Its not just notes that get counted in music though. Moments of silence get counted too. Luckily we have rests to tell us how long to stay silent, and rests have corresponding value to music notes: a whole rest gets four beats, a half rest gets two beats, a quarter rest gets one beat, and an eighth rest gets half a beat.
A Little History Behind Reading Music Notes
Sheet music with notes is read from left to right. The reasoning behind this is that music began as an exercise most focused on the progression of notes in a scale or mode in a horizontal fashion. When more than one voice was sounded together, they usually sang in unison it was not until the 9th century that musicians became increasingly concerned with vertical harmony and polyphony.
Keyboard instruments, such as the organ, the harpsichord, and ultimately the piano, were instruments developed to satisfy this changing aesthetic and the increased importance of vertical harmonies. They were adapted into a notation that had been developed to address primarily horizontal concerns . This means beginner piano students must learn to think about the music on the page differently from the words on a page.
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Minor Seventh Flat Five Chords
The last set of keyboard chords we shall look at are minor seventh flat five chords. To form this chord, combine the root, flat 3rd, flat fifth and flat seventh of the major scale.
- C minor seventh flat five C Eb Gb Bb
- C# minor seventh flat five C# E G B
- D minor seventh flat five D F Ab C
- Eb minor seventh flat five Eb Gb Bbb Db
- E minor seventh flat five E G Bb D
- F minor seventh flat five F Ab Cb Eb
- F# minor seventh flat five F# A C E
- G minor seventh flat five G Bb Db F
- Ab minor seventh flat five Ab Cb Ebb Gb
- A minor seventh flat five A C Eb G
- Bb minor seventh flat five Bb Db Fb Ab
- B minor seventh flat five B D F A
Heres a diagram of minor seventh flat five keyboard chords in all keys.
Still Struggling Heres Some More Tips
If youre still finding this tricky at all, there could be a few possible reasons. Check that youre not trying to do it too quickly too soon because that is the number 1 beginner mistake which may end up in you learning the wrong thing by mistake. Go as slow as you need for it to feel manageable so that the information really starts to sink in. It might be that youre trying to do too much in one go so with each practice step, try just doing it with C, D and E first until that feels easy. Then include F until its easy and keep adding one new note at a time until you can handle all of them. Lastly, maybe you just havent given it enough time yet. Expect some things to take time and practice, patience is honestly quite a big part of learning piano and its good to try and enjoy the process
A lot of newcomers to piano, learning on their own and going down the reading route have benefitted from the Alfred all in one method book series. You can check prices for book 1 on Amazon HERE or watch my detailed review on
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What Are Augmented Piano Chords
Like diminished chords, augmented chords are most often used to transition between more stable sounds in rock and pop music. One example of this is the song Crying performed by Roy Orbison, where an augmented chord is used in the prechorus.
Common augmented piano chords include:
Learn 5 Finger Scales In Every Key
I make a point to teach my students to play 5-finger scales in every key as soon as possible. As we move from key to key, we always name the notes in both directions while playing the scale. Students become very proficient at finding the correct starting key, then also naming the other keys within the scale.
When students are practicing this over and over, the key names will naturally click and identifying them will become second nature.
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The Abcs Of Piano Notes
Hopefully, if youre reading this, its safe to assume you know your alphabet. All we need are the first seven letters of the alphabet to name the piano notes. Its that easy.
As we go from one letter to the next in the alphabet, each note is higher than the one before. On the other hand, if we go in the reverse direction , then each note is lower than the one before.
The next note after G goes back to A, and the pattern starts again. So just remember, there is no letter H on the piano!
Learn The Piano Keys & Play With Both Hands
Memorizing the note names on the piano can be tricky, but labeling the keyboard keys can help.
We are here to support you in your journey if you are looking for more ways to build confidence in your skills.
Most beginner students who enroll in our programs learn to play songs with two hands in less than two weeks. Music is our passion, and our goal is that students learn the piano and have fun along the way.
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Whole Step And Half Steps
In order to name the black keys, we need to know what a whole step and a half step is. Making this really simple, a half step is going from one key to the next key whether its black or white. It could be from a black key to a white key. It could be a white key to a white key . But a half step is from one key to the next key.
In real musical terms they call it a semitone. A semitone is the smallest interval we use. We also can call it half step.
How many halves does it take to get a whole? Two! Therefore, it takes 2 half steps to make a whole step! So, if you want to find a whole step, you have to make 2 half steps. Therefore, a whole step would be from C to D.
To keep it straight, just remember that it takes 2 half steps to make a whole step.
Now that you understand whole steps and half steps, lets look at naming the black keys.
Label Your Piano For The Starting Hand Position
Not interested in labeling all 88 keys on your piano? Thats okay. More isnt always better. You can begin with just a few notes and build out from there.
For starting hand position, you will rest your right thumb on middle C and your pinky on G. Your left thumb can also rest on middle C with your pinky on F in the bass clef.
Start labeling just the white keys until you know these notes by heart. Then, as you get comfortable, add in more notes.
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Learn The Black Key Names
FlatsBlack keys to the left of white keys are flats. From C down an octave these are Bb, Ab, Gb, Eb and Db.
SharpsAny black key to the right of a white key is a sharp. From Middle C up an octave these are C#, D#, F#, G# and A#.
White keysIf you need help, remember the three white keys around the two black keys are C, D and E, while the other four are F, G, A and B.
What Are The Finger Numbers For Piano Players
When learning how to read sheet music, its important to remember that each of your fingers have numbers 1 5. Thumb is number 1, the pointer finger is number 2, middle finger is number 3, ring finger is number 4, and pinky is number 5. All piano players from beginner to advanced use finger numbers for reading sheet music.
Pro Tip: Now, as you read through new songs, write in the note names. Then, sing the note name or finger numbers while playing, which will help you memorize the names of numbers of the notes on a piano. Once youve practiced this, erase the letter names and test yourself to see if you still remember the playing pattern and tune of the song.
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The Note Names Of The Black Keys
Do you remember that we had to look at the black keys first to find the names of the white keys? Well, lets reverse the roles now: to find the names of the black keys, we have to look at the white key names first, since the names of the black keys are derived from the white key names.
As you can see, a black key is always situated between 2 white keys. The black key indicated by the arrow in the figure below is for example between the C and the D. As this note is higher than the C, but lower than the D , we call this note C sharp, or D flat. So, sharp means: the note just at the right, and flat means: the note just at the left. We write C sharp as C# and D flat as Db.
So the black keys actually have 2 names, the name of the white key at the left with a sharp sign, or the name of the white key at the right with a flat sign.
In the next figure, you can see all the names of the notes on a piano keyboard.
As you can see, this is a pattern of 12 different notes that repeats itself.
Keyboard And Keys Dimension
A full-size keyboard has 88 keys, including 52 white and 36 black keys. Concerning dimensions, the standard length for the overall of the keyboard is circa 123 cm . For the keys the dimensions are circa 2.4 cm width for white keys and 1.4 cm width for black keys. The dimensions vary some depending on models and manufactures.
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A Different Way To Learn How To Read Sheet Music: The Mental Flip Strategy
One of the most difficult things about learning how to read sheet music for the piano, as opposed to most other instruments, is that there is not just a single melody to be played. Piano music notes require you to play more than one part at a time reading two music staves at once. Usually these parts are interconnected they are part of a chord that you need to be able to accurately read.
Although the concept of reading multiple lines of music may seem overwhelming at first, in time, youll find that this is what makes the piano such a powerful instrument. A pianist can carry the bassline, chords, and melody all at once, eliminating the need for accompaniment and providing orchestra-like backing for solo instruments. Many beginners prefer to use a technique called the mental flip strategy to get more comfortable with reading and memorizing the notes. Before we dive into how to use that strategy, lets take a step back and see why sheet music is written the way it is.