Before now, we have been playing songs with Melodies on the right hand alone but today we will talk about Chords.

Chords are the basics for creating harmonies in music.

With Melody alone the song isn’t yet complete, you need Harmony to accompany and make the music both full and enjoyable.

A Chord is a harmony of three or more notes played simultaneously.

For instance, if I play C+E+G together as a combination it gives me a C Major Triad(Chord)

A triad is a “3 note” chord

we have other complex chords that consist of more than 3 notes, however, for this lesson, we will stick to the basics and then later introduce the others.

The three common types of chords in music are Major Chord, Minor Chord & Diminished Chord.

In this lesson, we will discuss just the Major Chords and we will be ready to play our first song with Chords(Harmony).

To make things easy, we will employ the Major Chord Formula

Root + Major 3rd + Perfect 5th (135)

Begin by finding the root note of the chord on the piano

  • This will be the starting point for building the major triad. If it’s an F Major Chord, it will start with the note F.
  • Next, count up four half steps from the root note to find the major third (A). This note will give the chord its distinct major quality
  • Finally, count up seven half steps from the root note to find the perfect fifth (C). This note adds stability and richness to the chord
  • Play all three notes together to hear the full major chord (F+A+C = F Major Chord).

Below are all 12 Major Chords on the Piano. You might want to save it for future references.

Now you know how to create Major Chords. Let’s examine how to play songs with Major Chords in the Next Lesson.

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