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Musical Words

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

Do you remember learning to read words? Seeing letters of the alphabet in a group… C A T. Sounding them out, over and over until they magically linked up with a word you knew… Cat.

Chords are the words in music... notes in a group that make a sound we are familiar with. Knowing how to form a chord is as important to playing piano as knowing how to form a word is to writing a list.

There are 12 major chords, 12 minor chords, 12 seventh chords, 12 min 7th chords, etc. AND they all can be played in various ways with 2 – 10 fingers. The combinations are endless! That's both fantastic and overwhelming. Fantastic because it means each of us can find our own voice in music. That unique combination of chords and patterns that reflect our musical style. Overwhelming because… where do I start?

You start with Major Chords and the Major Chord Groove. The 12 major chords fall into four groups of patterns:

1. All white 2. Black note center 3. Outside black notes 4. Oddball shapes.

Practice your major chords in these 4 groups and they become 4 chord-shapes instead of 12 different chords. Groove on them (see below) and they will become part of your musical vocabulary. Download your own Major Chord Shapes here. Click on Learn All The Major Chords Fast to view a video and if you want to groove with me, go to Groovin on the Major Piano Chords and play along!

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