Building Piano Chords

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Learn How To Build Piano Chords In This Piano Lesson!

Today I'm going to talk a little bit about building chords. The most basic chord form is the triad. All of the chords that you can build are built around the notes of a scale. Let's say we want to build a G chord. The notes of the G major scale are G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G. The key to building a simple triad is to take the play the first note, the third note, and the fifth note of the scale. So, we can see that the G major chord is made up of the notes G, B, and D.

We can do something else with a major scale. If you take the second note of a major scale, and using the notes of that scale, build a triad, you will have a minor chord. For example, the second note of the G major scale is an A. If we take A, then skip a note to C, skip another to E, we have A, C, E, which is an A minor scale. If we do the same thing with the third note of the scale we get B, D, F#, which is a B minor chord.

The fourth note of a major scale creates another major chord. In the G major scale, that chord is C major, and it is made up of the notes C, E, and G. Continuing up the scale the fifth note creates another major chord. In this case, D, F#, A, or D major. The sixth note returns to a minor chord. In our example that is E, G, B, or E minor.

The final chord built from a major scale is made from the seventh note. In G major that chord is F#, A, C, which is an F sharp diminished chord. If you play the diminished chord, you will notice that it doesn't sound minor or major. It has a unique sound.

The purpose of this lesson is to show you what to do when you are creating songs. Now you will be able to understand how the chords that you are using in your piano chord progressions come out of the scale that your song's key is based on.

Listen to Nate use a variety of chords while he plays the theme song from the show, The Office.


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