Introduction to Chord Piano

What is Chord Piano?

Chord Piano is what we call the style of "comping" or "faking" chords, played either with a melody or by playing only chords (or harmonies).

Playing chords is a handy skill to have and a fun way to play the piano. It's quick to learn too! :)

Beginners can simply play the melody in one hand, usually the right hand, and play a selected few 3-note chords or triads in your left hand to "match" with the melody.

The technique of chord piano can be as simple as this, up to any possible skill level.

Tip: When you start playing chords, make sure to play all chords in root position first. It makes it very easy to play- and anyone can learn this, even without knowing anything about chord playing!

Learn to play chord piano.Playing chord piano is a useful skill to have and a very fun way to play the piano.

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How to Play a 3 Note Chord in Root Position with Your Right Hand

C major Triad in Root Position
  • Place all your right-hand fingers on any white keys next to each other. Finger one on your right hand- the thumb- is on the root (which is why it's called "Root Position"), finger three on the third, and finger five is on the fifth.
  • Play the three notes together- congratulations! You just played a chord!
  • Practice playing chords (triads) like this all over the piano, starting from any white key.

Two Main Ways To Play Chords On The Piano

1. Either you can play a melody together with chords. 

Usually, this is done by playing the melody in your right hand and the chords in your left. As you improve your playing, you may sometimes let the melody switch hands and play a part of the chord in both hands.

2. The other way is to play only the chords or the harmonies. 

Then you can either sing the melody or accompany another instrument that plays the melody. If you just started learning piano chords, it's easiest to play the chords in your right hand and play the bass note of the chord in your left hand.

The great thing about chord playing is that it can be as simple or sophisticated as you want or have the skills to. But from the very first start, it is still going to sound fine!

Go to this page with a free piano chords chart, read more about how to play chords, and start practicing right now!

Continue with these Chord Piano Lessons

  • What are Chord Inversions? This chord piano lesson continues here, with more about chords and how you can "turn them around" for smoother transitions! 
  • Piano Chord Inversions Learn how to play all major and minor chords and their inversions! You can also print out free Piano Chords Inversions Charts (PDF).
  • Common Chord Progressions Learn ways to combine chords to create well-known accompaniment styles or use the chord progressions as foundations for improvisation. Fun!
  • Printable Piano Chords Chart (PDF)For your convenience, you can print out this free chart (PDF) for easy reference of the most common piano chords in the "root" position.

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