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How to Play a C Major Chord On The Piano

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We're going to learn our very three first chords in the next three lessons. It's not a coincidence that I chose to teach you these three chords (C major, F major and G major) for they are very strongly related. We're going to discuss their relationship in the future.

For now let's start our lesson with realizing what a chord is.

Chord is a combination of at least three notes.

Each combination creates an impression of a mood.

The first chord we're going to learn is a C major chord.

A C chord is built out of three white keys.
Let's have a look at the white keys of the piano in order to form a C major chord.
I'm talking about the keys C-D-E-F-G.

C Major

Place your right hands' thumb on middle C.
Now skip one white key (and a finger) and press on E with your third finger, skip one white key (and a finger) again and then press on G with your fifth finger.

The combination of these three notes gives us a chord called "C major" (C-E-G). These major chords are often interpreted as happy chords or optimistic chord if you'd like (Yet some sad pieces start with a major chord). Listen to the sound of it. Do you feel the joy? :) The sound is open.

So in order to find the chord we took C as our basic note or let's call it the BASS from now on and we chose two more notes from the white keys.

What's "Major" in C Major?

Well, this brings us to the theoretical level.
The distance between the first note of the chord and the third note (C and E) is 2 tones.
This interval is called a Major Third (If you haven't followed the musical interval lesson I suggest you click here so you'll know what I'm talking about).

The intervals inside C Major

The C major chord is named after that important interval which defines him as a Major Chord. The distance between the second note of the chord and third note (E and G) is 1 and a half tone which is an interval of a Minor third.


The C major chord is named after that important interval which defines him as a Major Chord.
The distance between the second note of the chord and third note (E and G) is 1 and a half tone which is an interval of a Minor third.
To conclude, one can say that a C major chord is built out of a Major third and a Minor Third.


When we'd like state a major chord in chord symbols all we have to do is write the bass note with big letter.
C major would be written as a plain C for example. No other chord symbol is needed.

The intervals inside C Major

The C major chord is named after that important interval which defines him as a Major Chord. The distance between the second note of the chord and third note (E and G) is 1 and a half tone which is an interval of a Minor third.

Now I'm going to add here the C major chord in all possible chord inversions. We're going to talk about this in a few lesson but I wanted to add it here is well so we'll have this page complete when we get back here sometimes for a reminder. If this image doesn't make sense to you don't worry. We'll get to it later.

Chord Inversions of C Major.

Question

O.k., so now that you know how a C major chord sounds like and how to form it in the theoretical level try to find the F major chord in the same way.


An image of me recommending the Rocket Piano Ultimate Learning Kit.

In order to be able to play all piano chords quickly you should first be familiar with the chords you absolutely, positively need to know. Then you should learn how to form chord inversions and place them in common chord progressions. If you're looking for a resource that will help you to learn all that you should definately check out the great "Secrets of Exciting Chords" 95 pages E-book that teaches these subjects effectively and in details.

The greatest thing about this E-book is that it has very clear pictures that show the exact fingering. It's handy to have the "Secrets of Exciting Chords" on your desktop and review it every so often or print the pages and bound them together at Staples to practice at your piano. Click here to check out the Power Piano Chords E-book Now!




















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