10 Easy Piano Chords For Beginners

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Learning to play the piano can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be daunting for beginners. Unlike six strings on a guitar, there are 88 keys in a full-sized piano which makes it a bit complicated to get accustomed to the instrument.

Fortunately, you can always start with simple chords and proceed with complex ones as you become familiar with the piano. Commencing with easier chords will also help a beginner develop a solid foundation. Today, we've explored 10 easy piano chords and how to play them.


1. C Major (C)

Notes: C, E, G

Fingers: 1, 3, 5

The C Major chord is formed by playing these three notes (C, E, and G) simultaneously. The C note is the root or tonic, the E note is the major third, and the G note is the perfect fifth. This chord is commonly used chords due to its bright and happy sound.

Numerous popular songs utilize the C Major chord due to its simplicity and pleasant sound. Some examples include Let It Be (The Beatles), Clocks (Coldplay), Don't Stop Believin' (Journey), Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd), and Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen).

2. G Major (G)

Notes: G, B, D

Fingers: 1, 3, 5

The G Major chord is played by combining three notes: G, B, and D. G is the root note, B is the major third, and D is the perfect fifth. This creates a bright and uplifting sound, making the G Major chord one of the most commonly used chords in various music genres.

Many popular songs incorporate the G Major chord in their progressions, including Imagine by John Lennon and Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses. These songs utilize the G Major chord to establish a catchy and memorable melody, creating a sense of stability and resolution.

3. F Major (F)

Notes: F, A, C

Fingers: 1, 2, 4

The F Major chord on piano consists of three notes: F, A, and C. It is formed by combining the F Major scale's first, third, and fifth notes. To play the chord on the piano, place your thumb on F, your middle finger on A, and your pinky finger on C.

This chord is widely used in various genres of music, including pop, rock, classical, and jazz. Some popular songs that utilize the F Major chord include Let It Be (The Beatles), Someone Like You (Adele), Clocks (Coldplay), and Imagine (John Lennon).

4. D Major (D)

Notes: D, F#, A

Fingers: 1, 3, 5

The D Major chord has a bright and uplifting sound that can be played by combining the root note (D), the major third (F#), and the perfect fifth (A). The D note provides a solid foundation, while the F# adds a sense of tension and brightness.

D Major is frequently used in various musical genres, from classical to pop and rock. Its joyful and optimistic quality makes it a popular choice for creating positive and energetic melodies.

5. A Minor (Am)

Notes: A, C, E

Fingers: 1, 3, 5

The A minor chord has a melancholic and introspective quality on the piano. When the notes A, C, and E are played together, they create a somber and emotive sound. 

A minor is frequently used in various musical genres, including classical, jazz, blues, and pop. It is often employed to create a sense of emotional depth and vulnerability in a composition.

6. E Minor (Em)

Notes: E, G, B

Fingers: 1, 3, 5

The E Minor chord is known for evoking feelings of introspection, sadness, or even a sense of mystery. The low E note provides a deep and rich foundation, while the G and B notes add a sense of tension and longing.

The iconic song Hotel California by The Eagles features the chord progression E Minor, G, D, A, and C. This song beautifully captures the haunting atmosphere that the E Minor chord can create.

7. D Minor (Dm)

Notes: D, F, A

Fingers: 1, 2, 5

The D minor chord creates a somber sound by combining the notes D, F, and A. The chord is often described as having a somewhat dark and introspective quality.

Fur Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the few examples of the D minor being played with perfection. Similarly, the hauntingly beautiful melody of Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles also revolves around the same chord.

8. G Minor (Gm)

Notes: G, Bb, D

Fingers: 1, 2, 4

To play the G Minor chord on the piano, start by placing your thumb on the G note. At the same time, also press the B flat and D notes with your middle and pinky fingers, respectively.

The G Minor is unique in its emotional and melancholic sound. It is often described as having a sad or mournful quality. This chord is commonly used in various musical genres, including classical, jazz, and pop.

9. F Minor (Fm)

Notes: F, Ab, C

Fingers: 1, 2, 4

F minor is a commonly used chord in piano and other musical instruments. It has a distinct gloominess that makes it a popular choice for expressing emotions like sadness or introspection.

The iconic jazz standard "Autumn Leaves" often incorporates F minor in its progression. Similarly, other popular songs that use this chord are Let It Go (Frozen), Yesterday (The Beatles), and Someone Like You (Adele).

10. Bb Major (Bb)

Notes: Bb, D, F

Fingers: 1, 2, 4

To play the Bb major on a piano, place your thumb on Bb, your middle finger on D, and your pinky finger on F. The chord has a warm and uplifting sound, often described as bright and joyful.

When played on the piano, the Bb major chord creates a sense of stability and resolution. It is frequently used in various musical genres, including classical, jazz, pop, and gospel. The chord's rich and harmonious tone is often associated with feelings of happiness, triumph, and celebration.

Similar: 11 Basic Guitar Chords

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