Lesson 1: Basic Chord Knowledge : If you're just starting with piano chords I suggest you stick to the beginning piano lessons for a while before you go further with piano chord theory. Read the basic chord lessons and practice a few songs to get your technique all together. Once you are fast and accurate enough with changing chords in inversions I think it would be suitable for you to take this step further. Reading Piano Notes : I'm going to show the basics of chord theory by using piano notes. If you don't know how to read piano notes you might want to check our piano notes section before you go through this piano lesson. As far as I'm concerned this is a step further in world of piano harmony. It's not so complicated to follow and anyways, I believe we all should be eager to know more and get to the bottom of music in order to become better musicians. However, it's also possible to play chords just by reading the symbols and following the songs. Alright, let's get to business with the basics of piano chord theory. When we use chords in a song we do it in order to accompany a certain melody. But where do the chords derive from? Well, just like the melody of song derives from a certain scale (For example the melody of "Jingle Bells" is based on a major scale) so does the chords. Let's say we play Jingle Bells in C major. We could assume that the melody will be written out of the notes of C major.

And it really is so:

and press on A. We continue this procedure and this is what we get. But what happens if we would like to find the harmony of a song? Is there some logic in that aspect too? You bet there is! Just like melodies. skip G . Then we press on E. The first chord of C major scale would be C major. The members of the family are very friendly. Press on F (we follow the notes of the scale).I'm sure. and then trust our ear and intuition to figure the melody out. and then we skip a note in the scale. That's the basics of piano chord theory. Let's get to know the family of C major.This is very useful for playing melodies by ear since it helps us to know the logic in a song and limit our notes options. then skip a note again and press on G. So if we would like to find the harmony of "Jingle Bells" we would search for chords that belong to C major. Scales are divided to scale degrees. This is quite easy. . You can find information about playing melodies by ear in here. We state their number in roman letters. The second chord of C major would be D minor. This is already familiar to you . We start from C. We start from D skip the E. chords derive from scales. All we have to do is hear if a song derive from a major scale or a minor one.

it's a reach world. develop in a certain way and reach somewhere. In the world of harmony many chords exists. is not only fun. We've gone through so many chords by now (Didn't we? Click here if you wanna learn it) and suddenly I come with a strange statement like that? Yes my friend. The opening chord. When we speak about a certain progression we mean that something has to start from a beginning point. If you find it difficult to discover how you can train your ear to identify all the various piano notes you can improve it simply by playing the revolutionary new computer game called "Perfect Your Pitch Pro". The Tonic The tonic is the first degree we're gonna discuss whithin the three chords and the truth. You can get with the Rocket Piano Ultimate Piano Learning Kit. This lesson is a natural step to go through once you've learned about the basics of chord theory which I explain in here. what do you know? I happen to speak Hebrew fluently :) So let me explain this to you more in details. It's complicated and simple at the same time. that's all you need in order to start playing piano. . If you started our piano chord lessons from the beginning you might be wondering what suddenly mumbling about only three chords and the truth. it will fast track you to playing your favorite songs by ear! Lesson 2 : Three Chords and the Truth Three Chords and the truth. the suspension chord. Training your ear by playing "Perfect Your Pitch Pro". Let's see how we implement this with the three chords and the truth. and then the tension chord that directs us back to the opening chord which is usually the closing chord. To begin with I'd like to explain the meaning of progression in western music. the truth is that life is full of contradictions. However the connection between all the chords in the world comes down to three chords and the truth.One of the main reasons to learn the secrets of chord theory is to be able to play piano by ear. Huh? Does it sound like Hebrew to you? Well.

So. now. to go back home. The fifth degree knows exactly what it wants. for example C major. His notes don't attract toward any other chord. . when we speak about C major as the beginning point we actually say that this chord contains no tension within its voices. However usually some chord might uppear in between to create more interest between these two chords. It's a pure chord and a great starting point to start with. every story with a good end must have a climax. That's why it's called the dominant chord. In music the fifth degree of the scale is a climax.When we speak about common harmony (music has developed in many other ways as well but this is for another time) we tend to start from a root chord. So far so good. in C major scale. Later on we'll discuss all the other major scales (All the rules apply in the same way… but one step at a time). The first degree of the chord is called "Tonic Chord". Basically what we're doing when we play chords is start with the root chord. play some chords along the way that will create interest in the harmony and end up with C major again. The Dominant Chord Let's move on to the second chord whithin the three chords and the truth. Perheps the most basic chord progression is this one of I-V-I. In this lesson we'll take C major scale as an example and C major as the root chord. The tension within the voices of the chord of the fifth degree is pointing us almost always directly back home. We recognize the root chord as the first tirad of the first scale degree. G major. Click here for a free piano chord chart of the I-V-I progression in all major scales.

All we do is try to suspense the tension until it is unavoidable to ignore the necessity to play a dominant chord (fifth degree remember?). That's why it's called the subdominant. But what happens between the starting point and the climax? Well. The fourth chord is the strongest example for such a substitute. . Alright. So. Here is how this chord progression could be played on the piano in C major scale.The Subdominant Chord The subdominant is the last chord in the serie of three chords and the truth. in other words we find substitutes for the dominant. that is also pretty simple. so until now we've learned about the starting point. the climax and the ending point.

I-V-IV-V-I. An other option whithin these chord option is to play this chord progression. The only impact which is created is the sustain of the tonic. By the way. An other option whithin these chord option is to play this chord progression. it is also possible to play such a chord progression: I-IV-I or in C major for example C-F-C.Maybe the most common example to show this is the ending the prayer we all know.. The only impact which is created is the sustain of the tonic. By the way. Click here for the piano tutorial of the song Imagine. . I-V-IV-V-I. Click here for a free piano chord chart of the I-IV-I progression in all major scales. In this chord progression the tonic is moving to the subdominant and then moving back to the tonic with creating a climax. In this chord progression the tonic is moving to the subdominant and then moving back to the tonic with creating a climax. The song Imagine by John Lennon starts with this chord progression.. it is also possible to play such a chord progression: I-IV-I or in C major for example C-F-C. The song Imagine by John Lennon starts with this chord progression. We start with a subdominant that is holding the tension before it's unavoidable to play the fifth degree toward the tonic.

In this chord progression we move from the tonic to the fifth degree. Happy Birthday . However it's possible to postpone this verdict by moving the Sustain chord and then going again to the dominant which now increases the tension to the tonic. Now let's see how the different chord progressions occur in some other music we're familiar with. Now as we've learned we must come back to the tonic again.

For that reason we go back to the tonic. The song starts with the tonic. The dominant wants to go back to the tonic. It starts to get more interesting when we're moving from the tonic to the subdominant in the fifth bar and then go back to the tonic. In the last to bars of the line the subdominant is being played again aiming toward the dominant this time. There you have it again… three chords and the truth. the fourth degree. F major which suspense the tension before the dominant appears again and demands us to move back to the dominant. G major and after eight counts going back to the tonic. three chords and the truth. C major. Then another line starts from the tonic.This is a classic example. There is a lot of tension waiting to be solved. starting from the beginning all over again and at the last line we will play the dominant in the third bar and that will demand us to go back to the tonic at the last bar which will relief tension to and close end. Harmonically speaking not much is happening. then is progressing to the dominant. Then next chord is the subdominant. There you have it. Jingle Bells Jingle bells starts with four chords of the tonic. Until now the tonic was being played and the subdominant created a suspension that didn't reach a climax. . the fifth degree of C major scale. Since the dominant is located at the end of the second line it gives a feeling that the song is not over yet.

once we've reached the tonic we should be at home. he also combined his spiritual vision through his words and soul and made this song a piece of art. What Bob does is play the subdominant after the dominant. Bob has reached the Tonic in the third bar but he still had two more bars to go. . A musical line is often built out of four bars of four counts. Remember what we said about the dominant? Now we know that the chord progression will be pointing toward the tonic again. Bob was terrific at making amazing songs with three chords and the truth which gets here a double meaning. Click here for the full piano tutorial of One Love by Bob Marley demonstrating the three chords and the truth. Exercise Now that you know all about the three chords and truth behind chord theory you can easily play by ear many songs that have only three chords. He inserts a substitute to suspense the tension but then he has no choice but going home back to the tonic. Now you may ask.One Love / Bob Marley Let's check the song One Love by Bob Marley. How come there are more chords afterwards? Well that has to do with the fact that music is symmetric. All you have to do is trust your ear and relate to the logic of what I've been teaching you. then the dominant for another two counts and then the unavoidable tonic which now at the end of the line sounds like a real resting point. That's why he has added the subdominant for two counts. Not only he made music with the concept we've learned during this lesson. This song starts with a tonic and going directly to the dominant.