How to play piano chords

It can be really useful to know how to play all of the chords on piano. You will find it opens up all sorts of musical possibilities. If you know how to read them off sheet music or chord charts then the you are really on the way to becoming an accomplished player. The  short video I made for the Piano Learners site will show you how to form all of the main chords.


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Key Signatures Chart To Learn Piano

Here is our beginners piano chart of the key signatures and what sharps / flats they have.

C major / a minor – No Sharps or Flats

G major / e minor – F sharp
D major / b minor – F sharp, C sharp
A major / f sharp minor – F sharp, C sharp, G sharp
E major / c sharp minor – F sharp, C sharp, G sharp, D sharp
B major / g sharp minor – F sharp, C sharp, G sharp, D sharp, A sharp
F sharp major / d sharp minor – F sharp, C sharp, G sharp, D sharp, A sharp, E sharp
C sharp major / a sharp minor – F sharp, C sharp, G sharp, D sharp, A sharp, E sharp, B sharp

F major / d minor – B flat
B flat Major / g minor – B flat, E flat
E flat Major / c minor – B flat, E flat, A flat
A flat Major / f minor – B flat, E flat, A flat, D flat
D flat Major / b flat minor – B flat, E flat, A flat, D flat, G flat
G flat Major / e flat minor – B flat, E flat, A flat, D flat, G flat, C flat
C flat Major / a flat minor – B flat, E flat, A flat, D flat, G flat, C flat, F flat


Air Piano | Rowan Atkinson’s Piano Mime

This is an amazing performance or Beethoven‘s Pathetique performed on an invisible piano by comedy genius Rowan Atkinson (AKA Mr. Bean). The performance starts with the 1st movement from the Pathetique and then is is seamlessly goes into the end of the 3rd movement of the  Moonlight Sonata.

Cool Piano Chords

What are cool piano chords?

This is obviously objective but, in general you have the major chords which sound  happy, the sadder sounding minor chords. Then you have the ambiguous 7th chords.

Now come the ‘cool’ chords. if you start adding the 9th, the 11th and the 13th to a chord then you start getting more jazz like sounds. The 13th chords even start to sound a little impresionistic and were used by Satie and Debussy.

Piano Chords Software

I often get asked about piano chords software and where to get it.

There are not actually that many programs around to help with thisl.

The owners of the Rocket Piano home study course however get free access to the special Piano learning software which apart from being great fun really strengthens the beginners playing and helps to interiorize some of the playing patterns.

Accompaniment Chords

Project 365 #123: 030509 Lifting the LidIf you have downloaded our beginners piano chord sheet then you will probably realise that once you have them under your belt you will be able to use most of them as simple accompaniment chords.

Most popular songs have pretty simple repeating chord sequences made up usually of just 3 or 4 of these chords.

If you have a good earn then you could be using them as accompaniment chords to a whole host of songs.
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photo credit: comedy_noseaccompaniment chords

Sad piano chords

What exactly are sad piano chords?

Typically people have always regarded the minor chords as being the sad sounding chords. They are however made all the more sad sounding when a single minor chord is suddenly played after a major chord.

Other types of chords have their own properties too. Suspended chords for example have a certain kind of ambiguity about them, augmented chord are sometimes thought of as being spooky or dramatic sounding.

Experiment with the different types of chords and identify emotions with them. When you are improvising or trying to compose then you will be able to use these emotions when choosing your chords.

piano chords guide

The piano chords guide that we offer for free download over on the right hand side of the page is only a very basic and abridged document.

Our piano chord guide contains the 24 basic major and mimor chords. that is the major and minor verions of the chords for each of the twelve notes of the octave.

There are in reality hundreds of chords that you can play on the piano. Besides the major and minor chords there are also diminished, augmented, 7ths minor 7ths and major 7ths, suspended, 11ths, 13ths… and the list goes on.

Apart from having one chord for each of the 12 notes in the octave, each chord can be played in a variety of inversions with at least 3 different ways of playing each chord. If you add up all of the combinations you have literally hundreds of different possible piano chords to learn.