What Is a Piano Chord – Part 2


<<<< What Is a Piano Chord – Part 1

In part 1 of piano chords, we had seen,

What are Piano Chords?
Why You Should Know about Piano Chords?
and details about two commonly used chords, i.e. major chords and minor chords.

Now in this article, other types of chords are given in detail like Diminished Chords, Augmented Chords, Seventh Chords, Chord Inversions and Chord Progressions.


Diminished Chords

Diminished chords are less common than major and minor chords but are essential for creating tension and dissonance in music.

A diminished chord consists of a root note, a minor third, and a diminished fifth.

To construct a C diminished chord (Cdim), start with the root note C, add the minor third E♭, and the diminished fifth G♭.

The C diminished chord is made up of the notes C, E♭, and G♭.

Here are some common diminished chords and their notes:

C diminished: C, E♭, G♭

D diminished: D, F, A♭

E diminished: E, G, B♭

F diminished: F, A♭, C♭

G diminished: G, B♭, D♭

A diminished: A, C, E♭

B diminished: B, D, F

Diminished chords are represented by the root note followed by “dim” or a small circle (°). For example, a C diminished chord can be written as “Cdim” or “C°.”


Augmented Chords

Augmented chords have a tense, unresolved sound.

An augmented chord consists of a root note, a major third, and an augmented fifth.

To construct a C augmented chord (Caug), start with the root note C, add the major third E, and the augmented fifth G♯.

The C augmented chord is made up of the notes C, E, and G♯.

Here are some common augmented chords and their notes:

C augmented: C, E, G♯

D augmented: D, F♯, A♯

E augmented: E, G♯, B♯

F augmented: F, A, C♯

G augmented: G, B, D♯

A augmented: A, C♯, E♯

B augmented: B, D♯, F♯♯

Augmented chords are represented by the root note followed by “aug” or a plus sign (+). For example, a C augmented chord can be written as “Caug” or “C+.”


Seventh Chords

Seventh chords add an extra layer of complexity and richness to your chord progressions.

A seventh chord consists of a root note, a third, a fifth, and a seventh.

There are several types of seventh chords, including major seventh, minor seventh, and dominant seventh chords.

To create a C major seventh chord (Cmaj7), start with the root note C, add the major third E, the perfect fifth G, and the major seventh B. The C major seventh chord is made up of the notes C, E, G, and B.

For a C minor seventh chord (Cm7), start with the root note C, add the minor third E♭, the perfect fifth G, and the minor seventh B♭. The C minor seventh chord is made up of the notes C, E♭, G, and B♭.

A C dominant seventh chord (C7) consists of the root note C, the major third E, the perfect fifth G, and the minor seventh B♭. The C dominant seventh chord is made up of the notes C, E, G, and B♭.

Seventh chords are represented by the root note followed by a “7” or “maj7” for major seventh chords, and “m7” for minor seventh chords. For example, a C major seventh chord is written as “Cmaj7,” and a C minor seventh chord is written as “Cm7.”


Chord Inversions

An inversion is when you rearrange the notes of a chord to create a different sound.

Inversions can make your playing sound smoother and more interesting.

There are three possible inversions for a basic triad chord:

Root Position: The root note is the lowest note of the chord (e.g., C, E, G for a C major chord).

First Inversion: The third is the lowest note of the chord (e.g., E, G, C for a C major chord).

Second Inversion: The fifth is the lowest note of the chord (e.g., G, C, E for a C major chord).

Seventh chords have an additional inversion called the third inversion, in which the seventh is the lowest note of the chord.


Chord Progressions

Chord progressions are sequences of chords that create the harmonic foundation of a song.

Common chord progressions include the I-IV-V progression and the ii-V-I progression.

These progressions are based on the diatonic chords of a key, which are the chords built on the notes of the major scale.

For example, in the key of C major, the diatonic chords are:

C major (I)

D minor (ii)

E minor (iii)

F major (IV)

G major (V)

A minor (vi)

B diminished (vii°)

By understanding diatonic chords and common chord progressions, you can quickly learn to play songs and create your own compositions.


Applying Chords to Your Piano Playing

As you learn piano chords and progress in your piano journey, you’ll find that chords are an essential tool for creating beautiful music.

Start by practicing major and minor chords, then gradually expand your repertoire to include diminished, augmented, and seventh chords.

Experiment with chord inversions and progressions to find new ways to express yourself musically.

Remember, practice is the key to mastering piano chords.

The more you play and experiment with chords, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become.

By understanding the fundamentals of piano chords, you’ll unlock a world of musical possibilities and take your piano playing to new heights.

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