Five Basic Piano Chords You Can Start Playing Right Now.

Some of the most basic piano chords are by far the some of the easiest and most common chords to learn and play.

These chords are very easy for the beginner piano player to learn, and can make a song sound great. Using these basic chords will help you easily learn new chords fast, while also allowing you to make some really great music today.

Most chords have 3, 4, and even 5 notes in them. Most of the chords on this page will have only two or three notes. No need to get crazy with tons of notes in one chord.

Learn the chords on this page and you will be able to play a lot of great songs with little effort.


The Basic Piano Chords

In the beginning stages of your piano learning experience you will need a good arsenal of easy to play piano chords under your belt. Here are the most basic, and most commonly used piano chords you will need.

When I use the word basic I don’t mean that they are not useful, it just means they are easy to play with little effort. They are also the most common chords used in music.

These should be some of the first chords you learn.

For even more chords, here is an even larger collection of chords.


You can also get a FREE Printable Piano Chord Chart by entering your name and e-mail address below.

Major Chord

Major chords are the most common basic piano chords. Once you learn this chord you will be able to play almost any other chord out there.

To play other chords you simply have to make small adjustments to the major chord. Learn the major chord before any other chord. This will be the foundation for all other chords will ever learn.

The major chord is made by playing the first, third, and fifth notes in the major scale.

Basic Piano Chords

Start by finding the root note of the scale (this is the note that the scale is named after.)

If you want to play a C Major chord you would start on a C note.

Next, play up the C major scale until you reach the third note in the scale. Then finally add the fifth note to create a major chord.

Once you learn this chord, you will be on your way to learning other basic piano chords.

Here are all of the note names for each major chord.

Major Chord Notes

Minor Chord

Minor Chord is the second most basic piano chord. It should be the second chord that any beginner should learn. Once you know how to play a major chord, the minor chord is simple to play.

This chord is built by playing the first, flat third, and fifth notes in the major scale. This can be a little more difficult than some of the other basic piano chords, but if you know the major chord there is a trick.

C Minor Chord

Start by playing a three note major chord as described above. Then move the middle note one key direclty to the left.

If you wanted to play a C Minor Chord, you would start by finding C Major which is C, E, G. Now move the middle note, E, to the note directly to the left, Eb.

With that small change of one note, you can learn a whole new set of basic piano chords.

Minor Chord Notes

5 Chord

The 5 chord is a very easy chord to learn and play. It is just like a major chord with one difference. It is made up of two notes instead of three, the first and the fifth note in the major scale.

C5 Chord

To build these basic piano chords you start on the first note in the scale, and then add the fifth note in the scale.

Another way to play this chord is by playing a major chord and removing the middle note. It’s that easy. Just take a way one note and now you have brand new chord.

Take a look at the image above and you will see a C5 chord. This chord starts on C, and ends on G. You can use this formula to build any 5 chord.

5 Chord Notes

Suspended Chord

The suspended chord, also known as a Sus chord, is a very contemporary chord. It is made up of the 1, 4, and 5 of the major scale.

To build this chord you simply start on the root note of the scale, then add the fourth note in the scale, and finally add the fifth note of the scale.

Csus Chord

This chord is very powerful. To add something a little different to a song, add the suspended chord in place of a major chord.

Most of the time the suspended chord will resolve to the major chord, meaning it sounds best to end with a major. For example, if you are playing a Csus chord, it sounds most natural to resolve to the C Major chord.

Suspended Chord Notes

2 Chord

The 2 chord is like the brother of the suspended chord. The sus chord uses the forth note in the scale while the 2 uses the second. The 2 chords are great basic piano chords that can easily be learned and used by beginner piano players.

C2 Chord

This chord is like a major chord with one small difference. Instead of using the third note in the scale you use the second note in the scale.

To build this scale you need to use the root note of the scale, add the second note, and then end with the fifth note.

2 Chord Notes

Get a Free Chord Chart containing all of these chords when you enter your name and e-mail address below.


These are all great basic piano chords. If you learn these five chords you will be able to play just about any song.

A lot of songs will have chords that aren’t listed here like Dominant 7 and Major 7 chords.

Don’t let those confuse you. Use these chords wherever you can instead of a more complex chord. They can give a similar sound, and make playing a song a whole lot easier.

For more chords including illustrations, fingering, and notation check out the Piano Chord Encyclopedia.

It has just about every chord oyu will ever need with detailed pictures and diagrams of how to play each chord.



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