Can Guitar Chords Be Used For Piano?

Keep a few things in mind when using guitar chords on piano: note mapping may differ between instruments.

Once you understand this concept, transferring chords between instruments becomes extremely easy. Many musicians quickly transition from playing guitar to piano playing or vice versa.

The Musical Structure

A guitar chord consists of multiple intervals played simultaneously. This structure is exclusive to guitars as woodwinds and brass instruments can only play one note at a time. Common guitar chord structures include major or minor triads as well as dominant sevenths which combine major with minor chords.

Example of C major chord on piano

Pianos feature more keys than guitars, and musicians don’t usually limit themselves to using just one for song composition. Understanding how intervals are mapped across each instrument will make learning and playing piano chords much simpler; therefore if you know how to play a guitar chord, it can also be applied on piano.

Intervallic Relationships

No matter the instrument you play, chords are a universal language. Their theoretical principles remain similar for guitar and piano players – the only difference lies in how notes in each chord are distributed across instruments.

Intervals are an integral component of music. They specify how far apart two notes are and their qualities – whether major, minor, perfect or augmented – they make up all chords.

An example of a power chord on guitar uses intervals of 4, 5, and 6ths; these intervals play an essential role in creating dissonance and tension before finally resolving, giving power chords their distinct sound across musical genres, from blues to metal and beyond. Understanding their application is vital for creating engaging chords as it gives guitarists freedom to experiment with various sounds and styles.


Understanding chord structures is an integral component of being a musician, particularly when learning a new instrument like piano. Chords serve as an essential language and understanding them can help you play almost any song successfully.

Piano chords resemble guitar chords in many ways, yet differ significantly due to being played on an instrument with more than one tone: piano is known for being chromatic while guitars tend towards being diatonic instruments.

When chords have multiple notes, their fingering will differ between guitar and piano. Furthermore, each chord’s range of tones depends on its number of strings; some guitar chords will contain notes not heard on piano (and vice versa).

Consider Metallica’s famous song Paranoid Android as an example. This track’s chord progression is complex and utilizes both major and minor triads in closed position for maximum impact.


Guitar chords typically comprise four or more notes. To convert these chords to piano ones, simply determine each note’s location on the keyboard (black keys represent accidentals while white ones represent naturals).

An C major chord features three notes: C, E and G; using this information you can quickly transfer it onto the piano and play them as an uncomplicated triad chord.

Similar principles can be applied to chord progressions as well. Augmented chords tend to sound dissonantly in comparison with Major or Minor chords and can draw listeners toward them instead.

To put this theory to the test, try playing one of your favorite artist’s songs both on guitar and piano – it will amaze you at just how similar the results can be! Check out Metallica’s “Paranoid Android.” Jeremy.