How to Transfer Guitar Chords to Piano

guitar chords to piano

Many guitar players want to know how they can transfer chords from guitar to piano; the short answer is that while it is technically possible, it won’t sound exactly the same.

To gain clarity, let’s examine how piano and guitar notes map to one another; once we know this information, converting guitar chords to piano becomes simple.


Triads provide an excellent starting point when learning chords. Constructed simply, triads serve as building blocks of more complex chords. To construct one, start from the root note of any scale and count up until finding its third and fifth notes – you should now have an effective triad.

Triads may be major, minor, diminished or augmented and determined by the quality of intervals between their root note and either of the third and fifth notes – an attribute known as chord quality.

To construct a triad on the piano, start by noting the root note of your chosen scale, drawing a staff with that root note at its base, adding any accidentals from above (for instance an F major triad would include notes C, E and G), then drawing chord tones as one block on the left-hand side – that way creating a snowperson!


When it comes to sevenths, guitar and piano chords vary slightly due to the placement of fingers on these instruments; however, the notes that make up each chord remain the same.

C chords on guitar or piano generally consist of C, E and G notes; similarly for other chords; however there are exceptions such as diminished seventh (composed of diminished triad with minor seventh stacked on top), sometimes known as flatted fifth chord or min75 chord.

Major seventh chords can be found in all genres of music ranging from jazz pieces and indie rock songs, to romantic ballads due to its warm sound. No matter the style you play, adding major seventh chords into your tunes will add vibrancy and lightheartedness.

Power Chords

Power chords are simple yet effective two note chords, perfect for use across a variety of genres and musical genres. Popular among rock musicians for creating powerful sounds with distortion, they work great with effects as well. Power chords can usually be constructed by adding an integer number to the root note of any major chord and subtracting one from it to remove its middle note – for instance D5 is one such chord.

To form a power chord, place your index finger on the root note, with the third finger placed two frets up from it on another string two frets above. As well as featuring an octave above its root note, these chords are known as bar chords. Practice moving this shape around the fret board to get used to how it works before trying out some songs with it! One popular example being Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit!


Intervals are essential in creating powerful chords and comprehending how chords are laid out on a piano keyboard. Intervals also define how notes are grouped together for chord formation: for instance, two half steps above starting note, five full steps away and seven full steps from tonic note are all examples of intervals that make up chords.

Knowing how to play intervals on the piano will sharpen your ear and make transitioning between guitar and piano chords much simpler. Intervals are named based on number and quality; for example, unisons consist of one note; seconds consist of two letter notes; thirds three letter notes; fourths four letter notes; fifths five letter notes apart and sixths and sevenths more than six letter notes apart; they can also be classified by whether they are perfect, minor, diminished and augmented intervals.