Major and Minor Chords for Piano

Chords are an essential element of music. They form the harmonic framework for melodies and lyrics to follow. There are an infinite number of types and sizes of chords out there.

Triad chords are the core component of all chords. Consisting of three notes called root, minor third and perfect fifth respectively.

Enhance minor triads by adding an additional note called the seventh. This creates what are known as minor 7th chords.

A Minor

Minor chords also contain three basic notes on the keyboard: a root note, third note and fifth note. To form one of these chords, start from the root note and move up one semitone or half step until reaching third and then another semitone for fifth notes.

Root note of an A minor chord is A, with minor third (C) and perfect fifth (E).

Triads are simple three note chords. However, we can add other notes from the minor scale for more complex chords.

C Minor

C minor is one of the easiest piano chords to learn and carries an air of melancholy that gives songs emotional depth.

Triad chords consist of three notes stacked upon one another; their distance apart is known as an interval.

By adding a fourth note to a three-note stack, a seventh chord is formed, creating tension and adding complexity to harmonies. Practice this progression with a metronome for accurate timing; additionally, practice its inversions (C-Eb-G) so as to gain a greater understanding of this chord structure.

E Minor

E minor chords are widely used to convey various emotional states, from melancholic and introspective to powerful and upbeat. An Em chord (commonly referred to as E minor triad) combines a minor third with a major second to form the E minor triad.

To play an E minor chord on piano, begin by positioning your fifth finger (pinky) on a white key five keys right of Middle C. Next, place your thumb and first finger (thumb) on G note followed by third finger on B note.

Be mindful that this is only one method for playing this chord; feel free to experiment with different inversions as needed. Continuous practice will enable you to master it.

G Minor

With G Minor scale, you can build triad chords by starting from the root note and moving upward towards its 5th tone. Just like with any chord scale, G Minor allows for adding additional color by introducing non-triad notes into chord progressions that ‘wow’ audiences!

Cherry Glazerr’s “Had Ten Dollaz” provides an outstanding example of this in her use of G Minor chords to express tension and emotion through music. Their menacing guitar riff, coupled with her unsettling lyrics, perfectly showcase this trait of G Minor chords.

G Minor can also create an atmosphere of menacing darkness in EDM, hard dance and Drum n Bass styles.

B Minor

B minor chords are relatively straightforward and common in various piano genres from classical to rock and pop music. Although more challenging to play due to a sharp bottom note, with practice anyone can become proficient at this form of chord.

As with other minor triad chords, B Minor produces a sad and melancholy tone, making it suitable for songs with tension-building lyrics or waiting scenes. Furthermore, its tone between 7th and 8th scale degrees adds tension;

D Minor

D minor is an ideal key for melodies that aim to convey genuine and earnest emotion, such as hymns.

Chords in D minor are formed using the D natural minor scale with one flat (B), meaning all notes can be played using similar fingering patterns as major chords.