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In this lesson, we look at major and minor piano chords and discover how to play them on the Dodeka keyboard.
What are chords?
Chords are sets of pleasing sounds drawn from musical scales. (We talked about musical scales in Lesson 2 of this course). Chord consist of the first degree of the scale - often called root note, the third degree and the fifth degree of the scale.
Major and minor chords
Like scales, there are major and minor chords.
A major chord is composed of an interval of four notes, followed by an interval of three notes. To remember this chord structure, we can count the number of keys. For major chords, the structure is root note, count four keys and then 3. We can shorten it to 4+3.
By contrast, a minor chord consists of an interval of three notes, followed by an interval of four notes. Like major chords, we can count the number of keys to remember its structure. From the root, we count 3 and then 4, that is, 3+4.
You may have noticed that the only difference between the major and minor chord lies in the combination of the intervals 3 + 4 and 4 + 3.
In this light, major and minor chords are the exact opposite. A minor chord is the upside down version of the major one and vice-versa.
The structure of major chords is the exact opposite of minor ones.
If we start from the same key, it is even clearer. To go from the major chord to the minor one, we only have to move the middle note down a key. Inversely to go from a minor chord to a major one, we move the middle note up a key.
As chords are drawn from musical scales, to each scale corresponds a chord.
For example the C major chord matches the c major scale, the C minor chord the c minor chord, the D major chord the D major scale and so on.
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- A chord is a set of pleasing sounds played simultaneously. To each chord corresponds a scale.
- Major chords are composed of two intervals of four and three notes, (4+3), while minor chords consists of two intervals of three and four notes (3+4).
- The major chord structure is the exact opposite of the major one and vice-versa.
PDF Piano Scales Chart
Learn all major and minor piano chords with the help of our free pdf piano chords chart.
How To Learn & Play Piano Chords Quicker
Struggling with chords? Learn how piano chords can become easy to remember, quick to learn and simple to play with Dodeka Music.