Category Archives: chords and harmony

The 9th Chords You Need To Know: Lesson 6: C Major 9 & C Minor Major 9 Chords

Here’s the 6th in our series of piano chords and harmony lessons and tutorials.

In this lesson, we’re going to look at the Major 9 and Minor Major 9 chords.

This directly builds on your knowledge of the Major 7 and Minor Major 7 chords you learned before.

This is because they are these chords with an added note! Continue reading

OK, Some Colorful Chords: Lesson 5: C 9 & C Minor 9 Chords

Here’s the 5th in our series of piano chords and harmony lessons and tutorials.

Are you practising the previous chords on your piano or keyboard and getting to know the sound?

This is the secret to success if you know these sounds well.

In this lesson, we’re going to look at the 9 and Minor 9 chords.

This directly builds on your knowledge now of the 7 and min7 chords.

Why?

They are these chords with an added note! Continue reading

Piano Chords Lesson 4: C 6 & C Minor 6 Chords

Here’s the 4th in our series of piano chords and harmony lessons and tutorials.

In this lesson, we’re going to look at the 6 and Minor 6 chords.

These are quite simple chords, and they are simply the major or minor chord together with the major 6th of the scale.

So here’s what these chords are:

6 Chord

Notation: C6

This chord is made up of: Continue reading

Beautiful Sus Chords: Piano Harmony Lesson 3: C Sus 2 & C Sus 4 Chords

Here’s the 3rd in our series of piano chords and harmony lessons and tutorials.

If you have a wide repertoire of chords that you know, then you have a larger bag of tricks to draw from when composing or improvising, and you start to recognise chords in songs when you listen.

In this lesson, we’re going to look at the Sus 2 and Sus 4 chords.

These are quite simple chords, and they are simply the major 2nd or perfect 4th note of scale played instead of the third.

They are Sus or suspended chord as it comes from the idea from contrapuntal technique, that a note is carried over or suspended from a phrase, and will soon resolve to a major or minor third.

In modern use, it does not have to carry over, and does not neccessarily have to resolve. The original term is what gives it its name.

However, the 4th or 2nd note with the 5th or tonis, does give the chord dissonance and anticipation (a better word) of a resolution to perhaps follow.

The lack of a 4rd makes it an open sound, that is not minor or major.

It is used in a lot of popular music and all genres of music as it does create a sense of suspense.

So here’s what these chords are:

Sus 2 Chord

Notation: C7

This chord is made up of: Continue reading

Piano Chords Lesson 2: C Minor 7th & C Minor Major 7th Chords

Here’s another harmony and chord lesson for you in our series of lessons.

In this lesson, we’re going to look at the Minor 7th and Minor Major 7th chords.

Ensure that you already know lesson one, where we learned about some major 7th chords.

With these two minor 7th chords, the difference is the 7th note is the minor 7th interval in one, and the major 7th interval in the other.

In both the minor triad is there, ie, tonic, minor third and fifth note.

The trick also is to remember the notation which is what you’ll see in music scores.

Here they are:

Minor 7th Chord

Notation: Cmin7 or Cm7

This chord is made up of: Continue reading

Piano Harmony Lesson: Piano Chords Tutorial: Secret To Improvization

The secret to improvisation and playing freely on the piano or keyboard is knowing your chords and harmonies well.

Step 1

The steps to all these skills is firstly to know a good repertoire of chords.

Yes, start with major and minor, and these are the basics.

Then get familiar with this list of piano chords:

Let’s take the example of C:

C major 7th

C minor 7th

C sus2

C sus4

C6

C minor 6

C9

C major 9

C minor 9

C9 sus

C11

C13

C dim

C dim 7

C aug

C7 diminished 5 (or flat 5)

C7 augmented 5 (or sharp 5)

C minor 7 diminished 5 (or flat 5)

C minor 7 augmented 5 (or sharp 5)

C 7 diminished 9 (or flat 9)

C 7 augmented 9 (or sharp 9)

Step 2 Continue reading

Piano Chords Lesson 1: C Dominant 7th & C Major 7th Chords

Here’s a harmony and chord lesson for you!

It’s an area of confusion for many people, but with this series it will clear it up for you!

We’ll start with the basics, assuming you know what a major and minor chord already is.

In this lesson, we’re going to look at the Dominant 7th and Major 7th chords.

People get these chords mixed up as the major is the basis of both chords, and mix one up with the other…

So here’s what these chords are:

Dominant 7th Chord

Notation: C7

This chord is made up of: Continue reading