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Lesson #4 - Chord Changes
Switching from C major to G7

Chord Changes

Focus on learning two chords with your left hand, then focus your attention on switching between those two chords as smoothly as possible. In time, forming chords will become second nature!

Your Piano Instructor

Guy Faux

In the beginning of your online piano lessons, it's common for your right hand to move faster than your left.

Playing chords will be your biggest challenge, so allow yourself time to get used to switching from one chord to another. You'll be playing multiple-chord songs in no time. - Guy


Chord Triad

In music, a triad is a set of three notes that can be stacked vertically in thirds.

In the illustration above, the distance from the C up to the E is 3 notes, which is called a third. The distance from the E up to the G is also a third.



Root Note

Every chord has a root note. A root note is a single note within a chord that has the same name as the chord.

For example, the root note of a C major chord is a C. The root note of a G7 chord is a G. The root note of a D major chord is a D.



Chord Positions

This is the one lesson that you should definitely spend a few days reviewing. Everything that you will ever learn about chords starts with a clear understanding of chord positions.

A triad, or three note chord can be played in 3 different positions.

  1. Root Position
  2. First Inversion
  3. Second Inversion

A C major chord played in Root Position means that the root note, the C, is played on the bottom of the chord. (see image below)


A C major chord played in First Inversion means that the root note is no longer the bottom note of the chord. In first inversion, (the C root note), is now the top note of the chord. (see image below)


A C major chord played in Second Inversion means that the C root note is now the middle note of the chord. (see image below)


IMPORTANT NOTE: When I play chords, I rarely take notice of what position I'm playing.

  • I know the 3 notes of a C major chord are C - E - G. If I have to play the C chord in a different position, I just move the notes around accordingly.

I'm teaching you about the different positions so you know they exist and also so you're aware of the fact that you can play the notes of any chord in any order you choose.

  • I should add, it's easier to learn chords in root position, especially if you've never had any type of piano lessons before.

Of course, with all of that said, it's good stuff to know, but you don't have to stress out trying to memorize the different chord positions.

As you progress through this course, I will always point out when a chord is inverted. Of course, you can easily tell when a chord is inverted because the root note will no longer be the bottom note of the chord.



Overhead Keyboard View

Click the play button for the Overhead Keyboard View in the video below to see and hear the C major chord to the G7 chord.

Watch the video as many times as necessary. When you're ready, go to your piano or keyboard and try playing the right-hand notes.






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Lesson #11


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