• 24 Common Chords For Beginners Who Are Getting Started With Chords

    in Beginners,Chords & Progressions,General Music,Piano,Theory

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    If you’re a beginner who’s getting started with chords I want to congratulate you because you’re on the right page.

    Attention: Do well to read this blog post to the end and don’t forget to print out all the chords that we’ll be covering in this lesson.

    “Before Anything Else, Here’s My Story…”

    I started playing the piano over two decades ago. Although I’ve forgotten a lot of things that happened while I was still getting started with the basic theory and fundamentals, approach to the determination of melodies, playing songs and more, I haven’t forgotten how overwhelming it is to learn chords.

    I came across certain books with several hundreds of chords to learn and on every key and I was overwhelmed with tons of information about chords and I struggled to memorize them.

    Few years down the line, I figured out that there are just 24 common chords that every beginner should get started with.

    Submission: Remember, as a beginner, you’re just trying to get started and you don’t need to be overwhelmed with hundreds of chords. you just need a handful to actually “get started” before every other thing can fall in place.

    Now, to take you further into this lesson, I’ll be sharing with you on the concept of common chords and if you already know what common chords are, still read on.

    The Concept Of Common Chords

    A good way to start off in this segment is with an explanation on the perfect fifth interval and this is because the perfect fifth interval is the characteristic component of common chords.

    In other words, common chords have the perfect fifth interval.

    The Perfect Fifth Interval — Explained

    The perfect fifth interval is the interval formed between the first and fifth tones of the major scale. Using the C major scale (as a reference):

    …the first and fifth tones are C and G respectively:

    So, C-G:

    …is a perfect fifth interval.

    “Now, Back To Common Chords…”

    Common chords are chords that are shared by more than one key. So, when two or more keys have a particular chord in common, such a chord is described as a common chord.

    The C major triad:

    …is shared by the following keys:

    C major:

    …where the C major triad is the 1-chord.

    F major:

    …where the C major triad is the 5-chord.

    G major:

    …where the C major triad is the 4-chord.

    Relationship Between Common Chords And The Perfect Fifth interval

    Common chords are triads that have the perfect fifth interval: like the major and minor triad.

    The C major triad:

    …and the C minor triad:

    …both have the perfect fifth interval (C-G):

    …in common and that’s why they are referred to as common chords; as opposed to the C augmented triad:

    …that has an augmented fifth (C-G#):

    …and the C diminished triad:

    …that has a diminished fifth interval (C-Gb):

    So, there are two common chord types: major chords and minor chords and both chords have the perfect fifth interval.

    24 Common Chords For Beginners

    There are major and minor chords to learn in this lesson. The first twelve chords on the list are major chords and are followed by twelve minor chords.

    So, you’ll have a dozen major chords and a dozen minor chords at the end of this lesson.

    We’re not using any conventional approach to chord learning in this lesson. I just want you to learn the chords and be able to play them off-heart.

    Attention: Please, endeavor to spell the chords. For example, even when you’re not on the keyboard, you should be able to say “the C major chord consists of C, E, and G.”

    A Dozen Major Chords

    The C major chord:

    The Db major chord:

    The D major chord:

    The Eb major chord:

    The E major chord:

    The F major chord:

    The Gb major chord:

    The G major chord:

    The Ab major chord:

    The A major chord:

    The Bb major chord:

    The B major chord:

    A Dozen Minor Chords

    C minor chord:

    C# minor chord:

    D minor chord:

    Eb minor chord:

    E minor chord:

    F minor chord:

    F# minor chord:

    G minor chord:

    G# minor chord:

    A minor chord:

    Bb minor chord:

    B minor chord:

    Final Words

    It’s action time.

    There are twenty-four hours in a day and twenty-four chords to learn in this post. If you learn one chord every hour, you’ll have two dozens of chords (in your chordal arsenal to play songs with) by this time tomorrow.

    Alternatively, if you learn 6 chords in a week, you’d be done mastering all the chords in one month — twenty and four of them.

    Also, if you learn one major chord and one minor chord every month, you’ll be done with all the chords by this time next year.

    It’s entirely up to you to decide how quickly you want to go past the common chords and start learning augmented and diminished chords.

    All the best!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku (aka - "Dr. Pokey") is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.


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