Basic Piano Chords for Beginners, Part 2
How to recognize and play the basic chords in popular songs.
After you’ve practiced playing and hearing the four basic chord types described in Part 1 of this article, the next step is to listen to your favorite songs and try to identify which of these chord types they are using. Here are some examples to get you started.
Hey Jude – The Beatles
This classic starts out with four easily recognizable major chords (the third one has a dominant 7th added, as discussed in Part 1).
Here’s how they are played:
Your Song – Elton John
The intro uses three major chords, all played over a constant E-flat octave in the left hand.
Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
This tune is sung over only two chords, both of them minor, repeated ad infinitum in a “broken chord” (arpeggiated) style.
All Of Me – John Legend
This power ballad opens with a clear minor triad. Notice the use of inversions to keep the notes close from chord to chord.
Oh! Darling – The Beatles
A strong augmented triad opens this song before the main figure comes in.
If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
This classic chord progression (starting in bar 5) uses a diminished chord to move from the first chord (G major seventh with the ninth added) into the third chord (A minor seventh).
Looking for even more guidance and help in learning the chords in your favorite songs? Be sure to read this series of postings and check out our free Chord Tracker app, available for iOS and Android devices.
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