EZ Piano Method

EZ Lesson 22
Making Chords from Scales

I hope you are not finding this theory too boring, but as with all of the lessons in this course, you can jump to any lesson which interests you, by using the link at the bottom of each page.

Before we go back to playing some tunes, here is a brief explanation of how to find out how to play any Major chord you want.

You now know that a Scale consists of eight notes
Now, give each note a number, starting from the lowest note.
For example, C=1, D=2, E=3 and so on, ending with the higher C=8

Major chords consist of three different notes from the scale, played together.
Note 1, note 3 and note 5
So, in the C Major scale, this would be C, E, and G

If you play these three notes together, you will be playing a C Major chord.

C Major chord
So, by using the pattern of tones and semitones from the last lesson, you can work out the notes in a scale starting on any key on your keyboard, and then simply play note numbers 1, 3, and 5 and you will have a Major chord.
The name of that chord, will be the same as the name of the first note of the scale.

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8
Finger number (left hand)  5              3              1

When the lowest note in a chord, is the same as the name of the chord (for example, the C Major chord, shown above, has C as the lowest note) then the chord is said to be in 'Root Position' ( just as a root is the lowest part of a tree)

As there are three different notes in all Major chords, they can be played in any order, and still be a chord.
For example, the C chord above, consists of C, E, and G in that order.
It would still be a C major chord, if you changed the order of the notes, and played, E, C, and G, or G, C, and E

This is known as inverting the order, so any order you play the notes in, other than Root Position, is called an Inversion

So, C E G is called Root Position
E G C is called First Inversion
G C E is called Second Inversion

As pictures and sound speak louder than words, you can see and hear the most common Major chords, and their inversions by clicking anywhere on the keyboard below

audio chord chart