Manual Music by Numbers: The Guide to Essential Piano Scales

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In fact, you can learn to play piano completely on your own, and you can sound awesome when you do! Chords will frequently be repeated throughout the song, so once you get it down, you can play an entire piece easily. The pattern repeats itself across the entire length of the piano.

So far so good? If you can skip numbers, then understanding the minor and major chords is pretty simple.

A half-step is when you go from one note directly to the one above it. Now you put your middle finger on the E. There are seven music modes. Each mode is a slight variation of a scale. They use all the same notes and interval patterns as the parent scale. The main difference is the root note used to build the scale. Starting a scale on a different note defines the tonal center, giving it distinct melodic characteristics. Learning musical modes goes beyond basic music theory and is more advanced.

However, getting familiar with these terms and basic functions is helpful. Chords are the harmonious building blocks of all songs. They evoke emotion and provide the foundation for creating melodies. Knowing how to build chords and understand how they interact with each other is important when learning basic music theory. This section looks at basic chords types, chord extensions, and inversions.

1. C major

A chord is a combination of two or more notes played at the same time. You can create chords from all twelve notes.

There are also four basic types of chords in music:. The most common chords are triads. A triad is a chord made of three notes.

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Triads have a root note, a third four semitones above the root , and a perfect fifth seven semitones above the root. Triads are also the foundation for more complex chords. Major chords have a root note, a major third, and a perfect fifth.

Piano Scales

A chord with these three notes alone is called a major triad. For example, a C major triad has the notes: C-E-G. You can also add notes to build more complex chords. Minor chords have a root note, a minor third, and a perfect fifth. A chord with these three notes alone is called a minor triad.

Diminished chords sound tense, dissonant, and dramatic. They have a root note, minor third, and a diminished fifth six semitones above the root.

Learning how to play the piano: The basics in 13 steps

Augmented chords sound dissonant, unsettling, and mysterious. They have a root note, major third, and an augmented fifth eight semitones above the root. For example, a C augmented triad has the notes: C—E—G. A seventh chord adds a note to the basic triad. Seventh chords have a root note, a third, a perfect fifth, and a seventh. There are also five main types of seventh chords: major, minor, dominant, diminished, and half-diminished.

These notes extend into the next octave. Extended chords create a richer, more harmonically complex sound than basic major and minor triads. They also provide additional voice leading possibilities, which makes chord progressions sound more interesting.

There are four chord extensions: the 9th, 11th, and 13th. Transposing notes in a chord to different octaves creates an inversion. An easy way to start improvising on the piano is to play major scales together with the chords that use the same notes. Preferable is to you play the chords with your left hand and notes from the scale with your right more on improvisation. For example, C is suitable for ballads and Eb can sound a bit like Bach. See also: Harmonic Major Scales.

+ musical terms for beginners learning piano. Piano glossary

Backing tracks for major scales presented by Pianoscales. You can play piano to these tracks by using the Major scales. Piano Major Scales Major scales are the most important piano scales: firstly, because they are very common and, secondly, because they are fundamental to understand keys. Backing tracks Backing tracks for major scales presented by Pianoscales. Track list C Major soft ballad Your browser does not support the audio element.

Show scale.