Basic Piano Chords & Piano Scales

Basic piano chords, in my music studio, are the I, IV, and V chords in root position and inversions.  These are SO IMPORTANT for understanding chord theory.

Basic piano chords and piano scales, free!

Scroll down the page for the link to the free PDF download.

These little bendy marks indicate where the fingers cross over or under:

/\      \/

My music-writing software doesn't seem to have anything better than that to indicate "over" and "under"...

If you look carefully, you'll see that this page of chords and major C scales is just the same as the beginnings of the "Key of C" sheet on my 12 Major Scales page.

So why did I feel the need to make this "dumbed-down" version of the Key of C sheet?  

I did it for little guys and gals who are capable of playing more complicated music than they can read, and WANT TO.   The letters-inside-the-note-heads are a lot like pictures - and a picture can be worth a thousand words! 

Some kids are ready to play these chords before they read well.  

I have a few beginners who need to play chord inversions in a few of their duets and solos, and the basic piano chords on this page are a good way to introduce them. 

They will also be using these chords when I give them "Louie Louie" which will happen in the first year for most of my students.

This set of chords and the "Do-Re-Mi" full octave scale are only given to my students in the key of C... I expect them to memorize this "template" and figure out the other keys bit by bit as they transpose easy songs, eventually all around the Circle of 5ths. 

Do you have any students who seem to be allergic to the printed page?  

They wish to hear and memorize INSTANTLY every new piece or technique, but they frequently learn it WRONG because of their haste?  These notes-as-diagrams will help them!

Good luck!



The link to the chords and scales sheet:


Basic piano chords and scale download


Music for Music Teachers has other great free resources for teachers!  Take a look:

12 Major Scales and Chords for Piano 


12 Minor Scales and Chords for Piano


Basic Piano Chords & Scales - with lettered notes for beginners


Best Piano Books!  In my opinion & experience


Flashcards for Piano


Giant Flashcards for Games 


Louie Louie  I, IV, V Chords - a fun way to cement the relationships of the 3 main chords in students' minds and fingers, too!


Note-Naming Worksheets - music with note names to help


Note-Reading Worksheets - charts with the notes placed on single staffs & the grand staff, with & without letters in the notes!


Piano Chord Chart for Major and Minor Chords 


Piano Keyboard Diagrams - pdfs to print out


Piano Scales for New Beginners, with letters in the notes


Staff Paper pdfs - many kinds & clefs









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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.