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. Here is the FOUNDATIONAL page, in the key of C, with no black notes. You'll also find, currently, the keys of G and D.
Scroll down the page for the link to the free PDF download.
This video shows you what all the pages sound like:
These little bendy marks indicate where the fingers cross over or 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.
The next key, once "C" is well in hand:
So why did I feel the need to make these "dumbed-down" versions of the Key of _____ sheets?
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!
I have noticed a real difference
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. I have seen that my students learn the chord changes and inversions in their piano pieces MUCH faster, once they have been through this basic piano chords page, and really solidified it.
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.
Don't be in a rush
This set of chords and the "Do-Re-Mi" full octave scale are initially given to my students in the key of C, and they spend a VERY LONG TIME with it, until the hands-together fingering is perfect. Then they will be ready to move on to G, then D, then 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!
The link to the chords and scales sheet:
Basic piano chords and scale download in the key of C
Download the same exercises, in the key of G
Download chords and scale in D
Music for Music Teachers has other great free resources for piano teachers! Take a look:
Rote Learning - leaving the written page behind (or treating it like a map!)
Merry Merry Christmas singing round is fast & pretty, and you may have never heard it before! Super simple lyrics. Get the free sheet music here.
Canon sheet music for beginners. Maybe THE EASIEST CANON arrangement in the world, with broken chords! Seven different versions, & a duet arrangement.
'Twas the Night Before Christmas sheet music for early piano. The entire poem by Clement C. Moore is here, with a rhythmic melody that is easy to play & sing!
Down to the River to Pray, sheet music in the keys of F & G, piano & lead sheets. A satisfying & pretty early intermediate piano arrangement!
I Love You, Lord sheet music - a beautiful arrangement for advancing piano students, plus a guitar tabs sheet that is very easy. In the keys of F and G.
Songs Old & Songs New
All the first-year material I give my beginner students.
Piano keyboard sheets, scales, chords, note-reading exercises, and over 256 pages of music!
Queen Esther in the Bible
This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This", available as a digital download, tells the riveting story of the time when Jews in ancient Persia faced a foe named Haman, and how a brave young queen risked her life to save her people.
A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theater production, or a class of children!
This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.
Just the Black Keys
This book is available as a digital download from this site. Visit this page to see some free examples from the book.
It is also available from Amazon as a paperback!
This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.
And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!" They will be spending more time at the piano.
The Adventures of Tonsta
A perfect read aloud storybook
for little boys or girls.
The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble.
With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes.
Lots of trolls in this book - including one who gives him a Christmas gift!
Available at Amazon
Thank you Dana. We are using these songs for our piano recital!!!! They are darling!
Joy: I bought your Halloween Songs, wrote teacher accompaniment for some, and performed with 17 of my students in costume at an assisted living facility. It was a "win-win" situation.
The kids and residents loved it and the parents were very pleased with the service aspect of their children's performance as well.
Thank you for sharing these lovely pieces that introduce the minor key in a very simple and interesting way to early elementary students.
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About the Author
Hi, I'm Dana! (Say that like "Anna".) I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.
Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have 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.