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.
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!
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
Free printable sheet music "Irish Wedding". A SIMPLE, intuitive version for your 1st-year kids is the newest of the arrangements of this fun, pretty piece!
Come By the Hills is a pretty Gaelic song your singers will learn to sing EASILY and will love. NOW with piano, guitar tab, and lead sheet arrangements.
Jane Austen "Emma" music - a beautiful piano arrangement based on some of the themes from one of the Jane Austen movies. Hear a video of the piano music.
Thank you so much for this list! You saved me a great deal of time for me, not to have to reinvent the wheel! I’m going to teach a beginning singing
Aragorn and Arwen, in The Fellowship of the Ring, commit themselves to each other while the beautiful music "Aniron" - "I Desire" - is sung.
This is the most famous "Titanic music" from Titanic the movie, arranged for intermediate piano. Not too easy, but very lovely.
Just the Black Keys
This book is available as a digital download from this site, and also 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.
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.