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.

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.

The next key, once "C" is well in hand:

Basic chords for the piano

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! 

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 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!

Basic chords & scales, Key of D

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 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 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








Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

SingTheBibleStory.com clickable logo link

Recent Articles

  1. Free Piano Sheet Music PDF for Beginners: "Boil'em Cabbage Down"

    This free piano sheet music PDF for beginners has a popular history as a fiddle & guitar tune. For beginning piano, it makes a rambunctious, easy duet!

    Read More

  2. The Erie Canal Song - Guitar Tabs, Easy Piano Sheets, & Lead Sheets

    The Erie Canal Song, with a new, solid lead sheet for beginners! Simple piano solos & guitar tabs too.

    Read More

  3. Morning Song by Grieg for Beginner Pianists

    Morning Song is famous classical music that your young students may have heard before. Very pretty! Three arrangements for piano.

    Read More

  4. What Wondrous Love Choral Arrangement - a New Sound for Old Lyrics

    What Wondrous Love in 4-part harmony, an Easter possibility - a bluegrass-sounding version, hauntingly beautiful.

    Read More

  5. ThankYou

    I just simply want to say thank you for your giving heart! I am a music teacher and I have never seen such quality music and content given out for free.

    Read More

  6. Music Alone Shall Live, a Beautiful Round for Your Singers. Five Keys

    Music Alone Shall Live is a very pretty round with lovely harmonies. With only two lines of music (three lines of lyrics), it is a quick study!

    Read More

  7. Question about "Whack-it" Game

    Hi! I am liking the idea of the Whack-It game... Could you specify? Do they hit the correct piano key on the piano with a spatula? Also, are they supposed

    Read More

  8. Music Note Flashcards for Quick & Energetic Breaks

    Music note flashcards like these GIANT free printable flashcards are great for fast-moving games like Whack-It! Get those kids off the bench!

    Read More

  9. Question about composing

    Hi Dana! I am teaching piano to a student who only can use her left hand, so I am working to arrange songs for the left hand. I was wondering is there

    Read More

  10. Easy Piano Sheet Music Swan Lake -Beginners & Intermediate Pianists!

    Easy piano sheet music Swan Lake, now with lyrics for your dreamy younger students who love imagining.

    Read More

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!

The Story of Esther - a Bible opera!

Queen Esther in the Bible

This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This",  available as a digital downloadtells 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, a piano song book for young beginners.

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, Volume 1, is a book about a young boy travelling over mountains and fjords from village to village, encountering trolls and helping folk in distress.

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

Sight Reading

Michelle:
Thank you Dana. We are using
these songs for our piano recital!!!! They are darling!

Improve Your Sight-Reading music book

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. 

Sign up for "Take Note!" to see what's new every month.


About the Author

Dana Thynes

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.