Printable Piano Chord Chart for Major and Minor Chords

Printable piano chord chart for an easy way to help piano keyboard students remember major and minor chords -- group them into look-alike "families." 

And give them names!

Call the white-note chords "Snowman" chords; the black-note-in-the-middle chords "Hamburger" chords, and the black-on-the-outside, white-on-the-inside chords "Oreo" or "Ice Cream Sandwich" chords.

List piano chords that don't fit any pattern as the "Oddballs."  The kids catch on very quickly. (The all-black chords are called "Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches" by me, and "Burnt Hamburger" chords by some of my students!)

For piano students, it is much easier to remember list of piano chords that have similar appearances:

Piano chord families by visual appearance; show your students how to recognize chord shapes!

Download printable piano chord chart of major and minor chords 

The second graphic, shown below, demonstrates how I hand-draw little circles above the chord families.  Sarah in Australia made the PDF printable copy of the chord chart below - thank you, Sarah!


Chord families for piano - look-alikes


Download chord chart with circle illustrations

These cute names are actually not my own ideas, though I use them all the time with my students. They come from the piano theory books of TCW Resources, voluminous and thorough theory books with lots of really fun worksheets and good ideas. (TCW Resources now seems to be selling their materials at Kjos Music...)  They also have different sets of card games that illustrate the chords on my keyboard chord chart.

Improvise with the chords to build familiarity.

From their known list of piano chords, I like to ask keyboard students to choose 3 or 4 chords and make up a pattern or a song. This can be a fun way for them to get to know chords better.  

I find ostinato patterns work the best, and I usually take this approach: we list piano chords, decide on the order, then repeat endlessly!  I make up a melody based on harmonious or matching notes, then we switch places.

One thing that really stands out to them with this music chords chart, once I pencil in the circles, is that the B chords are wacky! Each one is unique.  With the B chords, a common saying in my studio is, "White on the bottom, black on top.  Black on the bottom, white on top."

I draw these chord shapes on assignment sheets all the time.

Later on, when the kids are learning to do inversions and they have forgotten what the root position of a chord looks like, it really helps for them to have the 3-dots drawing scribbled on their lesson assignment sheet.  Jogs the memory.  Piano chord theory is SO IMPORTANT to becoming an able player, that every helpful device or tool should be utilized!

I hope you find this printable piano chords chart helpful in your music studio! 








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





Recent Articles

  1. Ode to Joy Free Kids' Sheet Music for Piano, Beginner to Advanced

    Ode to Joy, now with advanced "BIG"-sounding arrangements, piano duets, and multiple beginner and late beginner arrangements.

    Read More

  2. Zum Gali Gali Lyrics and Sheet Music

    Zum Gali Gali lyrics and easy sheet music for piano, voice, guitar, and lead instruments.

    Read More

  3. Classical Guitar Sheet Music "Allegro" by Giuliani

    Classical guitar sheet music from "Le Papillon" (The Butterfly) by Giuliani, now with guitar tablature - this classical piece is very EASY!

    Read More

  4. Happy Birthday Free Sheet Music for Guitar, Piano, & Lead Instruments

    Happy Birthday, now with GUITAR TABS! Several arrangements for piano solo & duet, some with a few lettered notes to help! Multiple keys.

    Read More

  5. Spanish Study Free Guitar Tabs for Beginning Classical Guitar

    Spanish Study, with a new version showing all 3 pages of tablature. This is a simplified guitar version of the famous piece "Asturias."

    Read More

  6. Star-Spangled Banner Free Sheet Music & Lyrics for All Instruments

    Star-Spangled Banner free sheet music. Now with a singer's "find-your-pitch" exercise! America's national anthem in 7 keys, & lyrics for 1 or all 4 verses.

    Read More

  7. Tarantelle, the Spider Dance, for Beginning Piano

    Tarantelle, now with a shortened melody, and in Dm position! The Spider Dance is a vigorous and fun melody for beginning piano students.

    Read More

  8. Easy Piano Sheet Music Swan Lake, Free!

    Easy piano sheet music Swan Lake, now with a pretty intermediate arrangement and duet secondo! For students who love the mysterious sound of the minor scale.

    Read More




Exercises for Independence of the Fingers

Yolanda:
I used to teach piano lessons, and then did not for a number of years. Now, suddenly, I have 3 beginning students and I am thrilled. I was looking for printable scales and found your wonderful website. Thank you so much. I know this will be a big help to me and my students.

A Dozen a Day piano exercises for beginners music book

April:
Thank you so much for all the information and materials! Your site is very thorough and well organized! I am a piano teacher in New Orleans, LA and in the process of putting together my own curriculum and recordings. You have inspired me to make my materials available to all online!

Aloys Schmitt Preparatory Scales and Exercises for Piano music book

Comments: Do you have a story or a question about music teaching? Share it!

Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Sight Reading Tips 
My students find sight reading challenging. I have 2 techniques to help them - one for the timing and one for reading notes quickly. For timing, we …

Click here to write your own.








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





Search Music-for-Music-Teachers:



Comments

Have your say... Leave me a comment in the box below.