Illustrated Piano Chord Library

Piano Chords With Fingering & Notation

Treble Chord Library | Bass Chord Library

Learn to read and form piano chords and inversions, with illustrated keyboard fingering, staff notation, and simple interval breakdowns.

Major chords have major thirds and perfect fifths.

A major chord is built with a root, a major third, and a perfect fifth. Major chords are known for their pleasant, positive, or triumphant moods:

   ▪ Easy Major Piano Triads
   ▪ Major 6th & 6/9 Chords
   ▪ Major 7th & Dominant 7th Chords
   ▪ Major 9th & Dominant 9th Chords

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Minor chords have minor thirds and perfect fifths.

A minor chord is built with a root, a minor third, and a perfect fifth. These chords are known for being somber and melancholy, and can effectively evoke a sense of desperation, urgency, or apathy:

   ▪ Minor Piano Triads
   ▪ Minor
   ▪ Minor 7th & Minor M7 Chords
   ▪ Minor 9th, Minor M9 & ADD9 Chords

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Diminished Piano Chords

Diminished chords have minor thirds and diminished fifths.

A diminished chord is built with a root, a minor third, and a diminished fifth. Diminished chords — which can sound bizarre, enigmatic, confused, or dissonant — are natural occurrences; there is one diminished chord in each musical key:

   ▪ Diminished Piano Triads
   ▪ Diminished 7th & Half-Diminished Chords

Augmented chords have major thirds and augmented fifths.

An augmented chord has a root, a major third, and an augmented fifth. Like the diminished chord, its sound is slightly “off-center.” But the augmented chord tends to be happier and less ambiguous than its diminished cousin, and does not occur naturally in any key:

   ▪ Augmented Piano Triads
   ▪ Augmented 7th & Augmented M7 Chords

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Suspended chords have a perfect fourth instead of a third.

A suspended chord has a root, a suspended 2nd or 4th, and a perfect fifth. The suspended note replaces the third:

   ▪ Suspended 4th Piano Triads
   ▪ Suspended 2nd Piano Triads

Images © Brandy Kraemer, 2016


More On Chords:

■  Chord Types & Their Symbols in Sheet Music
■  The Difference Between Major & Minor
■  Diminished Chords & Dissonance
■  Root Notes & Chord Inversion
■  Different Types of Arpeggiated Chords

Piano Chord Fingering Lessons:

■ Treble Chord Fingering
■ Bass Chord Fingering



Reading Piano Music
 ▪  Sheet Music Symbol Library
 ▪  How to Read Piano Notation
 ▪  Memorize the Staff Notes
 ▪  Illustrated Piano Chords
 ▪  Tempo Commands Organized By Speed

Beginner Piano Lessons
 ▪  Notes of the Piano Keys
 ▪  Finding Middle C on the Piano
 ▪  Intro to Piano Fingering
 ▪  How to Count Triplets
 ▪  Musical Quizzes & Tests

Getting Started on Keyboard Instruments
 ▪  Playing Piano vs. Electric Keyboard
 ▪  How to Sit at the Piano
 ▪  Buying a Used Piano
 ▪  Tips for Finding the Right Piano Teacher
 ▪  Musical Keyboard Comparison Guide

Forming Piano Chords
 ▪  Chord Types & Their Symbols
 ▪  Essential Piano Chord Fingering
 ▪  Comparing Major & Minor Chords
 ▪  Diminished Chords & Dissonance
 ▪  Different Types of Arpeggiated Chords


Reading Key Signatures:

  • All About Key Signatures
    Everything you need to know about the accidentals & key signatures.

  • Use the interactive key signature locator to identify or double-check your key.

  • There are always two keys that relate to one another more than any other key. Find out what this means.
  • Comparing Major & Minor
    Major and minor are often described in terms of feelings or mood. The ear tends to perceive major and minor as having contrasting personalities; a contrast that is most obvious when the two are played back to back. Learn more about major and minor scales and keys.


Learn About Enharmony:

  • The 6 Enharmonic Key Signatures
    If you’re familiar with the circle of fifths (or you just know your way around the key signatures) you may have noticed a few anomalies. Some keys – like B-sharp and F-flat major – are seemingly absent, while others go by two names
  • The Inefficient Keys
    The circle of fifths shows only the working scales. But, if we expand on its pattern, we can see that it’s actually more of an infinite spiral, so there’s no end to the possibilities of musical scales.
  • Table of Working & Non-Working Keys
    See a clear visual of which keynotes are workable and which would be redundant.
More »