Piano Building Blocks: Learn the 24 Most Common Chords

Simple guide to the 24 most common piano chords. With them, you'll be able to play about 95% of all popular songs.
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Instructed by Nathan Lawrence Music / Instruments
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  • Lectures 17
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 3/2016 English

Course Description

Playing the piano doesn't need to be complicated. All you need is to learn the building blocks.

Get ready to learn the basic building blocks of all music: chords. You'll learn to put them together to play popular songs like Counting Stars by OneRepublic, Viva la Vida by Coldplay, Oceans by Hillsong United and many more!

Experienced instructor Nathan Lawrence guides you step by step through the process of learning to play piano by chord. Many online piano methods teach you what you need to know, but in an impersonal way. You might be able to see the piano and what to play, but there’s no human being there to make it feel like you’re learning in a personal lesson setting. That’s why this course has a fundamentally different approach. Every lesson is taught with a simultaneous view of both your teacher and the keyboard, as if you’re looking in a mirror.

Piano Building Blocks uses one-of-a-kind, shape-based approach to chord learning. All 24 major and minor chords are taught in intuitive groups by hand position shape, with basic descriptions like “mountain” or “valley” to help you remember how to place your hand.

With each group of chords you’ll learn a popular song that uses those shapes.

This course focuses on right hand, root position chords and covers every major and minor chord. It also gives you tips on what to do to improvise with your left hand. You'll get a small sneak preview of content that you’ll learn in future courses–like chord inversions and more complex chords such as diminished, augmented, or 7th chords.

You’ll be able to play simple versions of the vast majority of popular songs after learning these 24 building blocks.

The only way to reach your goal is to take the first step.

Sign up today!

What are the requirements?

  • Students will need a keyboard or piano to play along with the course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn to play the 24 most commonly-used chords in popular music.
  • Use those chords to play simple chord accompaniments to songs like Counting Stars, A Thousand Years, Oceans, Amazing Grace, and more.
  • About 95% of all popular music can be played on the piano with these 24 major and minor chords.

What is the target audience?

  • Recommended for ages 9 to adult.
  • Great for beginner piano students with no previous piano background.
  • Great for intermediate piano players who have never learned to play by chord before.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introductory Concepts
03:01

This session gives you an idea of what to expect throughout the course. It tells you the materials you need and the best practices of practicing.


00:51

This short session briefly explains how the chords you will learn are a part of the harmony of music, while the melody is generally sung, and the rhythm happens as the music keeps a steady pace.

07:35

Beginners will need this important session to give them a reference point on the piano. After watching this session you'll know all the letter names of the keys on the piano. You'll also learn the finger numbers that we refer to throughout the rest of the course.

Section 2: Plains Chords - C, F, and G
05:18

In this session you learn your first three building block chords: C major, F major and G major. We call them the "plains" chords because the shape of these chords is flat like a plain. Every chord in this course will have a landform shape to help you remember it.

Plains Chord Quiz
3 questions
05:38

In this session you'll learn how to play a right-hand only version of Amazing Grace using C, F, and G; the major "plains" chords. Don't forget to download the printable chord chart provided!

Section 3: Mountain Chords - A, D, and E
05:09

In this session, you will learn three more building blocks: A major, D major and E major.

You will learn the hand position for these chords and you will be given methods for practicing them for proficiency.


Mountain Chord Quiz
5 questions
04:51

Here you will learn Amazing Grace in a new key, using only the major "mountain" chords: A, D, and E. Don't forget to download the printable chord chart provided!

Section 4: Minor "Plains" Chords - Am, Dm, and Em
04:06

In this session, you will learn three more building blocks: A minor, D minor and E minor, the minor "plains" chords.

You will learn the hand position for these chords and you will be given methods for practicing them for proficiency.

Minor "Plains" Chord Quiz
5 questions
Section 5: Minor "Mountain" Chords - Cm, Fm, and Gm
03:22

In this session, you will learn three more building blocks: C minor, F minor and G minor, the minor "mountain" chords.

You will learn the hand position for these chords and you will be given methods for practicing them for proficiency.

Minor "Mountain" Chord Quiz
5 questions
Section 6: "Valley" Chords - Ab, Db, and Eb
05:53

In this session, you will learn three more building blocks: A flat major, D flat major and E flat major, the major "valley" chords.

You will learn the hand position for these chords and you will be given methods for practicing them for proficiency.

Section 7: Minor "Valley" Chords - C#m, F#m, and G#m
04:10

In this session, you will learn three more building blocks: C sharp minor, F sharp minor and G sharp minor, the minor "valley" chords.

You will learn the hand position for these chords and you will be given methods for practicing them for proficiency.

Section 8: The "Slope" Chords - B, Bm, Bb, and Bbm
06:36

In this session, you will learn four more building blocks: B flat major, B flat minor, B and B minor, the "slope" chords.

You will learn the hand position for these chords and you will be given methods for practicing them for proficiency.

12:38

In this session you'll learn how to play Oceans by Hillsong United in both a one-hand and two-hand version. Don't forget to download the printable chord chart provided!

05:26

In this session you'll learn how to play Counting Stars by One Republic, using chords you've learned so far in the course. Don't forget to download the printable chord chart provided!

08:50

In this session you'll learn how to play A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, using chords you've learned so far in the course. Don't forget to download the printable chord chart provided!

Section 9: The Rare "Plateau" Chords - F# and Ebm
04:26

In this session, you will learn two more building blocks: F sharp major and E flat minor, the "plateau" chords.

You will learn the hand position for these chords and you will be given methods for practicing them for proficiency.

09:05

In this session you'll learn how to play your final and hardest song, 50 Ways to Say Goodbye by Train, using chords you've learned so far in the course. Don't forget to download the printable chord chart provided!

This is your final session and it's a song that uses a lot of chords found throughout the entire course.

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Instructor Biography

Nathan Lawrence, B.A. Music Ed., Piano Teacher (15+ yrs), Worship Leader

Nathan has been playing piano for about 25 years and has taught one-on-one lessons for about 15 years. He has a B.A. in Music Education from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He has taught over 100 piano students in traditional face-to-face lessons, not to mention all the students he teaches through Udemy.

He combines his classical music theory experience with the fun and excitement of modern music. His videos have a personal and relaxed style, with practical, condensed teaching that helps you learn lots of content at whatever pace you like.

He’s played keyboard in hundreds of worship services throughout the U.S. and has been recorded on over a dozen CD projects. He served as a worship leader for over a dozen years in addition to being a music teacher. He lives in Iowa with his wonderful family, a couple fish, and a leopard gecko.


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