Piano Chord Theory

Helping You Master Piano Chords!

What is piano chord theory and why is it such a big secret? And why is it the most important musical concept for any music student?

I started playing in rock bands when I was in high school. Well...actually...I got kicked out of a lot of bands when I was in high school.

For 13 years I studied classical piano. I could play Mozart, Beethoven and Bach - but I didn't know any chords. I remember showing up for my first band rehearsal with sheet music. By the way, I was the only one with sheet music.

Of course, there are plenty of chords in the classical music that I was playing as a kid, but the sheet music never displayed the letter names of any of the chords. (see example below)

In sheet music for pop, rock, jazz and blues music, the letter names of the chords are displayed above each music staff - (a.k.a. chord symbols: C, Dm, Cadd9, Bbadd9, etc.).

When I was in high school I would have been able to play the Bruce Springsteen song shown below because I could read sheet music, but I wouldn't have been able to tell you the difference between a C major chord and a D minor chord, which are the first two chords in Tenth Avenue Freeze Out. (see example below)

A knowledge of piano chord theory, which is the study of chords, will allow you to compose your own songs, memorize music faster and easier, and provide an in-depth understanding of any song, regardless of style or level of difficulty.

It is my goal to help everyone who visits this site to discover the amazing secrets of piano chords. I must have been kicked out of four or five bands before I realized the importance of chords.

Now I realize that many of the visitors to this site may not have any interest in playing in a band, but that doesn't change the fact that chords are the inner workings of music. If you want to understand how music works and experience the highest level of enjoyment from playing the piano, then you need to learn chords.

  • And if you are interested in playing in a band or just jamming with another musician, then I'd like to spare you the embarassment(s) that I experienced in my pursuit to perform with other musicians.

The good news is: You don't have to know how to read standard sheet music to learn chords. In fact, you don't even need a piano teacher. With my specialized sheet music, you can begin to learn and master chords today.

Piano Lessons By Ear

Very few piano teachers ever show their students how to play by ear. If you have ever tried to learn a song from a recording and had a difficult time doing so, then piano chord theory should definitely be on your "To Do" list.

If you'd like to learn more about chords and playing piano by ear, feel free to explore the "Piano Lessons By Ear" lessons in the Navigation Bar in the upper right-hand side of this page. Enjoy!