Piano chords are a set of three notes played in unison according to the
rules of a major scale. The intervals between the notes are an interval of
Piano chords are very useful for pianists to improve their repertoire on the piano and give variation to piano
pieces. On top of that, they can also be used for spicing up your impromptu performances or even your own
Now, the basic fingerings for playing piano chords are simple to learn. Once you know where to place your
fingers and which fingers to use, you will be playing chords very easily and switching from chord to chord with
hardly any effort at all.
When playing piano chords, the basic fingerings are 1,3,5 or 1,2,5. This means you will either use your thumb,
middle finger and pinkie to play a chord or your thumb, index finger and pinkie to play a chord. This applies to
your left hand as well. Whether you play the combination 1,3,5 or 1,2,5, it all all depends on the spaces
between the keys of the chord you are playing.
With the C major chord, you would use the basic finger combination 1,3,5 because the distance between the notes
to be played are fairly evenly spaced and you are able to play this chord fairly easily with your 1,3,5, finger
However, with a chord such as Bflat you would have to use the combination 1,2,5 because the notes Bflat and
Dflat are less than a major third apart and the distance to stretch with your third finger to F is a larger
A rule to remember when you are trying to work out the basic fingerings for playing piano chords is that if the distance between
any two notes in chord is more than a minor or less than a minor third, you will use the finger combination
If your fingers can play a chord when your hand lies on the piano keyboard, each finger can play a note in the
chord with fairly even spaces in-between. In these cases, you will then use the finger combination 1,3,5.
If you do not use the correct fingerings for playing piano chords, your fingers
may tire easily and you may experience hand and/or finger strain. This is not good as you need to play the piano
easily without strain on your fingers while playing a chord or for that matter any other musical exercise.
You will note that the thumb when playing a chord is the pivotal finger. It is the shortest finger on the hand
and yet is the one which you use to pivot your hand to reach the other keys in the chord. It is also the strongest
finger. In this sense, you will always use the thumb as one of the fingering when playing a piano chord.
These are the basic fingering for playing piano chords and these fingering never change. If you are unsure of
where to place which finger when playing a chord, let your hand rest in the most natural way without causing any
strain and see which of your fingers can reach each note. Once you see your hand resting relaxed on the keyboard,
you can then determine the best fingers to use to play that particular chord.
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