Essential Chords

Happy Sunday, WordPress!–I feel happy and blessed today. I think it’s because of my students’ learning. I know how it feels to have students who want to do it all: play by chords; play be ear; read music; compose songs; learn songs from YouTube; take music exams; prepare to compete in national and international competitions…and the list continues. I honestly did not think I would be able to say that until a few years ago.

So today’s blog is dedicated to students who find themselves “making up” solo piano songs using their teacher as a chord generator. I recently gave a lesson where the student asked me to suggest three or four chords to use in a song. It was fun!–Everytime we get to do this, it turns out that the student says, “today’s class was fun!” So what are some ‘essential chords’ that you can use to make up your own songs. See my curated list below:


That’s it for now. Just two lists. I put everything in caps, because sometimes students question the lowercase letter ‘m’. “Is it major or minor?”, they ask. Anyway, I hope it’s clear.

Just one more thing, to my students who are working with arranger keyboards–please stay encouraged. It’s not easy programming this type of keyboard to do what you’re thinking about. I think with a little patience, you’ll figure out how to play one-fingered-chords, two-fingered chords and three-fingered harmony just fine. So hang in there and think ‘essentially’.

That’s it. It’s all I have this weekend to share. It was a long week, wasn’t it. It felt like Tuesday came and then the rest of the week felt like Tuesday…until yesterday!

Congrats to the Biden-Harris team!

I’ll see you all next week.


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