Primary Chords to Know

Pressing Down The Piano Key

Photo Credit:

Awhile back I wrote a post about three chords, the-chords-c-f-and-g. I thought I would elaborate a bit more since you've probably heard music teacher's say that you only need to know just a few chords to play any song. So, what are those chords? Here's a few points to know.

  1. Every key has three chords known as primary chords.
  2. They are groups of notes built on the 1st note of the scale, the 4th note of that scale and the 5th    note of the scale.
  3. These notes occur more than any other chord in a song but remember there are more chords throught a song.
  4.  Build the I Chord from C (in the Key of C) = CEG
  5.  Build the IV Chord from F = FAC
  6.  Build the V Chord from G = GBD
  7.  Remember the I, IV, V is based on the scale of that particular key.




You need to know these 3 chords so that you can play and sing in every key, in addition to C.

Key / Chords

G: G, C, D

D: D, G, A

A: A, D, E

E: E, A, B

B: B, E, F#

F: F, Bb, C

Bb: Bb. Eb, F

Eb: Eb, Ab, Bb

Ab: Ab, Db, Eb

Db: Db, Gb, Ab

Gb: Gb, Cb, Db

By learning these 3 chords to any key, you can start off with Silent Night and then practice singing and playing this Christmas song in all the other keys. Are you familiar with the story of Silent Night? Here it is,

Silent Night Chord Chart

For music instruction on learning piano chords, visit Chords 101 & 102 for the audio series.

Have fun with it. I think playing Christmas Carols is a great confidence booster to your piano playing!

If you find that you're an intermediate player, then check out the other silent-night-arrangements.

Order this DVD resource for ChristmasKeys1 to get a jump start on the season's music.


"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Free Thanksgiving Music

painted piano mountain scene

 Photo credit: earl53                                       

As I was thinking about what tunes I'm going to play tomorrow and over the weekend, I realized I had some George Winston music on my ipod and I have some sheet music by David Lanz to play but I was looking around the internet to see what's available. Almost every hymn and worship song is about giving thanks to the Lord.

Here's a few I found to add to your library. What song set will you be looking at? I'm getting geared up for introducing some Christmas songs in my next post but I mostly wanted to take the time here to tell you how much I appreciate your support in following my posts over the years. Your emails are so positive and encouraging. I am thankful for you!

Free Thanksgiving Music

1. Sheet Music for Primer Level - Level 3

2. Save The Turkey Music games

3. Thanksgiving by Edward Weiss (Easy/Intermediate)

4. Amazing Grace (Beginner-Middle C Position)

5. Forever Chris Tomlin
Forever Song

“Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King,
His love endures forever.
For He is good, He is above all things.
His love endures forever.
Sing praise, sing praise.”
6. We Gather Together (Dutch Hymn)

7. Free Sheet Music and Scores
Sheet Music/Thanksgiving

A popular song, sung by Amy Grant that many play during this holiday season is El Shaddai.
A former blog post, How-to-play-amazing-grace-jazz-style

If interested in playing shouting music, have a look at this music resource, GospelKeys500 and if you want to learn to play praise songs by ear, visit GospelKeys300

Wishing joy for you and your loved ones this thanksgiving!

"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Slash Chords: Consonant to Dissonant

slash chords: consonant to dissonant

Photo Credit: sixninepixels

Awhile back I wrote a post about slash chords. I was reading an interesting article, Slash Chords - Part II Beyond Western Harmony by Chaim Burstein. Here's an excerpt:

  • 20th Century and the Avant-Garde
Slash chords can be a great way to get away from your typical diatonic chord progressions. One of my favorite ways to use slash chords almost completely disregards Western harmonic concepts. In the prior article on slash chords, we were only concerned with slash chords that do not appear as some form of a chord inversion. Today we are going to discuss every possible combination of triads over bass notes...

Below you'll find a chart that contains every possible major triad and bass note combination. I've organized it from what I find to be the most consonant to the most dissonant. Each new chord is labeled in levels of dissonance, with Level 1 being the least dissonant and Level 12 containing the most dissonant harmonies. This chart was created using only a piano and my ears.

  • Slash Chords Levels: Consonant (1) to Dissonant (12) 
Level 1 

C/C played C/EGC

Level 2

F/C played C/FAC

Level 3

Ab/C = C/EbAbC

Level 4


Level 5

Eb/C = C/EbGBb

Level 6

Bb/C = C/DFBb

Level 7

A/C = C/EAC#

Level 8

D/C = C/F#AD

Level 9

E/C = C/G#BE

Level 10

B/C = C/F#BD#

Level 11

Db/C = C/FAbDb

Level 12 = C/F#A#C#

Another way to use this chart is to increase or decrease the level of dissonance perceived by the listener. This can be very effective at high points in an arrangement... increase the level of dissonance with each new melody note. Try playing these on a piano and notice how the dissonance increases each time a new chord voicing is played. The top voice can act as the root, third or fifth of a chord. This gives you three different ways to harmonize any melody note at any given level of dissonance.

  • Harmonizing the note E natural three different ways
L.H. / R.H.




In case you missed it, here's an article I wrote on How-Do-I-Harmonize-These-Melodies.

You'll want to pick up a copy of The 300pg Piano by Ear Home Study Course to learn about chords, melodies, harmony and more music theory answers to your questions.

Hope you'll try these chords and see how they sound to your ears.

Wishing you all the best with your piano practice!

"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

5 Songs Giving Thanks

corn for the harvest
Photo Credit: busela
Looking through my worship folder, I came across a couple of songs that you can actually play anytime but seemed appropriate for November. Do you have special songs that bring a warm memory to mind, heart and soul for Thanksgiving? Here's 5 songs with the chord charts to follow.

Intro- E, A2

Verse 1

                A2       E
What can I give to you

                   B         C#m
What can I offer to the king

                 A2           E 
For all the love you've shown

                    B         C#m
For all your mercy over me


                     A2               E
I called your name, you heard my cry

                  A2.            C#m
Out of the grave, and into life

                    A2              E
My heart is yours, my soul is free

 E                          B   E     
Thank you God for saving me

Intro chords- E, A2

Verse 2

                        A2    E
 The rock of salvation

                    B.            C#m
My hope is built on nothing less 

                       A2  E
Morning by morning

             B                 C#m
How great is your faithfulness


E                                  A2
You have your life upon the cross

You suffered once for all

You made a way

E                           A2
Jesus in victory you rose

You made us all your own

Now we are saved

INTRO G | G | G | G

      Em7                     C2             G/B   D2
The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
   C2                 G/B    Dsus     | D
The agonies of Calvary
Em7                        C2         G/B     D2
You the perfect holy One crushed Your Son
Am7                  G/B                  Dsus D|D
Drank the bitter cup reserved for me

        G              D2               Em7
Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
       G                            D2     Em7
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Em7                 D/F#          G        C2
Once Your enemy now seated at Your table
         Dsus   | D
Jesus, thank
G/B     | C2   | Dsus D | D | G/B  | C2

Em7                  C2                G/B         D2
By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
          C2                   G/B     Dsus | D
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Em7                      C2                   G/B  D2
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
         Am7              G/B               Dsus     D | D
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end


Em7  D/F#   G      C2          G/B D2 C2   
Lover of my soul, I want to live for You (repeat)

      G             Bm7
Give thanks with a grateful heart
     Em7             Bm
Give thanks unto the Holy One
      C                  G/B          F          Dsus D
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son    (repeat)

    Bm          Em7              Am
And now let the weak say, "I am strong"
         D7             Gmaj7  
Let the poor say, "I am rich
           Em                 F        D7
Because of what the Lord has done for us"  (repeat)

Give thanks

(A)   D        Bm        G                   Em7
I am so thankful for the fullness of your love
           Asus A         G                    D
I am so thankful for the shedding of your blood
  A        Bm        Gmaj7          Em7
I am so thankful you died in my place
     Asus     A               D
Oh Lord, I'm thankful for your love

B      E        C#m          A             F#m7
I am so thankful that you came into my life
           Bsus B             A               E
I am so thankful that you love me like a child
   B       C#m              Amaj7            F#m7
I am so thankful I'll be with you for all time
      Bsus    B               E
Oh Lord, I'm thankful for your love

       Bsus   B        G#7     C#m
Oh Lord, I'm thankful for your love
      A        B                E  C#m A
Oh Lord, I'm thankful for your love
     B                E
I'm thankful for your love
You may be interested in:

Thank You God For Saving Me (As Made Popular By Chris Tomlin) [Performance Track] - Ep

Thank You Lord (Don Moen)

Be sure and take a look at Advanced Gospel Courses

*some affiliate links in this post*

All the best,

"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

All Things Are Possible: Darlene Zschech

Cover Art: Chris Perry Graphic Design with Asher Gregory

In 1992 Darlene Zschech wrote the words and music to All Things Are Possible. This is a great song in the Key of C with 4/4 time signature, and then modulates to Key of D. All Things Are Possible is the sixth album in the live praise and worship series of Christian Contemporary music by Hillsong Church. For more information, visit

Video from YouTube of the song performed:

Hosanna Music offers this chord chart from their songbook:

Shout to the Lord 2000 Songbook (Hosanna! Music)

Intro: C - F - G (4x)

C2       Am7           C2
Almighty God, my Redeemer
           Am7             F
My Hiding Place, my Safe Refuge
         G2         F2
No other name like Jesus
No power can stand against You.

C2           Am7             C2
My feet are planted on this Rock
           Am7      F2
And I will not be shaken
           G2              F2
My hope it comes from You alone
            G2         G/A - A
My Lord and my salvatio------n.


D2              Bm7             D2
Your praise is al - ways on my lips
              Bm7          G2
Your word is living in my heart
             A2           D/A    A    
And I will praise You with a new song
 G             A       D/A  A
My soul will bless You, Lord
D2           Bm7               D2
You fill my life with greater joy
         Bm7              G2
Yes, I delight myself in You
             A2     D/A              G
And I will praise You with a new song
              A2   D/A  A
My soul will bless You, Lord.


When I'm weak
     A        G
You make me strong
D/F#      G       Bm7       A
When I'm poor, I know I'm rich
            Bm7  A        G    A
For in the power of Your name
                        G - A
All things are possible
                        G - A
All things are possible
                        G - A
All things are possible
                        G - A
All things are possible

Here are some of the chords that are played in the song, All Things Are Possible.

L.H. / R.H.

Am7 = A/CEGC
F2 = F/CGA
Am = A/CEA
A = A/C#EA

key change:

D2 = D/DEF#A
Bm7 = B/DF#A
A = C#EA
D/A = A/DF#A
D/F# = F#/DA

Have you missed some other songs by Hillsong? Perhaps the chord progressions to some of your favorite songs can be found here:

Let Creation Sing

God Is Great

All of My Days

God Is Able

Here I Am To Worship

Whether you play guitar or piano, sheet music and chords are listed in the songbook, including 16 songs... like "The Potter's Hand" and "My Redeemer Lives."

Shout to the Lord 2000 Songbook (Hosanna! Music)


"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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