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Chords

A chord is a group of notes which are played together. Chords are used to accompany the melody of a song. Chords are usually played with the left hand and the melody is played with the right. The first chord you will learn is C major, usually just called the C chord.

The C Major Chord

The C chord contains three notes – C, E and G. To play the C chord use the first, third and fifth fingers of your left hand, as shown in the C chord diagram. The notes of major chords are shown in red.

Seventh Chords

Another common type of chord is the dominant seventh chord, usually called a seventh chord. A seventh chord is indicated by the number 7 written after the chord name, e.g., G seventh is written as G7.

The G Seventh Chord

The G7 chord contains a new note – the B next to the C below Middle C. Play the B with the fifth finger of your left hand, and use your first and second fingers to play the G and F notes, as shown in the G7 chord diagram. The notes of seventh chords are shown in green.

Changing Chords

Practice changing between the C and G7 chords. As both these chords contain the same G note, changing between them is quite easy because the thumb stays in the same position. It is important to always use the correct fingering when playing notes and chords.

The Whole Rest

This symbol is a whole rest. It indicates four beats of silence in time. Small counting numbers are placed under rests.

4

Chord symbols are placed above the staff. There are two chords in bar 3. Each chord receives two beats.

4

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Songs with Chords

Before playing songs with chords, practice each part separately. First practice the melody of the song by itself (right hand part), then practice the chords by themselves (left hand part). Once you have learned both parts, play them together. Practice slowly and evenly, and count as you play. The part containing the chords is called the accompaniment.

5Ode to Joy

This song is the main theme to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. It contains all the notes and chords you have learned so far and has two chords in bar 8.

5Ode to Joy

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