A chord is 3 or more notes played together. Sometimes the notes are not struck simultaneously. This is what is called a “ broken chord”.
All Western Civilization music, from Bach to Beethoven to Brubeck, is based on chords, and makes use of chords in a very predictable way.
If a piece of music is a musical story then chords are the words. When you understand chords you begin to see that all music is just the rearranging or manipulation of the particular notes of chords!
Without knowledge of chords, the notes of Beethoven’s piano composition, titled Fur Elise, are just dots or notes on a page. But to the jazz pianist those same 100 dots/notes on the page are simply 4 or 5 chords being “ broken up “ or arpeggiated. So who is going to remember and memorize music quicker: the traditional student who has to remember 100 seemingly arbitrary notes , or the jazz piano student who has to remember 5 chords !
In a nutshell this is why millions of students have attempted to play piano and failed. They failed because they were not taught chords but were merely taught the written notes/dots on a page. When you know chords you can identify the patterns in music with great ease and the music begins to make sense.
- Learning Triads
- Learning Leadsheets
- 4 – Note Chords (Close Position)
- 5 + Note Chords (Open Position)
- Advanced chord voicings