How To Put Major + Minor Chords Together – Part 1

In Western music we rely heavily on chords to fill out or build songs. But, can Major and minor chords (or other types of chords) play nice with each other in the same song?  Absolutely!  Songs sound pretty amazing when there are different types of chords played after each other (also known as a chord progression).

P.S. If you haven’t read or watch the first video in this series for beginners, be sure to click here. We will be using each concept in the following articles/videos.

Put Major And Minor Chords Together

While there are many, many ways to put Major and minor chords together, we’re going to focus on one of the most popular ones in modern, Western music.

And, it is important to make that distinction. First, “modern” when it comes to musical timelines includes music much further back than you may think. Secondly, despite what Top 40 lists around the world will tell you … music has unique characteristics depending on where you live in the world. Though it is really cool that we share so much with each other nowadays, right?

I – V- vi – IV

If those symbols above look a bit weird, that’s okay. We use different types of symbols to write out music. One of those types of symbols are Roman numerals! Watch the video here or follow the instructions below to learn how to play and put these Major and minor chords together.

We are playing in C Major which only has white keys.

  • Play the left-hand notes 4 times before moving on: C, G, A, F
  • Play the chords in the right-hand and hold for 4 beats

Chord Notes:

  • C Major: C, E, G
  • G Major: G, B, D
  • A minor: A, C, E
  • F Major: F, A, C

Improvising With Major + Minor Chords

  • Play the full chord on beats 1 and 3
  • Broken chord bridge: try different notes of the chord
  • Broken right-hand chord
  • Octaves in your left-hand
  • Challenge: Add rhythm to one hand

Your Thoughts …

What was your favourite way of putting these Major and minor chords together? 

Let me know in the comments!

If you like this approach to learning piano, click to set up an interview to join our online piano studio!


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