If you’re playing or writing a song, how do you know what chords will fit together in a chord progression to sound good?
If I’m playing C-G-Am-F, can I play a D Major chord?
It turns out there are actually some really useful ways to know what chords will work together. It’s not a strict rule, but more of a starting point.
They’re called Diatonic Chords.
Now I have a confession to make. I’ve been playing the piano since I was nine-years-old. But I only learned about diatonic chords THIS YEAR!
I figured if I didn’t know what they were for so long, then chances are other people might not either.
It turns out diatonic chords is just a fancy name for something SUPER SIMPLE! But it’s really useful for understanding different keys and how to play chords and songs in those keys.
Put simply, diatonic chords are all the chords that naturally occur inside a certain key. They only use the notes found within that key (or scale).
Let’s take C Major as an example. C Major has only white keys. So every chord you play in the key of C will have only white keys. A C will be C-E-G – easy right? Then up a note will be D-F-A, making it a D minor. So D minor is a diatonic chord of C. You can then work your way up the scale, still only playing white notes.
Check out the timecodes for a breakdown of the lesson!
What are diatonic chords? – 0:48
How is this useful? – 2:15
Try it in another key – 2:36
Practice tips – 3:48
If you’re brand new to the piano, check out our free Getting Started On The Piano series:
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