Learning piano chords in ‘difficult’ keys


Are you good at playing piano chords in some keys but not in others? On the piano, as with most musical instruments some keys are easier to play in that others. And sometimes as a pianist, especially if you’re interested in improvisation, it’s easy to get ‘trapped’ in just a few keys that you feel comfortable with. You get used to play the chords of those keys, but struggle to get your fingers around chords in other, more difficult, keys.

That’s not necessarily a problem, but it can mean that you find yourself in trouble if you’re playing piano in a band, or accompanying a singer, and you’re asked to play from a chord progression in a more difficult key – working the chords out on paper is straightforward enough, but you can find that they don’t fall under your fingers on the piano keyboard as easily as chords do in more familiar keys.

In this tutorial I look at a simple exercise you can do to get familiar with the different chord shapes in every major key (and every minor key, if you use a minor chord progression) on the piano keyboard.

You can find out more about learning piano chords in my book, How To Really Play the Piano.

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