7 Creative Ideas For Playing Piano Chords

As a regular piano player, there comes a time when you plateau, and nothing you do seems to yield any fruit. The best way to beat such a rut is to seek some inspiration. You are probably bored with playing the same piano chords every time and need something to encourage you to keep playing.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t have to be as complex as many imagine. A few adjustments can make such a huge difference and ease your playing. Below are a few ways to ensure you get the most out of piano chords. Keep reading to uncover more insights.

1. Consider pattern and Rhythmic Fluctuations.

As you learn to play piano chords, prioritize varying the rhythmic patterns. This is the best way to make everything sound better. Such a simple trick also works for beginners, allowing them to create their patterns slowly.

Some practical ways of achieving this goal include using the right hand to alternate the chords’ notes. You can also alternate the chords in the right hand with the left hand working on different accents. Alternatively, change the entire rhythm of the chords using either the left or right hand. Some people also choose to play different accents with the two hands simultaneously.

You can do a lot to achieve a rhythmic pattern that breaks the monotony of playing the same way every time. This can motivate you to continue experimenting and playing for fun.

2. Rearrange the Chords / Inverting Chords

Consider chord inversion as a way of making piano playing exciting. This means arranging the musical nodes according to a specific chord. Consider the number of notes a chord has and decide the possible inversions. A good example would be the C-Major triad which has two inversions.

The 3–note chord comprises C-E-G notes. A basic way to play is when the C note acts as the root where the C note is at the bottom. A different way to play this chord is to arrange it as E-G-C, the first inversion, or G-C-E, the second inversion.

It takes subtracting the root position from the chord’s number of notes to determine the number of inversions per chord. All these should be done to create better music. These inversions also play a role in smoothing voice leading.

3. Include Melody

A song or musical piece sounds incomplete without melody. Without it, you only have a chord progression that can amount to anything. It is possible that beginners also have come across melody in every piece they have played.

Melodies make the song or music sweet. What’s more, developing your melodies from existing ones or creating new ones is also possible. Creating a melody when you start playing the piano may not be easy. What’s more, the singer is often responsible for melodies. With the advancements in technology, musicians and composers now have access to a wide range of tools and software that can aid them in crafting and refining melodies. These technological innovations have opened up new possibilities for musical exploration and experimentation, enabling artists to enhance their creative process and produce even more captivating melodies.

4. Consider Passing Notes and Grace Notes

Grace notes are best described as notes of embellishments. They spice up the music but are not essential for the melody. On the other hand, passing notes are a different way of making the music more harmonic and melodic. Some players use them to create melodies and transitions between notes.

5. Explore Color Notes

Chord extensions are a great way of ensuring chords are exciting and interesting. These are often known as chord colors in Jazz music. They are known to influence the chord’s sound. Add a note or more besides the triadic chord introductory notes to build extended chords. Usually, the popular extensions exceeding the 7th are on the 13th, 9th, and 11th.

The additional notes to the chord influence the color or quality of the sound released. Understanding chord extension is not rocket science. However, a player must determine the specific extension chords that rhyme with a chord. This can be more complex and requires some practice and attention to master. Experiment with a simple progression key and proceed gradually as you get comfortable.

6. Don’t Neglect the Intervals

Many of the already discussed tips mainly affect right-hand play. Intervals are mostly for the left hand and are affected by a simple rule. The lower you play, the wider the interval spread should be. This way, your left-hand play will have better clarity and sound from the standard major triad 1-3-5 chord. It works for intervals and chords lower than C2, where clarity is often lost.

7. Open Voicing and Drop Two

Are you looking to make a beautiful, exciting musical piece from a simple chord? If so, then open voicing is the best way to go. It allows your chords to make a more open sound. The open voicing takes a subtle quality which makes it multifaceted musically. It can be used to make melodies shine and stand out.

Note that the size of the interval influences open voicing. To properly build an open chord, ensure that the intervals between each note of a specific chord must be a perfect 4th apart or more—for example, the drop two chords, a particular subset of open chords. You can utilize them to make the triad sound more emotional, subtle, and straightforward. Learn how to build them as you keep practicing how to play.

Final Thoughts

Playing piano chords can sound intimidating theoretically. However, once you master the basics of playing, all you need to do is practice some more. With the support of a competent teacher to a skilled player, you can master different ways of playing chords for beautiful music creation.


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