No chord is difficult to play on piano; a chord moves to other sounds/chords, and practicing hand movement from chord to chord, in tempo, would be the greater challenge. Because I play piano mainly as accompaniment, I start with playing all chords within the space of an octave and inverting the chords accordingly.
Once chords of a certain progression are spelled and understood, voicing will be the next challenge. Spacing the notes of a chord will create a certain color or character. Playing all chords within the space of an octave, for example, sounds denser, darker; spelling a chord over the space of three octaves creates a lighter, airier sound.
Movement between chords can be led by bass notes, by melody notes, by inner harmonic movement, by contrary movement, by sound shapes – as long as the music is in motion, the challenge will always be to create smooth, rhythmic chordal shifts, to keep the performance alive.
What is the hardest chord to play on the piano?
There are no “hard” chords on any chordal instrument. But there are “hard” voicings.
A chord is just a set of notes. In Western music, we use Tertian harmony, which means chords are built in thirds – if you number the scale tones, the chord tones will be the odd numbers 1–3–5–7… until you get to 13. Going up one more brings you to 15, which is the same note as 1. So the most complicated chord you can have will be a 13th chord, which has 7 tones.
A pianist has ten fingers. And a chord can be ‘voiced’ with any note in any octave – if you move it up or down in octaves, you’re changing the ‘voicing’, but you’re not changing the chord.
Let’s say you want to play a C13 as a “complete” voicing, using all 7 tones. You can play C-D-E-F in one hand really easily… and with the other hand, you can play G-A-Bb. You’ve just played the biggest chord structure you can make, and you didn’t even have to stretch.
It’s also going to sound pretty terrible, but that’s beside the point.
Now let’s take an ‘easy’ chord, like C major. That’s just the notes C-E-G, which is a piece of cake to play with just one hand.
But remember – we can move any note up or down by octaves without changing the chord name. So you could decide to play the lowest E (the fifth white key from the left end of the piano), the highest G (the fourth white key from the right end of the piano), and middle C. You’ll probably need to play the middle C with your nose. I’d say that would be a hard voicing to play. But it’s such an “easy” chord….
What are the benefits of practicing piano hard chords?
These are some benefits to being endorsed in the piano world by his students, professional mentors, and experts…
For many years that I played into my early 20’s on a daily basis. However, it wasn’t until I began teaching when someone taught me something that drastically changed my musical life forever. Over time this realization of changing things led me down another path towards what is rapidly becoming part of my second career, Piano Teacher training!
How can I practice piano hard chords to improve my playing?
The key to practicing piano hard chords is time, take your time and get it right. However there are ways of handling the lack of experience when learning them, The best thing you can do for yourself is seeking proper guidance from a teacher or someone who has been teaching these chord progressions before – have confidence that they will help you – just remember not all good teachers teach how to play music but most teach material for making musicians out-of-their -minds happy!