Are piano and guitar chords the same?

The answer is a resounding no! … Yet at the same time yes!

Let’s briefly to explore this concept with a simple illustration. A head nod is generally accepted as meaning yes, regardless of the language you speak, or country you are in. That means that your head nod means yes in English, si in Spanish, ‘Đúng’ in Vietnamese, and ‘oui’ in French. Similarly, a major chord played on an electric guitar, grand piano, harp, or accordion will still always be a major chord, sounding similarly bright and joyful across any instrument. The only difference is in the notation system, relative fingering of the instrument, and timbre or quality of sound.

Let’s start with piano chords. These are notated on the stave or staff, which can either be in the treble or bass clef. The guitar on the other hand nights at its chords on tablature or its abbreviation TAB. These are two vastly different systems, yet they can both be used to express the same major chord across the 2 different instruments. Below is an example of a C major chord annotated on both the treble stave for the piano, and tab for the guitar. For all our podcast listeners out there, you will also hear these examples played for you now. Notice how you can definitely hear the difference between the piano and the guitar, yet both chords sound relatively the same in that they are bright and joyful.

The next factor two consider the is the relative pitch range. For example a major called for an easy first of its rights issue fourth time but he is playing in the extreme low register of any instrument. You will now here are the same as C major chord passed around the register, so listen out for the change in characteristics as I do so. Hence, when considering the of C major is the same across an instrument, you need to also consider the rain said he will be played in.

Finally we come to inversions or positions for The C major chord. For beginner piano and guitar learners, just stick to learning C Major in its root position near the middle of your piano, and the traditional C major open guitar chord shape as shown at the top of this article.

Intermediate players should learn all the inversions on the piano, and the C major Barre chord on the third fret of the guitar.

For best results, check out premiere piano's online music courses which include the very best content for beginner pianists and guitarists.

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