How to Play Chords on a Keyboard or Organ


Being able to play chords on a keyboard or organ is a fundamental skill that you will need if you plan to accompany a soloist, ensemble or choir. Chords are combinations of notes that blend together to make a harmonious sound. Since keyboards and organs are very similar in structure, playing chords on either instrument involves a very similar technique. With a little practice, you will be able to play many different chords on the instrument of your choice.

Things You'll Need

  • Keyboard
  • Organ

Keyboard Chords

  • Look at the notes on the keyboard. The white notes span the musical alphabet of A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. The black notes are called sharps (#) or flats (b). A black key that lies to the left of a white key is the white key's flat, whereas a black key that lies to the right of a white key is the white key's sharp. The entire musical span including the black keys consists of A, A#(Bb), B, C, C#(Db), D, D#(Eb), E, F, F# (Gb), G, G#(Ab).

  • Place your right thumb on a C note. C notes are the white notes located just to the left of any set of two black keys.

  • Place your middle finger on the next E note. E is four half steps to the right of the C. Count each black and white key as a half step (C#, D, D#, E).

  • Place your fifth finger on the next G note. G is three half steps to the right of E.

  • Place C (the root of the chord), E (a third) and G (a fifth) simultaneously to play a C chord.

  • Use this pattern of the root note, plus four half steps to the right, plus another three steps to the right in order to play any chord. For instance, an A chord would be A, C# and E. You can play these chords with your left hand as well by using your left fifth finger, left third finger and left thumb.

  • Play minor chords by playing the root note, three steps to the right (a diminished third) and then four half steps to the right (a fifth).

  • Play inverted chords by beginning with the third or the fifth of the chord rather than the root. For instance, the first inversion of a C chord would be E, G and C, and a second inversion of a C chord would be G, C and E.

Organ Chords

  • Finger the chords on an organ the same way you would on a keyboard.

  • Add bass notes with your feet. A base note that would correspond with a chord would be the root of the chord. For instance, a D chord would have a D in the bass.

  • Use the heel of your foot to play white bass notes. If your organ's pedals aren't colored black and white, the white notes would be the long pedals.

  • Use the toe of your foot to play the black bass notes (or short pedals).

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Organ Keyboard Vs. Piano Keyboard

    Organs and pianos are the two most popular keyboard instruments. An organ produces tones by controlling air passing over various size apertures...

  • Tutorial on Reggae Chords on a Keyboard

    The keyboard can play an important part in a reggae band. Like the rhythm guitar, the keyboard provides chords with occasional melodies,...

  • How to Learn to Play an Electric Organ

    The electric organ is a popular instrument used in many different styles of music. Besides traditional gospel music, this versatile instrument can...

Related Searches

Check It Out

12 Tiki Essentials to Turn Your Bar Cart Into a Tropical Paradise

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!