There are roughly umpteen zillion reasons why you should learn enough chords to be able to “chord a song” at the piano.
By “chord a song”, I mean the ability to play 3 or 4 chords on the piano in some sort of rhythm while you or someone else sings the tune. To do this, you don’t need to be a Van Cliburn; all you need to do is learn a few basic chords and be able to more back and forth between them in some organized rhythmic pattern.
For example, did you realize that all of these songs (and hundreds more) can be sung or played with just 3 chords?
Auld Lang Syne
Kum Ba Ya
Joy To The World
Down In The Valley
On Top Of Old Smoky…
and hundreds or maybe thousands more!
Add just one more chord to the basic 3, and you can play another thousand songs or so. So why not learn a few chords and start your chording career?
Here are my top 10 reasons for learning “chord piano”:
1) It’s easy. Learn 3 chords and start in.
2) Even though it’s easy to get started, you don’t have to stop there. You can learn more and more chords and more rhythm patterns and get really good.
3) You’ll be able to play “Happy Birthday” while the gang sings it.
4) You’ll be able to play half-a-dozen Christmas carols. In case you haven’t noticed, Christmas comes every year, so every year you’ll get better as you participate in family gatherings.
5) You can help your kids learn to play the piano, guitar, or most any other instrument by learning chords. Most teachers don’t teach chords, so you’ll be giving your kids an advantage by learning chords.
6) People will admire you. It’s true. Musicians are popular. Anyone who can play anything is in demand at parties and social gatherings. And if you can “chord” while others sing, you’re bound to be popular.
7) Piano playing using chords is good for your brain. Studies have shown that people who actively participate in music do their brain lots of good. And since chords require 3 or 4 notes at a time instead of one, you are giving your brain a good workout.
8) Piano playing, particularly using chords, is good exercise for your wrists and fingers. (Take the time to learn about correct hand position, though!)
9) Piano playing is excellent therapy for the stress of life. Many professional people come home from a hard days work and relax by expressing their emotions on the keyboard. Play a few dark and angry chords, and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel!
10) Piano playing is a blast. It’s just plain old fun. So learn 3 or 4 chords and get going. Maybe you’ll stop there and enjoy it the rest of your life.
But just maybe you’ll love it so much that you keep going and turn yourself into an excellent piano player who can read music as well as play chords!