October 11


How Ultimate Guitar Chords Work For Piano

By declan@decplaypiano.com

October 11, 2020

Free Beginners Guide - How Ultimate Guitar chords work for piano keyboard

Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley) & Perfect (Ed Sheeran) chords & tabs explained. 

It is great that Ultimate Guitar now have piano chord diagrams as standard on their chord pages. This makes it much easier for beginners to play piano using chords.

Here's a 1 minute overview

Transposing UG Piano Chords

By far the easiest way to play piano chords as a beginner, is to play in the key of C which uses the white notes. The transpose feature at the bottom of Ultimate Guitar chord sheets lets you easily transpose any chord sheet into the key of C.

4 Chord Trick

The most common chords in the key of C are C F G Am - I call these the '4 Chord Piano Trick' and they let you play thousands of songs, as demonstrated by the brilliant Axis of Awesome Video. The full 6 chords that make up the 'standard chords' in the key of C are C Dm Em F G Am and they can be played within seconds, using a single hand shape. This is a bit like a guitar barre chord that enables you to play one shape and then move it up the keyboard to play different chords. It's even easier than a barre chord however, as you don't have to change the shape when you move between major and minor chords, (using the standard chords in the key of C). 

Simplify Button - Ultimate Guitar Chords

The simplify button replaces more complex versions (as I call them 'fancy pants' versions!) with standard versions of chords, which makes playing songs easier for beginners. Songs usually sound absolutely fine using standard chord versions, so don't shy about using the simplify button, especially when you are starting out learning piano.  

Piano Tabs - how to play melodies and riffs on piano

Chords enable you to play the accompaniment, which is all you need if you are singing, playing in a band or playing along with the original recording. But if you are playing solo piano ie not singing, then you will need to play the melody.

As melodies are not shown in chord sheets, the easiest way to do this is using 'PianoTabz' which is a written form of music called piano tablature (piano tabs) that enables you to play melodies and riffs within minutes, even if you have no prior musical experience. 

PianoTabz is like Ultimate Guitar tabs and chords combined and it is specifically designed for the piano keyboard, as guitar tabs do not translate to the piano, due to the difference in the layout of guitar strings compared to piano keys.

Killer TIP

The melody is always the same, no matter whether you are playing a beginners style or professional / advanced style. What makes the difference between in playing levels & styles (beginners vs advanced) is how the accompaniment is played. This is determined by the playing pattern that you choose to play the chords with. 

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