What are chords?
Chords are made up of more than one note sounded together. When we play piano with more than one finger at a time, we are playing chords. When we sing, we are only voicing one note at a time. Someone else might join us and sing different notes with the song and what we are hearing are chords.
Do we need chords?
A soloist might be able to deliver a song beautifully, but if he/she is accompanied by a pianist playing the same notes she is singing, then it does nothing for the song. The accompanist would need to play chords or progressions that are in the same key and on the same chords of the song.
Who uses them anyway?
All musicians use them. Bands and orchestras are playing within the same chords and songs can be played with simple or complex chords. Imagine, by John Lennon is a well known song with piano chord accompaniment and well known performer, Pavarotti, sang with orchestra and voices using combinations of the notes of the chords in the song.
How do we use chords on piano ?
Learning the basic chords in each key, using notes 1,3,5, is the first step. Derivatives of the basic as well as other chords can be learned and practiced, since the piano is based on patterns repeated within each octave. The next step is to move between chords with studied fingering to produce smooth transitions. A person who wants to accompany themselves on piano would learn the basics and fill in as appropriate.
How long does it take?
There is no standard time in learning chords. It is directly related to the dexterity of the player and the level of desire to and patience to get it done. After all, when you become accomplished, who cares how how you took to learn, at least you will have accomplished your goal.
Are you making progress as a musician ? Please let me have your comments.