Learn how to play 12 essential chords on your MIDI keyboard

Get your hands ready...
Get your hands ready...

You might not be much of a keyboard player, but whatever style of music it is you make, if you know some basic chords (and how to play them) then you'll be at a big advantage when you're creating tracks in your DAW.

What follows is a guide to some of the most commonly used chords, including examples of how each one is played on a keyboard. Intervals are given in a numerical format - you can assume they are the 'major' or 'perfect' varieties unless modified with a preceding flat, making them minor or diminished intervals.

For a complete guide to chords and scales, check out issue 234 of Computer Music, which is on sale now.

1. Major

2. Minor

3. Suspended fourth

4. Power chord

5. Major seventh

6. Minor seventh

7. Dominant seventh

8. Diminished seventh

9. Add 6

10. Add 9

11. 6/9

12. Dominant ninth

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