a book to learn piano chords

7 Best Piano Chord Books

June 20, 2023 Selin Gökova 6 min read No Comments

Looking for the best piano chord book?

Chords are the building blocks of music. Whether you want to improvise, write music, or simply accompany a song, a good understanding of chords and the ability to play them on the keyboard are crucial.

Even if you’re not a pianist, learning piano chords enhance your overall understanding of music and improve your musical abilities.

However, I know that learning piano chords can be challenging, especially if you’re a beginner or a non-pianist. The concepts such as the correct finger position, note abbreviations or the chord structures on the keyboard can all feel overwhelming at first.

From the beginning of my piano learning journey, I have had experiences with a number of piano chord books, some of which made significant differences in my understanding and application of chords.

Therefore, I’m a huge believer in the power of learning from books, and today I’ll share with you the best piano chord books I have either used myself or heard great things about.

Before diving into the post, I would like to remind you that there are many other methods to learn chords in addition to books. I’ve recently written a post and shared my top tips to learn piano chords, so be sure to check it out as well.

Now, let’s jump to the list. Here are some of best piano chord books for anyone who wishes to learn, master and unlock their creative potential with chords!

Piano Scales, Chords & Arpeggios Lessons with Elements of Basic Music Theory

piano scales chord arpeggios book

As the name suggests, this best-seller book by Damon Ferrante is so much more than a piano chords book.

If you don’t have any knowledge of music theory and other related concepts, learning chords may take a lot more time and effort. That’s why I highly recommend this comprehensive book which covers all the fundamental aspects of not only piano chords but also scales and arpeggios.

Related: 7 Best Piano Scales Books For Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Players

Featuring a step-by-step approach, this book ensures beginners are first equipped with essential theory knowledge and piano technique to master piano chords. The lessons are very organized and easy to follow, and the supplementary high-quality video lessons eliminate the need for a teacher.

Contrary to most other chord books, the author of this book has a very friendly tone, which makes learning the concepts even more enjoyable.

Ultimately, this book is an excellent resource not only for mastering piano chords but also for learning the piano as a whole.

Meridee Winters Chord Crash Course

best piano chord progression book

If you asked me about the most practical, fun, and effective book to learn piano chords, my answer would be none other than the Meridee Winters’ Chord Crash Course. This book is perfect for anyone looking to master piano chords in a fun yet solid way – be it piano players, singer-songwriters, or producers. My honest opinion is that this book is a real game changer with its innovative and playful approach to teaching chords.

The reason why it’s the perfect piano chord book for everyone is that it doesn’t require any music-reading knowledge. Instead, it focuses on chord patterns and shapes and works on building your muscle memory with gamified and fun exercises.

With this “learn by shape and patterns” approach, this book allows you to quickly learn common chord progressions, and start making and playing the music you love. When I say quickly, I mean within a few hours. Crazy, isn’t it?

Not only that, but it’ll also provide you with the tools to create your own chord progressions in a matter of a few chapters.

Get this book. Seriously.

The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences

complete book of scales chords arpeggios

Whether you’re a self-teaching pianist or a piano teacher, this complete book by Alfred will perfectly accompany you through your chord learning or teaching journey.

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s not solely a piano chord book but rather a comprehensive resource featuring chords, scales, arpeggios, and cadences in all keys with their different variations. However, if you don’t know piano scales, arpeggios, and cadences yet, I highly suggest getting an all-in-one book like this one and learning chords in relation to other concepts.

When it comes to chords, this book mainly covers triads and simple chord progressions. It also features instructions on how to play and exercise each chord while providing their theoretical background.

Best of all, it does it all in an incredibly precise and simple manner for beginners.

Piano & Keyboard Chords

best piano chord book

If you’re looking for a reference book for piano chords, look no further. This little and easy-to-carry reference guide features all the chords you will ever need to play a wide variety of genres including pop, rock, jazz, and soul music.

Each page in the book features one chord, with the left page presenting the left-hand and the right page presenting the right-hand chord structures on a keyboard. The fingerings, individual notes, abbreviations, tabs, and chord spellings are also featured on every page.

Overall, it’s a must-have reference guide that you can easily refer to while learning chords or playing with other musicians.

Easiest Chord Book for Piano

a book to learn piano chords

This is one of those books that truly lives up to its title. Providing a simple intro to piano chords, it offers a wonderful starting point for beginners or anyone who’s been away from the piano for a long time and wishes to pick it up again in an easy-to-follow format.

Related: 15 Best Piano Books For Returning Adults

It is written in a step-by-step and organized approach to make chord learning an effortless and easy process. Starting with basic major and minor chords, it takes learners through various concepts including rearrangement of chord positions, chord transitions, four-note chords, and less commonly used chord variations.

By the end of the book, you will even know how to construct your own chords from a given scale.

Overall, it’s an ideal choice for beginners or returning adults looking to learn or remember piano chords in a straightforward and simple manner.

Piano Chords One: A Beginner’s Guide To Simple Music Theory and Playing Chords To Any Song Quickly

best book for learning piano chords

Would you want to be able to play the chords to any song you wish? Without looking at the written notes at all? Well, this fantastic book teaches you just that.

Written in a clear and easy-to-understand style, Piano Chords One offers a practical solution for learning to play songs by ear without relying on written notes of chords. It follows a systematic approach based on the circle of fifths and takes you through the root position and different inversions of all white keys.

Related: 10 Best Ear Training Books

While it’s suitable for beginner keyboard players, it’s also perfect for those who are trained in classical piano but never had a chance to delve deeper into chords. In general, classical piano education doesn’t allow pianists to develop jamming and improvisation skills, which is precisely where this book fills the gap.

Whether you want to join a church worship band, play in a rock band with friends, or simply get a good hang of piano chords, this book is a perfect choice to improve your proficiency at piano. It provides in-depth yet easily understandable instructions that you can readily apply and start playing your favorite songs.

The First 100 Chords for Piano: How to Learn and Play Piano Chords

This is another excellent resource and one of the best books to learn piano chords from scratch. Featuring simple diagrams, thorough explanations, and exercises, this comprehensive book teaches you every essential chord and how to combine different chords with correct finger positions.

It’s best for those who want to excel at pop, blues, and rock music but beginner classical pianists will also find great value in it.

What I love about this book is that it goes beyond simple chords and teaches you beautiful accompaniment patterns used by professional pianists. From broken chords to independent basslines, this book will introduce you to a wide range of accompaniment patterns that you can immediately apply to your playing and improve your musical expression.

As you progress, you’ll also explore different chord progressions found in many popular songs with real examples and learn to create your own music.

All in all, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to get a solid start with piano chords.

These were the best books to learn piano chords, whether you’re an absolute beginner, a musician, or a music instructor looking for a chord book to supplement your lessons. I hope you’ve enjoyed this list.

What are other resources you are utilizing while learning piano chords? Please share them with me in the comments!

Selin Gökova

Selin Gökova is a neo-classical composer and pianist from Istanbul, Turkey. Holding an ABRSM certificate on piano performance, she's been playing the piano and composing for ten years. Wandering Tunes is her side project where she combines her two passions: writing and music.

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Hi, my name is Selin. Playing the piano and composing are my biggest passions. I've founded this blog to share everything I've learned throughout the years about piano playing and learning. I hope you stick around! Read More

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