Chord exercises

The following is a collection of chord exercises (chord etudes) for piano. All exercises is based on musical notation and can be open as pdf-files.


Arpeggios is broken chords (chords which are played by one note at the time). This is a common way to use chords.

Exercise 1 Triad arpeggios for two hands (.pdf)

The first exercise is divided in three parts, with different keys (G Major, D Major and B Major).

Exercise 2 Triad arpeggios with passing notes (.pdf)

The second exercise use chords changes with passing notes. Passing notes are notes that is not included in the chord but are between two chords. For example, B can be used a passing note between a C and an A chord. The picture below marks the passing notes in red color.
Passing notes in musical notation

Exercise 3 Triad arpeggios with passing notes II (.pdf)

The third exercise present arpeggios in which melody is more apparent. The versions that includes two hands will probably be challenging, but it is a good costume to always try at least incorporate the left hand to some degree (you can always leave out some of the notes).

Exercise 4 Arpeggios with inverted chords (.pdf)

In the fourth exercise the left hand is doing most of the work. This arpeggio is based mostly on inverted chords. Inversions are often used to create small movement between chords, which is the case here.

Block chords

Block chords are full chords and these are common in many situations.

Exercise 5 Bass notes with block chords (.pdf)

This way to play is common accompaning style, especially in 3/4 time.

Chord and melody

Examples that combines chord and melody.

Exercise 6 Chord & melody (.pdf)

The third playing example with sound:


Chords and playing concepts for the piano in blues style.

Exercise 7 In the styles of blues I (.pdf)

Exercise 8 In the styles of blues II (.pdf)

See also How to combine piano chords ›