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5 Ways Chords Can Change Your Life!

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

I can say for a fact that learning how to play chords on piano has changed my life. It's a pretty bold statement but understanding how songs worked, learning how chords went together and how to construct them MADE ME A MUSICIAN not just someone who plays music.

If you want to be taken seriously as a musician, knowing chords is one of the important foundations. Chords can be played on the piano, guitar, ukulele and other similar instruments.

I have listed 5 ways chords are life changing below, but first. . .

What is a Chord?

A chord is a group of three or four notes that are played together at the same time to create a certain sound. There are many different kinds; major, minor, seventh, suspended etc.

Chord example, C major on the piano.

C chord diagram on keyboard
C major piano chord

1. Learn Songs that You Love

As a piano teacher, I hear a lot from students who transfer to me or who are restarting their piano journey that they have only ever played exam pieces or pieces they didn't recognise in a method book. I then ask them what they would like to play. The answer is always their favourite song. If exams are needed, I promise them that we can work on both exam songs and "fun songs", as I call them, at the same time. I 100% know that adding songs they love into their weekly piano practice encourages students to stick with and fall in love with the piano. ❤️

Using piano chords you can play all the top hit songs like 'Someone You Loved' by Lewis Capaldi, 'Piano Man' by Billy Joel, 'Imagine' by John Lennon, 'Clocks' by Coldplay. . . the list goes on and the choice is yours.

2. A Better Understanding of the Piano

When I was younger I learned how to play piano starting at age six. I loved to play and learn songs off by heart. I was good at it and it was fun. As I got a little older, and fell in and out of love with piano exams, I knew I wanted more. I was just playing music...I didn't really understand what I was doing and why the notes I was playing sounded good together.

As a teenager thankfully I discovered piano chords. Everything changed. I was able to play more songs and much quicker. Amazing! My confidence grew and I discovered that a lot of the songs I loved used the same chords so I could reuse information and play many different songs. Can you believe most popular songs are written with just four chords! I felt like I had found a secret key. I now had a better understanding of how my idols played piano and it was exciting!

3. Opportunities

If you know how to play chords and how they connect to build songs, the music world is opened up to you. It makes it easy to. . .

  • join a band (and make best friends for life!)

  • accompany other musicians

  • become a songwriter

  • travel and perform

  • play local gigs and festivals

  • BE a musician at whatever level you want

Learning chords on piano, and then guitar, allowed me to experience so much as a musician. I've been able to write a top 5 hit song, release two albums, join various bands, travel and play in different countries, appear on tv and radio, play festivals and support other Irish artists. All starting with chords!

Now, you might NOT have dreams of performing and releasing music, but I'm sure you want to be the best musician you can be for yourself and your own musical goals.

I promise if you begin learning how to play piano with chords it will change how you think about the piano.

4. Get Hired because You Know CHORDS

Knowing chords increases the odds of getting hired as a musician. If you want to gig, be a session musician and play on other artists recordings in studios or accompany them on stage you need to understand chords. Artists rarely hand you sheet music. To learn songs, you either listen to them and figure them out by ear or you get chord sheets for each song. That's how it works.

Here I am below (left of photo) performing with Mundy (of July and Galway Girl fame) at Our Land Festival as a session musician.

musicians on stage playing at a festival
Mundy playing at Our Land Festival

5. Make Money as a Musician

This is an important one. We all need money to survive (unfortunately) and you CAN make a living with music. There are obviously many different ways and levels on this scale but making a living as an independent musician is possible. You have to be resourceful and willing to try new things but knowing how to play chords is necessary, in my opinion, to excel at all of the following. . .

  • playing at a wedding ceremony

  • gigging in your local pub

  • performing at local and nationwide festivals

  • teaching music

  • performing in a band

  • writing songs and getting royalties

  • publishing a song

  • being a session musician

  • giving workshops

  • working at music summer camps

  • being a music producer or studio recording engineer

The list goes on. Do you have anything to add?

coins in a glass growing a plant

But Liz, it's Hard to Remember ALL the Chords!

I hear you! This is where my TOP PIANO CHORD TIP comes in. If you want to start or are struggling to learn ALL the chords on the piano I have exactly the video for you, 'How to Play Any Major or Minor Chord'.

See video below now and start your own life changing musical journey today. Never get stuck on a chord again!



I have created a CHEAT SHEET pdf to accompany the video above.

Download it below now.

***Join my Piano Challenge

Why not take it a step further and JOIN my 3 Day 10 Minute Piano Song Challenge HERE. You won't regret it.

I hope I have explained the importance and power of learning chords to you in this post and the life changing effect it can have on you as a musician. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at or follow me on Instagram @lizseavermusicschool.

Happy learning!


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