Moving Smoothly From Chord to Chord on the Piano

Here is a simple but effective chord jumping practice exercise you can before you sit down to play/practice your tunes.  Below, you’ll find an easy to follow transcript of the above video.  I hope it helps!

“I know that people understand that they need to jump from one chord to the next, but their “target practice” kinda stinks! Luckily, I have a simple exercise to help with this. Doing this exercise a little bit every time you sit down at the piano with help a lot!

“I use major chords in this video. First, I suggests starting on a simple chord, like a C, and move up the scale every note at a time; you keep the same hand position, but move up one key at a time. Speed is not important, simply accuracy; you just want to nail it down and get your brain connected to the distance between the keys.

“First, simple move up and down hitting every single note.

“Next, I suggest skipping one note at a time. So if you start at a C, you’ll go up to an E, then a G, and finally a B. When you go down, you’ll want to start with your pinky on a C, then work down the scale skipping every other note (C, A, F, then D). Do these about four or five times – no need to do it for any great length of time, maybe just a few seconds.

“Now, let’s skip two notes at a time, starting at the C with your pinky, and working up the scale skipping every two white notes.

“Finally, let’s skip three notes. Again, starting at the C and moving up the scale – C to G, to D, and then back.

“There it is! It’s not very creative, but if you practice each of the these – jumping every note, every other, every two, then every three – just a little bit each time you sit down at the piano, you’ll be able to burn this target practice in your brain and start connecting your hands to your brain and memorize the distance between these keys.”

Happy playing!


  • Sandy
    Posted at 20:40h, 15 February

    Thanks this will really help . But it seems like my left & right hand doesn’t come together at the right time .

  • Jeannette
    Posted at 22:22h, 15 February

    Thank you that was a good lesson.

  • Ethel
    Posted at 11:53h, 16 February

    your news letters are helpful i enjoy them i am having trouble playing deep in the heart of texas on my counting could you play it thank you

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 12:32h, 06 March

      I’ll try to get that covered in a future post Ethel…

  • Ron
    Posted at 18:22h, 16 February

    I’ve been putting the wrong fingers on the wrong keys. I use my thumb on the root note and play the chord with my right hand, doubling the root note with the thumb again. this clears that up. ha ha ha.

  • wanda
    Posted at 19:29h, 16 February

    I shall do this, left-hand does not cooperate.

  • wanda
    Posted at 19:31h, 16 February

    Thanks for the lesson.

  • Barbara L Bennett
    Posted at 12:07h, 18 February

    Thank you for the lesson. Appreciate your teaching style.

  • Daryl Kennedy
    Posted at 23:12h, 18 February

    Once again Scott excellent tips in a compact lesson. It’s great when a lesson pops up which nails a playing issue which I have been grappling with. ESP Extra Sensory Piano lol. Daryl K

  • Arthur Glover
    Posted at 10:45h, 19 February

    I would learn the I-IV-I-V-I pattern of moving through the major and minor chords for moving smoothly and minimizing your movement around chords.

  • Pip
    Posted at 18:32h, 26 July

    Hi Scott
    Thanks so much, I’m really enjoying and benefiting from your posts. I was classically trained on the piano many years ago and can still sight read but would like to learn more about chords. Do you have courses specifically for this purpose?

    Kindest wishes

    • Hannah Derleth
      Posted at 17:09h, 10 August

      Hi Pip!

      Hannah the marketing gal here. PIAF lessons are a mix of things, we actually start teaching basic concepts of chords in the first course! I do recommend starting with course 1 still if you need help with chords, but since you have some background with music, the musical concepts might come to you that much easier!

  • Mary
    Posted at 13:00h, 21 August

    Thank you for your friendly and engaging approach, Scott. Really appreciate your encouragement.

  • Ray Garafano
    Posted at 08:38h, 03 July

    Pretty Good Scotts, sometimes I do the hand in a cast thing, It does work good, s
    Sometimes If I just did a C then to an F 5th on the C,3rd on F and 1 on A. yup
    knowing 1st and 2nd inversions is handy as in Chopin’s fantasy impromptu, there
    are some quick cord changes. Happy 4th!