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The piano is a really diverse instrument. You can play it happily, angrily, humorously, sadly...name an emotion and you can probably find a way to play it on the piano. But one thing that the piano does really well is play beautifully. So what are some easy ways to take some simple piano ideas and turn them into something beautiful sounding?
One of the easiest ways to make any chord progression sound pretty is to take any basic triad and give it some additional tonality. Start by turning these chords into a major, minor 7th, or dominant 7th chords! All you have to do is play a major and minor triad PLUS the note right below the octave. Don’t forget what key you’re playing in either, as that might affect whether you have to add a sharp/flat note to make the 7th chord you want!
Another way to add some easy beauty to your chord progressions is to switch out your major key root notes and instead play the relative minor roots. If you keep the chords the exact same in the right hand but use the minor roots in the left hand, you’ll be creating minor 7th chords. These are some of my personal favourite chords, and they work great at creating a completely different sounding chord progression using familiar chords.
It goes without saying that creating beautiful chords is a highly subjective thing. What’s beautiful for one person might be completely off the mark for another. These are just a few ways that I’ve found work for me. Hopefully, you find some ways to apply them to your own playing. So get to experimenting! Mix and match, try solid and broken patterns, and before long you’ll be coming up with unique ways to beautify your own music!