Broken Chords for Piano

As those of you who take exams as part of your piano learning will be aware, broken chords tend to die out after the first couple of grades. Arpeggios come along and – like the red squirrels around here – those poor broken chords are superseded, never to be seen again, unless you go to the Isle of Wight. Red squirrels, that is…

Broken chords, however, can be seen right there in the comfort of your own living room (or wherever you happen to keep your piano), by simply playing them!

And there great reason to do so. In my blog posts on Practice Chords Progressions and Your First Six Chord Exercises, we looked at why chords are so important for playing the piano and how to start and  progress with them, but one of the best ways to get chords firmly locked into your brain is by using broken chords.

To this end, I have put together a free PDF download with the broken chords for the six keys that make up the C-major family – C, Dm, Em, F, G and Am. Download them below and add them into your piano practice schedule.


Finger-wise, I tend to go with whatever feels most comfortable. As you’ll see in the animation image at the top of the page, I tend to favour 1-2-3, 1-2-4, 1-3-5, but that’s by no means a rule. Experiment and see what works best for you.

Enjoy. And remember: practice isn’t homework, it’s where you learn to play the piano!