tel: 01920 460646

HCM Chord Theory Summer Workshop

Ever wondered what Gm9/Bb means? Ever wanted to read chord symbols used in books, online and for sharing music within bands?

Learn how to read chords

About the Course

This course provides all the knowledge and practical examples needed to access this very popular format of music writing, used on endless online chord sheets, band charts, and books of your favourite tunes.
So if you’re stuck on the chords of C, F and G or if you’ve always wanted to learn how to read chords, book yourself on this course designed for most levels of piano player!

Contrary to popular belief, a lot of music is shared through chord symbols. These are used consistently in popular music, from pop through to rock, blues and jazz. Once you have learnt how chord symbols work, chords become a simpler and more effective means of sharing and playing contemporary music.
Many musicians can only recognize a few basic chord symbols and struggle to move on to complex chords and there are few courses or materials that cover this topic in a systematic way.
This course offers all the theory together with practical examples that you need to play most chord symbols, starting from the very basics and equipping you to play most of the chords you will ever encounter.

All materials are supplied, including use of the college’s pianos, course notes, exercises and some pieces to learn throughout the course.

Course Content

  • How basic chords are structured: triads
  • How chords can be enriched: chord extensions
  • Audio examples and chart examples of chord pieces
  • Where you find chords: use in different styles, band charts, online music
  • Rearranging chords: slash chords, inversions and voicings
  • Going forward: resources and references for ongoing learning (apps, chord dictionaries, etc)


  • Age: 16+
  • Fee: £145
  • Course duration: 5 days
  • Course dates: Mon 22nd to Fri 26th August 6.15-8.15pm
  • Course location: HCM, 31 Baldock Street, Ware SG12 9DH.
  • Level required: Gr1+ preferably piano, keyboards, or guitar. Basic ability to read music preferable as a good part of the teaching is through notation.


Our HCM piano teacher, Chris Jenks has designed this course and is passionate about music harmony and chords. He has taught this content in various formats to many students over the years. He is a graduate of the Italian Conservatoire and the contemporary music academy Nexus. He has attended master-classes with the likes of Jason Rebello (Sting, Jeff Beck), Snarky Puppy and attended the prestigious Berklee Clinics. He enjoys putting his love for harmony and rich chords to use by re-arranging popular tunes in a more jazzy way!