How to Invert Chords on Piano

 

Today’s video is all about how to invert chords on the piano.  This is a SUPER IMPORTANT and practical skill to learn – take heed of the all caps!

How to invert chords – C major chord

So let’s look at C major chord. The notes are:

C, E, G.

These three notes can be jumbled and rearranged in any order, and still be a C major chord. Even if you did:

E, G, C
G, C, E

It’s the same chord – this is what it means to ‘invert’ a chord.

F major chord

Logic dictates that if you have 3 notes in a chord, you can rearrange it 3 times. So let’s do another one together – F major:

F, A, C

These three letters can be arranged in two more ways (bottom note written first):

A, C, F
C, F, A

Why learn how to invert chords?

The main reason to do inversions, and to understand them, is so that when you’re playing chords, your hands aren’t flying all over the keyboard. For example, if you tried to play a C chord, and then move to an F chord, playing both in root position, you’d need to jump several notes to get there:

C, E, G –> F, A, C

But if you play the inverted version of F chord, you can keep your ‘C’ in the same spot, and just change the upper two notes:

C, E, G –> C, F, A

which not only makes it easier to play, the sound is more uniform, too. It sounds much more natural to play a chord progression that doesn’t wildly leap all over the keys.

Conclusion

When you find chords on the internet to a popular song you want to learn, try out different inversions of the chords instead of playing everything in root position. It’ll take a lot of brainpower at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Practice makes perfect!

Until next time! 🙂

xo,
Allysia

Allysia has been teaching piano in Canada for nearly a decade, and has her Grade 10 RCM certificate. She especially enjoys nerding out to music history and theory. When she’s not making videos or teaching, she’s reading, writing, and jamming in a rock band.

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