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How to play Inversions on piano

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

Chord Inversions is the secret to playing harmony and melody with one hand. It is also the secret to finding chords that are right next door rather than traveling to always play the root.

A root chord is every other note in the scale starting with the root note. The root note is the first note in the scale. Every Major chord has 3 half steps in between the first interval in the chord and two half steps in between the last interval. So the key of C is C, E, G while the Key of D would be D, F#, A.

The inversions are created from the same exact letters. If you play the same letters C, E, G in a different order it will create a different shape and it will also cause a different note to be on top, and the top note of a chord is typically the most audible.

Taking the letters of the C root chord, we will start with the second letter and create E, G and then C which will be slightly further away now! Find the next inversion with G, C (which is far away now) and then E. In every major key the root chord and its inversions will look and feel the same!

The minor formula is slightly different, there are only two half steps in between the first interval of the chord and three in between the second interval.

Let's look at A minor, A is the root note so the root chord is A, C, E. The first inversion of A minor is C, E, A and the second inversion you can create is E, A, C. Our formula for the minor scale was different yet it is visually and physically the same as the C major because C Major and A minor are relatives.

In all cases there are only two possible inversion, if you try to find the next three letters they will be back to the root shape again! Now you can fly up the whole piano by playing all the inversions, just like a pro 👍

The last most important thing is to try this on both hands. Both hands are opposite and you'll need to use the same fingers every time to create muscle memory. In the Inversion video above I show you everything with my right hand, towards the end of the video I tell you exactly what fingers to use on the left hand which is a mirror of the right hand.

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