The Bb (B flat) chord is made up of three notes – Bb, D and F.
You can play the Bb chord on piano in three different ways:
- Root Position – This is where the Bb note is the lowest note of the chord
- First Inversion – This is where the Bb note is the highest note of the chord
- Second Inversion – This is where the Bb note is the middle note of the chord
I’ll quickly explain that in a little more detail.
And then we’ll take a look (and listen) at some famous songs which use the Bb chord. These are fun. They sound good. And can really help you develop smooth and confident Bb chord changes.
Bb Chord Piano – Root Position
Whenever you play a Bb chord on piano, and Bb is the lowest note, that’s known as root position. It looks like this:
There are seven places on a standard piano where you can play a Bb chord in root position. Can you find them all?
Below you’ll see what all seven look like on sheet music. Click the play button to hear what they sound like too.
Definitely not the best sounding chord progression. But hang in there… the good sounding stuff is just a little further below… right after we get through the basics.
Bb Chord Piano – First Inversion
Whenever you play a Bb chord on piano, and Bb is the highest note, that’s known as the first inversion. Here’s what it looks like:
And here is the first inversion played in all positions up the piano:
Bb Chord Piano – Second Inversion
Whenever you play a Bb chord on piano, and Bb is the note in the middle, that’s known as the second inversion. Here’s what the second inversion looks like:
And here is the second inversion played in all positions up the piano:
Famous “Bb Chord” Songs
Okay, time for some fun.
Below you’ll see some songs which use the Bb chord in their chord progressions. They are simple arrangements so that you can focus on learning the chords and chord changes.
First practice them as they are written. But once you get comfortable with that, feel free to try different Bb chord inversions.
Then, once you get comfortable with the inversions, try playing the chords in different positions on the piano.
And if you want to really test yourself:
Try playing the melody lower on the piano, with your left hand. And the chords higher on the piano with your right hand.
The first song we’ll take a look at is A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. This song starts of with a nice old Bb chord in root position.
Bb Chord Piano Example 1 – A Thousand Years
The next song is Ring Of Fire by Johnny Cash. This arrangement uses Bb chords in both root position and first inversion. So it’s a great second song to practice on.
Also, the tune is really catchy!
Bb Chord Piano Example 2 – Ring Of Fire
Finally, let’s take a look at Roar by Katy Perry. This arrangement uses the second inversion of the Bb chord.
After you get the hang of it, don’t forget to practice playing the chords in different positions and different inversions.
Bb Chord Piano Example 3 – Roar
That’s about it for this post. I really hope you enjoyed it and learnt something new about Bb chords.