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C Chord Piano

The C chord is made up of three notes – C, E and G.

You can play a C chord on piano in three different ways:

  • Root Position – This is where the C note is the lowest note of the chord
  • First Inversion – This is where the C note is the highest note of the chord
  • Second Inversion – This is where the C note is the middle note of the chord

Now, let’s quickly cover this in a little more detail…

And then we’ll take a look at some FAMOUS SONGS which use the C chord. These are fun to play on piano. And will get your C chords sounding great too!

But first…

C Chord Piano – Root Position

Like I mentioned above, the root position is when the C note is lowest. It looks like this:

Piano keyboard with a C chord highlighted in root position
C Chord in Root Position

Or this:

Piano keyboard with C chord highlighted in a different root position
Also a C Chord in Root Position

Actually there are seven places on a standard piano where you can play a C chord in root position. Can you find them all?

Below is what they like on sheet music. Click the play button to hear what they sound like too.

Sheet music showing all seven C chords in root position from low to high

I know, I know, it’s not that exciting.

But bear with me, the good stuff is just a little further below. Straight after we cover this tiny bit of theory.

C Chord Piano – First Inversion

Whenever you play a C chord on piano, and C is the highest note, that’s known as the first inversion.

Piano keyboard with a C chord highlighted in first inversion
C Chord Piano – First Inversion

Here it is played in all positions up the piano.

Sheet music showing all seven C chords in first inversion from low to high

C Chord Piano – Second Inversion

Whenever you play a C chord on piano, and C is the note in the middle, that’s known as the second inversion.

Piano keyboard with a C chord highlighted in second inversion
C Chord Piano – Second Inversion

Here is the C chord second inversion played in all positions up the piano.

Sheet music showing all six C chords in second inversion from low to high

Famous “C Chord” Songs

Okay, now let’s have some fun.

Actually, I mean that literally… Because the first song we’ll take a look at is Some Nights by Fun. It’s a great song for practising C chords on piano. And there’s only three chords you need to know for the section below!

C Chord Piano Example 1 – Some Nights

A snippet of sheet music from the song Some Nights by Fun

The next song we’ll take a look at is Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis. This song has some more chord variety and uses the C chord first inversion.

But feel free to try the root position or second inversion instead. Especially when you’re practising. This builds familiarity and confidence with each shape and position. And that’s a great thing…

Smooth and effortless chord changes.

That’s the goal.

C Chord Piano Example 2 – Don’t Look Back In Anger

A snippet of sheet music from the song Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis.

Another great practise song is Piano Man by Billy Joel. It uses C chords in both root position and second inversion.

C Chord Piano Example 3 – Piano Man

A snippet of sheet music from the song Piano Man by Billy Joel

That’s about it for this post. I really hope you enjoyed it and learnt something new.