The C# Chord (also known as the C# Major Chord, or C# Major Triad) 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
I’ll quickly explain this in some more detail.
And then we’ll take a look at some famous songs which use C# chords. These are excellent for practicing because they sound great, but have been arranged in a way that lets you focus on learning C# chords.
But first, let’s take a quick look at the theory.
C# Chord Piano – Root Position
Whenever you play a C# chord on piano, and C# is the lowest note, that’s known as root position. It looks like this:
You may notice that these are the same keys played as the Db Chord. These two chords are said to be enharmonically equivalent. If you really like music theory, you can read all about what Enharmonic means. But I won’t go into it here.
There are seven places on a standard piano where you can play a C# chord in root position. If you have a piano close by, try playing each one.
Below you’ll see what all seven look like on sheet music. Click the play button to hear what they sound like too.
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. It looks like this:
And here it is played in all places on a standard piano. You’ll notice that there are six of these.
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. It looks like this:
And here is the second inversion played in all places on a standard piano. There are six of these too.
Famous “C# Chord” Song
Okay, now it’s time to have fun, and play some real music!
Let’s take a look at some C# chords used in an actual song. The song is:
The Winner Takes It All by ABBA.
The snippet below has a fairly simple arrangement – Block chords in the left hand and the melody in the right hand. This lets you focus on learning the C# chord and its inversions, while still playing something that sounds great.
First of all, try playing it as written. But once you’re comfortable with that, feel free to try each of the C# chord inversions.
Then try the chords in different areas on the piano.
And if you really want to 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. That’s a tough exercise, but well worth the effort.
C# Chord Piano Progression – The Winner Takes It All
That’s about all for this post. I hope you enjoyed reading and learning about C# chords.