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E Minor Chord Piano

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

You can actually play an E minor chord on piano in three different ways:

  • Root Position – This is where the E note is the lowest note of the chord
  • First Inversion – This is where the G note is the lowest note of the chord
  • Second Inversion – This is where the B note is the lowest 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 E minor chords. These are great practice material because they sound good and aren’t too difficult.

But first, let’s get started with a quick look at the theory.

E Minor Chord Piano – Root Position

Whenever you play an E minor chord on piano, and E is the lowest note, that’s known as root position. It looks like this:

Piano keyboard with an E Minor chord highlighted in root position
E Minor Chord Piano – Root Position

There are seven places on a standard piano where you can play an E minor chord in root position. If you have a piano close by, see if you can play them all.

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

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

E Minor Chord Piano – First Inversion

Whenever you play an E minor chord on piano, and G is the lowest note, that’s known as the first inversion. It looks like this:

Piano keyboard with an E Minor chord highlighted in first inversion
E Minor Chord Piano – First Inversion

And here is the E minor chord first inversion played in all positions up the piano. You’ll notice that there are only six of these.

Sheet music showing all six E Minor chords in first inversion from low to high

E Minor Chord Piano – Second Inversion

Whenever you play an E minor chord on piano, and B is the lowest note, that’s known as the second inversion. It looks like this:

Piano keyboard with an E Minor chord highlighted in second inversion
E Minor Chord Piano – Second Inversion

And here is the E minor chord second inversion played in all positions up the piano.

Sheet music showing all seven E Minor chords in second inversion from low to high

Famous “E Minor Chord” Songs

Okay, it’s fun time. Let’s put the theory into practice.

Just below we’ll take a look at some E minor chords used in popular songs. I hope you love these songs just as much as I do.

Because that makes them more fun to practice!

Each snippet below has a fairly simple arrangement – Block chords in the left hand and the melody in the right hand. So all you need to do is sit at the piano, and focus on learning the E minor chord and its inversions.

And I have to admit, the arrangements are simple, but they do sound pretty good.

First of all, try playing each one as written. But once you’re comfortable with that, feel free to try each of the other E minor chord inversions (covered above).

Then try the chords in different areas on the piano. Try them low. Try them high. And see which sound you like best.

If you really want to test yourself out: 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, especially if you haven’t tried it before.

The first example we’ll take a look at is from the song I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles. This arrangement uses the E minor chord in root position only, so it’s a great piece to start with.

E Minor Chord Piano Example 1 – I Want To Hold Your Hand

A snippet of sheet music from the song I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles

The next song snippet is from I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner. This arrangement uses E minor chords in first inversion.

E Minor Chord Piano Example 2 – I Want To Know What Love Is

A snippet of sheet music from the song I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner

The final piece we’ll take a look at is Zombie by The Cranberries. This arrangement uses E minor chords in second inversion.

Don’t forget: Once you get the hang of these examples, have some fun with them. Try the chords in different positions and different inversions. And listen out for which ones you like best.

E Minor Chord Piano Example 3 – Zombie

A snippet of sheet music from the song Zombie by The Cranberries

That’s it for this post. I really hope you enjoyed it and learnt something new about E minor chords on piano.