Let’s learn how to play an Em chord on piano. This is a pretty easy chord to play, comprising of only white piano keys. How is the E minor chord formed? You simply combine the root note, flat third and perfect fifth of the E major scale. These notes are E, G and B respectively. The E minor chord is also written as E min and E- (the letter “E” followed by a minus sign).
Since this chord is a minor chord it creates a sad mood, as opposed to a major chord which creates a happy mood. You can compare E minor and E major on your piano to hear the difference. Composers usually write sad songs in minor keys while happy songs are written in major keys. There are exceptions to the rule but this is quite common.
To create the Em chord, you combine a minor third and major third. The interval or distance between E and G is one and a half tones, also known as a minor third. The interval or distance between G and B is two tones or a major third.
Until now we have only looked at the E min chord in its root position. In root position the notes are held in the order E G B. You can play this chord in two inversions. In the first inversion the notes are in the order G B E. In the second inversion the notes are in the order B E G. The diagram on the right illustrates this.
What is the fingering for the Em chord? Here’s the right hand fingering. To play Em in root position with your right hand, place your thumb (1st finger) on E, your middle finger (3rd finger) on G, and your little finger (5th finger) on B. Play the notes together to hear your E min chord. To play Emin in the 1st inversion place finger 1 on G, finger 2 on B and finger 5 on E. To play E min in its 2nd inversion, place your 1st finger on B, 3rd finger on E and 5th finger on G.
How To Play The E Minor Chord On Piano And Keyboard
Chords in which E minor occurs naturally
As you become more advanced in playing the piano you will realize that the E min chord occurs naturally in certain keys. In the key of E minor, it is chord I. In Em’s relative major chord, G major it is chord VI. In the key of A minor, E min is chord V. In Am’s relative major chord, C major, Em is chord III. The other key where the E minor chord occurs naturally is B minor. In the key of B minor, Em is chord IV. In B minor’s relative major chord, D major, the Em chord is chord II.
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