In this lesson, we will learn how to play an F sharp minor chord on piano and keyboard. This chord can be written as follows: F#m, F#min, F#- (F# followed by a minus sign).
F#m, like other minor chords, is formed by combining the root, flat third and perfect fifth of the major scale. The F sharp major scale consists of the pitches, F#, G#, A#, B, C# D# and E#. To form the F# minor chord, play the notes F#, A and C#. A is the flat third (minor third) as opposed to A# which is a major third.
If you already know how to play an F# major chord, all you have to do is lower the middle note of the chord by a half step and there you have it… an F#min chord.
Minor chords are a combination of a minor third and major third interval. For the F#min chord, the distance from F# to A is a minor third interval, while the distance from A to C# is a major third. A minor interval consists of 3 half steps (3 semitones) while a major interval consists of 4 half steps (4 semitones or 2 whole steps).
Locate the F# key on your piano. This key is the 1st key in the set of 3 black keys on your piano keyboard. Now that you’ve located this key, play the key that is 3 half steps higher. This key is A. From A, play the note that is 4 half steps higher. That note is C#. The formula for forming a minor chord using half steps is R+3HS+4HS. This stands for root plus 3 half steps plus 4 half steps.
Another way to form this chord is by skipping keys. To form the F-sharp minor chord, you start on the note F#, skip 2 keys and play A, then skip 3 keys and play the note, C#.
In root position, the notes of the F sharp minor chord are in the order, F# – A – C#. For the 1st inversion of F#m, play the note, A as the lowest note of the chord, play C# sharp in the middle and play F# an octave higher. This gives us A – C# – F#. For the 2nd inversion of this chord, play the note, C# at the bottom, F# in the middle and A at the top. C# – F# – A.
To learn more about chords, check out my course, Piano Chords: How To Form Basic Chords On Piano And Keyboard.
Possible fingerings for the F#m chord are as follows:
In root position, 1st finger (thumb) plays F#, 2nd finger (index finger) plays A and 4th finger (ring finger) plays C#.
For the first inversion, the 1st finger plays A, 2nd finger plays C# and 4th finger plays F#.
For the 2nd inversion, 1st finger plays C#, 3rd finger plays F# and 5th finger plays A. There is really no correct, cast in stone fingerings for chords. Every hand is different. It’s all depends on what feels comfortable, your hand size, finger length and so on.
The F sharp minor chord occurs naturally in the following keys:
- F#min (chord i) / Amaj (chord vi)
- Bmin (chord v) / Dmaj (chord iii)
- C#min (chord iv) / Emaj (chord ii)
Video: How to Play F Sharp Minor Chord on Piano and Keyboard
Here’s a video showing you how to play the F# minor chord on piano and keyboard in root position, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion.