The Em piano chord is a minor chord and is made up of the notes E G B. It's one of the best chords to learn at the beginning of your chord journey and a pretty easy one as there are no black notes.
On this page, you'll learn how to play the E minor chord (and with which fingers) as well as learn the following:
The notes of the Em piano chord are E G B.
You can play these notes in the left hand or the right hand. It's good to keep E as your lowest note in your left hand. The rest of the notes can be played anywhere else above that.
This really quick video will show you how to play the Em chord on piano and where the notes are.
I recommend using the standard finger positions for the E minor chord. This is using fingers 1, 3 and 5 (or thumb, middle finger and pinkie) in either hand.
Getting used to playing chords in this position is really great as it'll set you up for success later on in terms of your muscle memory.
The Em/G chord is a slash chord and it doesn't mean to play 2 chords at once. What it means is that for Em/G, you play G as the lowest note in your left hand. G is your bass note.
All the rest of the notes of the chord should be played above G.
For example, you could play G in your left hand (note only) and the full Em chord in your right hand.
Em/B is another type of slash chord and when you see this, it means to play B in your left hand as the bass note or lowest note you're going to play. Then you play the rest of the Em chords above that.
Chord progressions are a great way to practice a new chord. You can use the following chord progressions to practice the E minor chord (or just enjoy playing it).
Em Chord Progression 1:
Em Am G B
Em Chord Progression 2:
Em C G B
Em Chord Progression 3:
G D Em C
The E minor chord doesn't have to be played only in root position (E G B). You can play it in different inversions - standard positions you can learn to play chords in.
The Em piano chord inversions are:
Root position: E G B
1st inversion: G B E
2nd inversion: B E G
Every major key shares a key signature with a specific minor key. In the case of E minor, it shares a key signature with G major.
G major and E minor have the key signature of 1 sharp - F#.
So when you play in the key of E minor (or G major), just remember to play F# instead of F.
If you need more help understanding key signatures, visit the key signatures page.
Just above we learned that the key signature for E minor is F#. The rest of the notes are white notes. This means we can figure out the E minor scale.
Why is that useful?
One way to work out the notes of a minor chord is to use the minor scale. To make a minor chord, we can use the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the minor scale.
For example, E minor scale is:
E F# G A B C D E
The 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of that scale are: E G B.
E G B are E minor chord.
If you need to look up more chords, visit the Piano Chord Charts page or download your own copy below.
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