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C Minor Piano Chord & Inversions: Cm, cm/Eb, Cm/G

c minor chord piano

Learn how to play the C minor chord on the piano with easy keyboard tutorials, fingerings, and more! The C minor chord is a sad sounding chord with one flat in the center. If you already know one of the most common chords on the piano (C Major) you should definitely try out C minor!

What is the C minor chord on piano?

C major is usually the first chord students learn. It is very easy. But what about C minor? It really isn’t all that hard either!

The C minor chord is a minor triad with 1 flat, Eb. It is formed just like any other minor chord—by taking the major chord and lowering the third a half step. In this case, the E becomes an E flat.

If that sounds tricky now, don’t worry! The diagrams and tips I have for you should help.

How do you play C minor on the keyboard?

You will play a C minor chord simply by pressing down the 3 notes in the triad simultaneously. See below for a diagram on which notes are included.

Notes in a C Minor Chord

In it’s simplest form (root position) the C minor chord includes 3 notes: C, Eb, and G. C is the root of the chord, the Eb the minor third, and the G the perfect fifth. Below you can see C minor on the keyboard!

Cm Chord Piano Finger Position

When you play the C minor chord, you’ll want to make sure you use the right fingers on the notes. This is called fingering, and trust me when I say it is super important when playing the piano!

The nice thing is that the fingerings for minor chords are always the same. And even better, the fingering is the same as major chords! Even though the number of flats and sharps vary, the fingering remains the same.

Right hand fingering: 1 – 3 – 5
Left hand fingering: 5 – 3 – 1

Don’t forget that finger 1 is your thumb, finger 3 your middle finger, and finger 5 your pinky.

Cm Piano Chord Inversions

After you learn the basic C minor triad, the next step is inversions! If you’ve already learned your major chords, you should know that inversions are basically just the same notes in the triad but mixed up in a different order.

Cm/Eb – First Inversion Chord

C minor first inversion is known as Cm/Eb. This is because the Eb is now on the bottom, followed by G, and then C on the top.

Right Hand fingering: 1 – 2 – 5
Left hand fingering: 5 – 3 – 1

Cm/G – Second Inversion Chord

C minor second inversion is known as Cm/G, for the same reason as the previous chord. This time, the G is on the bottom, followed by C, and Eb on top.

Right hand fingering: 1 – 3 – 5
Left hand fingering: 1 – 2 – 5

After you start getting a feel for each of these chords, you’ll want to practice them all together. Start with your right hand and play the root position (basic) Cm chord first. Play first inversion, second inversion, and then another root position on top. Then, come back down. Do the same with your left hand.

Once you get each hand down by itself, make sure to put them together and go up and down your inversions with both hands at the same time!

C Minor Inversions on the Staff

It is a good idea not only to play the C minor inversions, but to see what they look like written out on the staff. The more you study this, the easier it will be to recognize C minor chords and inversions in an actual piece of music!

c minor inversions on the staff

What chords are in the key of C Minor?

While C minor is a specific chord, it also is a key with other chords in it too! In fact, a chord can be built off of every single note in the G minor scale. All of these chords work well together with C minor when used in chord progressions (see farther down for more info).

Here are all the chords in the key of C minor (from the natural minor scale):

C Minor Chord Progressions

The best way to use those chords listed above is to put them into a chord progression! This is simply an order of playing a few chords that is often repeated multiple times. Here are a few of my favorite C minor chord progressions:

  • Cm – Ab – Eb – Bb (i – VI – III – VII)
  • Fm – Eb – Cm – Bb (iv, III, i, VII)
  • Cm – Eb – Fm – Eb (i, III, iv, VI)

Another chord you will commonly see in C minor is G major. This is because another version of the C minor scale, harmonic minor, has the B natural included! Transitioning from a major V chord to a minor i chord is very common, espeically in classical music. Try playing the G chord and then the Cm chord, and you’ll see it sounds very good and resolute!

More Questions About C Minor

What is the mood of C minor?

C minor is sad-sounding like all minor chords. However, it does have its own unique mood. I like to describe it as solemn and filled with longing.

Is C minor the same as E flat major?

No, C minor is not the same as Eb major. While these two keys have the same key signature, they are still separate. They are known as relative major and minor keys. Who know that there was relatives in music theory?! 😉

Is C minor the same thing as C major?

No, c minor and major are very different. The C major chord is spelled C, E, and G, and sounds happy. Whereas, the C minor chord has the E lowered to an Eb, and sounds more sad and melancholy.

Conclusion

C minor is a chord filled with sadness and longing. It is easy to learn since only one note is different from the popular C major chord! Make sure you practice the basic chord, the fingerings, and the inversions first. Once you get those down, you can try some chord progressions and maybe even some songs! You can do it!