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D Major Piano Chord with Inversions (D, D/F#, D/A)

D Major piano chord

Learn how to play the D major chord on the piano with this easy tutorial! The D chord is very easy to play, and I’ve got you covered with easy keyboard diagrams, fingerings, inversions, and more.

If you’re getting started playing major chords on the piano, it might be a little overwhelming. There are lots of chords to learn! But don’t worry, the more chords you learn the easier it gets.

Today we’re going to be focusing solely on the D, chord which is very simple, even for the beginning pianist. Read on to see what I mean.

What is the D chord on piano?

First of all, what is a D chord anyway? Basically, a D chord is a chord in the family of major chords, made up of 3 notes – D, F#, and A. Because it is made up of 3 notes, it is called a triad.

How to Play a D Piano Chord

To play the D chord, you will simply play the 3 notes included in the chord all together at once. See below for a diagram on which notes are included.

Notes in a D Chord

In it’s simplest form (root position) the D chord includes 3 notes: D, F#, and A. The D is the root of the chord, the F# the major third, and the A the perfect fifth. Below you can see these notes on the piano.

Okay, now let’s take a closer look at finding these notes even if you’re a beginner. Always find the root of the chord first – in this case, the D. D can be found in between any of the 2 black keys. It is also always going to be directly after C.

To find F#, move up two white notes from D. You’re now on F. To find F#, just move up a half step (just go to the next black note to the right!)

To find A, simply go 2 white notes up from F#.

D Chord piano Finger Position

Whenever you play the D chord, you want to make sure you use the right fingers. For most triads, this fingering will be exactly the same, which is nice!

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

Keep in mind that finger 1 is your thumb, finger 3 your middle finger, and finger 5 your pinky.

Learn More Piano Chords

D Chord Inversions

Of course, you can actually play the D chord in many different ways OTHER than root position! To make D inversions, we are just going to mix up the order of the notes we already found.

D/F# – First Inversion D Chord

D first inversion is also known as “D/F#” – the reason for this is that the F# is the note on the bottom. As you can see below, you’ll flip the D from the bottom onto the top for first inversion.

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

D/A – Second Inversion D Chord

D second inversion is also known as D/A, for the same reason as the previous inversion. In this chord, A is on the bottom rather than D or F#. Just take the F# from first inversion and place it on the top to form second inversion!

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

Playing the D chord in the left hand

Let’s talk a little more about playing the D chord in the left hand on the piano. See, you could take those inversions and play them lower on the piano. But honestly, that might sound a little too thick.

Instead, I recommend playing different voicings of the D chord. For example here is how you could play a D chord with the left AND right hand:

  1. Play a regular root position D chord in your right hand
  2. Put any note of the D chord down as a base note in the left hand. Play a low D for root position, low F# for first inversion, or A for second inversion.
  3. Feel free to mix it up too and experiment! You can change up the inversion in your right hand and the bass note in your left hand.

What are the chords in the key of D?

So now you know some of the most basic things about the D chord. But what about OTHER chords in the key of D? You can build a chord off of each note of the D scale. Here’s a quick list you can refer to:

I: D
ii: Em
iii: F#m
IV: G
V: A
vi: Bm
vii: C# diminished

Common D Major Chord Progressions

Once you know those chords in the key of D, you can start putting them together to form chord progressions. Here are a few common chord progressions you’ll see in D major songs:

  • D – A – Bm – G (I – V – vi – IV)
  • D – G – A (I – IV – V)
  • Em – A – D (ii – V – I)

Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a whole lot about playing the D major chord on the piano, along with some other tips about the key of D in general. So now it’s time to start practicing! Go sit down at your piano or keyboard. Start small with the root position D chord, and then experiment with different inversions and chord progressions.