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How to Play: E Major Chord on the Piano With Inversions (E, E/G#, E/B)

E Major Piano Chord

Learn how to play an E piano chord quickly and easily! Piano chords do NOT have to be hard. I’ll give you all the information you need to know about the E major chord in one quick read.

E Major is one of those chords that is so bright and happy. It’s not like the flat keys, which are usually a more subtle, mellow happiness.

E is all are nothing. It’s like pure joy. At least, that’s the way I think of it. If you’re new to the piano and learning chords, try to listen for the different tones in each one!

But anyway, that is not the full topic of today’s post…more like a thought to get you excited about learning the E Major chord!

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the details of this chord so you can learn everything about it.

What is the E chord?

First of all, what is an E chord anyway? Basically, it is a chord in the family of major chords, made up of 3 notes in what’s called a triad. While the E scale has 4 sharps in it, the E chord only uses one of them. It’s not too hard to learn at all!

How do you play an E chord on piano?

You will play an E major chord simply by pressing down the 3 notes in the chord simultaneously. See below for a diagram on which notes are included.

Notes in an E Chord

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

E Major Piano Chord

Let’s take a closer look at finding these notes (for beginners specifically!) One thing to keep in mind is that you should always find the root of the chord first – in this case, the E.

E can be found directly above any 2 black keys. It is also always going to be directly after D.

To find G#, move up two white notes from E. You’re now on G. To find G#, just move up a half step (simply by going to the next black note to the right!)

To find the last note, B, simply go 2 white notes up from G#.

E Chord piano Finger Position

You will want to use the right fingers whenever you play the E chord. 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

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

Learn More Piano Chords

E Chord Piano Inversions

There are so many variations of the E chord! Inversions are a great place to start when learning these variations.

In order to make E inversions, we are just going to mix up the order of the notes we already found. It is really a lot more simple than people sometimes think it is.

E/G# – First Inversion E Chord

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

E Major First Inversion Chord Piano

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

Related: Learn to play the D chord

E/B – Second Inversion E Chord

E second inversion is also known as E/B, for the same reason as the previous inversion. In this chord, B is on the bottom rather than E or G#. Just take G# 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 E chord in the left hand

Let’s talk a little more about playing the E chord in the left hand on the piano. See, you could take the inversions we learned and play them lower on the piano. But honestly, that usually sounds too “thick.”

Instead, I recommend playing around with different voicings of the E chord. Here is an example of how you could play an E chord split between the left AND right hand:

  1. Play a regular root position E chord in your right hand
  2. Put any note in the E chord down as a base note in the left hand. You can play a low E to make it root position, or you could play a low G# or B for first/second inversion.
  3. You can also mix it up and experiment! Change up the inversion in your right hand and the bass note in your left hand to get different sounds.

What are the chords in the key of E?

Now we have covered the most basic things about the E chord. But what about OTHER chords in the key of E? You can build a chord off of each note in the E scale. Here’s a quick list you can refer to:

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

Common Chord Progressions in the key of E

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

  • E – B – C#m – A (I – V – vi – IV)
  • E – A – B (I – IV – V)
  • F#m – B – E (ii – V – I)
  • E – A – B – F#m (I – IV – V – ii)

Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the E major chord, along with some other fun tips about the Key of E! This bright and colorful chord is a favorite of mine, and you can learn it too. Start practicing by first learning the root position E, and then moving onto inversions and different voicings. I know you can do it!