;

E Minor Piano Chord & Inversions: Em, Em/G, Em/B

E minor chord piano

After you learn the A minor chord, a great stepping stone is to learn the E minor piano chord next! The E minor chord also has zero sharps in the chord, but in the key it has 1 sharp (so it will be easy to learn other chords in the key as well).

If you want to play pop songs or worship songs with E minor in them, you may want to learn some other major chords first: G major, D major, and C major. These chords are very often used in together to form progressions in songs (more on that toward the end of this post!)

You may also want to learn the E major chord first so you can see how the major chord is transformed into the minor chord.

What is the E minor chord on piano?

The E minor chord is a minor triad without any flats or sharps. It is formed just like any other minor chord—by taking the major chord and lowering the third a half step. If that sounds tricky now, don’t worry! The diagrams and tips I have for you should help.

How do you play E minor on the keyboard?

You will play a E 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 an E Minor Chord

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

E minor piano chord diagram

Em Chord Piano Finger Position

Besides learning the notes of the E minor chord, you also need to think about fingering! While fingering may seem tedious, it is a very important part of 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.

Em Piano Chord Inversions

After you learn the basic E 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.

Em/G – First Inversion Chord

E minor first inversion is known as Em/G. This is because the G is now on the bottom, followed by B, and then E on the top.

e minor first inversion Em/G

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

Em/B – Second Inversion Chord

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

e minor second inversion Em/B

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

Next, it is a good idea to practice your inversions in BOTH hands—separately, and then together when you’re ready. Practice starting on the root chord (the most basic Em). Go up to first and second inversion, play the root again on top, and then come back down.

E Minor Inversions on the Staff

It is a good idea not only to play the E 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 E minor chords and inversions in an actual piece of music!

E minor inversions on the staff

What chords are in the key of E Minor?

E minor is not just a chord. It is its own key and scale too! And guess what? A new chord can be built off of every note in the E minor scale. Knowing these chords is particularly helpful because they all sound nice together (try switching between them in the left hand and improvising in the right hand!)

Here’s a quick list of all the Em chords you can refer to:

E 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 E minor chord progressions:

  • Em – C – G – D (i – VI – III – VII)
  • Am – G – Em – D (iv, III, i, VII)
  • Em – G – Am – C (i, III, iv, VI)

More Questions About E Minor

What is an E minor 7 chord?

An Em7 is similar to a regular Em chord, but with an added note. You guessed it, the added note is the 7th! D is the seventh note of the E natural minor scale. So an Em7 is spelled E, G, B, D.

Is E minor the same as G major?

No, not technically. E minor is a different key, scale, and chord that is separate from G major. However, they do have the same key signature—they both have 1 sharp, F# in the key. Because of this, they are known as relative major and minor chords.

What goes well with E minor?

Any of the chords in the key of E minor will go well with Em itself. So chords like G, C, D, A minor, and B minor!

Conclusion

E minor is another easy minor chord to learn if you are just starting out. It is spelled with three white keys, E, G, and B. Make sure to learn the basic root position chord first, and then move onto inversions and chord progressions. Keep practicing, and pretty soon you’ll be an E minor pro!