F Minor Piano Chord & Inversions: Fm, Fm/Ab, Fm/C

Want to learn how to play the F minor chord on the piano? I have you covered! F minor is a deeply sad chord that is found in lots of different musical compositions and even popular songs sometimes. Keep reading for keyboard diagrams, fingering help, inversions, and more!

Before you learn F minor, it is a good idea to know the F major chord. The key of F major has only 1 flat, while the key of F minor has 4. Plus, once you know the F major chord the Fm chord will be more understandable.

You can also learn chords like Ab major and Db major first because these are commonly used alongside the Fm chord. This is optional, though.

So, are you ready to get started?

What is the F minor chord on piano?

The F minor chord is a minor triad with 1 flat, Ab. 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 F minor on the keyboard?

You will play an F 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 F Minor Chord

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

Fm Chord Piano Finger Position

Before moving on, we need to talk about the fingering to use for the F minor chord. Luckily, if you’ve learned other major or minor chords, you should be well prepared. Just remember that fingering is important and you don’t want to skip it!

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.

Fm Piano Chord Inversions

After you learn the basic F 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.

Fm/Ab – First Inversion Chord

F minor first inversion is known as Fm/Ab. This is because the Ab is now on the bottom, followed by C, and then F on the top.

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

Fm/C – Second Inversion Chord

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

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

Now that you’ve learned the basics of inversions, you want to practice them a lot! Start by doing your hands separately. Do the basic F minor chord, then go up the inversions until you reach another basic F minor chord. Then, come back down. You can do this in both hands separately, and then put them together when you’re comfortable enough!

F Minor Inversions on the Staff

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

f minor inversions on the staff

What chords are in the key of F Minor?

F minor may be a chord on its own, but it also is a scale, and a key! When thinking about F minor as a whole, you can build more chords off of each note in the scale. All of these chords work well together and can form chord progressions of songs.

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

F 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 F minor chord progressions:

  • Fm – Db – Ab – Eb (i – VI – III – VII)
  • Bbm – Ab – Fm – Eb (iv, III, i, VII)
  • Fm – Ab – Bbm – Db (i, III, iv, VI)

Another chord that you may see in F minor sheet music is the C major or C7 chord. This is because the F harmonic minor scale raises the 7th from Eb to E natural (giving us a C chord as the V chord). Transitioning from a major V chord to a minor i chord is very common, espeically in classical music. Try it for yourself by playing C followed by Fm and you might see what I mean!

More Questions About F Minor

What is the 5 chord in F minor?

In F minor, the 5 (or V) chord is C. Whether it is C minor or C major depends on the exact scale you’re using. Similar to what we discussed above, the chord will be C major if using a harmonic minor scale, but it will be C minor if using a natural minor scale.

Is F minor the same as A flat major?

No, F minor and Ab are different. They have the same key signature (4 flats) but they are still separate keys. Keys like this are known as relative major and minor keys.

Is F minor the same as F?

No, F minor and F are different. If you see the term “F” on a chord chart, for example, that means you should play an F major chord. This spelling is F, A, C. If you see the term “Fm” however, then you’ll want to play the chord we have discussed in this post.

What goes well with F minor?

Any chords in the key of F will be go well with the F minor chord. For example, Bb minor, Ab, Db, Eb, etc.


The F minor chord may be sad and sorrowful, but it is still easy to learn! This chord consists of two white notes and one black note in the center. So now it’s your turn—sit down and start practicing! Start by learning the basic F minor chord, then move onto inversions, chord progressions, and more. In no time, you’ll be a master at the Fm piano chord!