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How to Play the G Major Piano Chord & Inversions (G, G/B, G/D)

G Major Piano Chord

Want to learn how to play the G major chord on the piano? If you’re just getting started with piano chords, you will love these easy keyboard diagrams of the G chord, as well as lots of tips on inversions, fingerings, and more.

Oh the beloved G major…one of the easiest keys to play in on the piano! With just 1 sharp, this key is a great one to learn for beginners after they learn C major.

Even better – the G chord itself doesn’t even include the sharp in the key. So all you’ll need to learn to play this chord is 3 simple white keys.

So: let’s get started learning all about the G chord!

What is the G chord?

First of all, what is an G chord anyway? Basically, it is a chord in the family of major chords, made up of 3 notes in what’s called a triad. It is formed like any other major chord – by building a major third and then a minor third on top of that. If that sounds tricky, don’t worry. The diagrams and tips I’ll give you will make it very easy!

How do you play a G chord on piano?

You will play a G major 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 G Chord


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

G Major Piano Chord - Keyboard Diagram

Let’s talk more about finding these notes on the piano if you’re a complete beginner.

First of all, keep in mind is that you should always find the root of the chord first – in this case, the G note. G can be found in between 3 black keys on the left. It can be easy to get confused between G and A, because they look very similar! So just remember that G can be found by

  1. Finding the first Black key of the 3 black keys
  2. Going up to the very next white note on the right

Next, you’ll need to find B. Simply go two white notes up from G, and there is B! B is also directly below any C.

To find the last note, D, simply move up two white notes from B. D will always be above C and below E.

G Chord piano Finger Position

There is another important thing to keep in mind when playing the F chord beside just the notes – fingerings. You want to make sure you use the right fingers anytime you play the piano (I know it seems annoying at first, but it will help in the long run, trust me!)

The nice thing is that the fingerings for major chords are always 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.

Learn More Piano Chords

G Chord Piano Inversions

Once you have the most basic form of the G chord down, you can start learning inversions. An inversion is basically the same notes, but mixed up into a different order. Inversions are formed by taking the bottom note of the chord and putting it on the top. It is really not as hard as people make it out to be!

G/B – First Inversion G Chord

G Major Piano Chord - First Inversion keyboard diagram


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

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

G/D – Second Inversion G Chord

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

G Major Piano Chord - Second inversion keyboard diagram

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

Playing the G chord in the left hand

After you learn the G chord and its inversions, you might begin to wonder how it can be played in the left hand. If you’ve ever tried playing the full chords down low with your left hand, you might have noticed that it sounds very “thick.” Basically, it doesn’t sound good at all.😜

So instead of just playing the chords in the left hand, I recommend experimenting with different voicings of the G chord.

This basically just means you will still play the main chord in your right hand…but then you will also play a bass note to go along with it in your left hand.

Here is an example of how you could play a G chord split between the left AND right hand:

  1. Play the regular root position G chord in your right hand
  2. Put any note you learned in the G chord down as a base note in the left hand. You can play a low G to make it root position, or you could play a low B or D to make it 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 G?

Good job! You now know a lot of basic concepts concerning the G chord. But there is still so much to learn about the key of G! We won’t go over everything in this post, but I do want to give you a list of the OTHER chords in the key of G.

You can build a chord off of each note in the G scale. Here’s a quick list you can refer to:

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

Common Chord Progressions in the key of G

Once you know those chords above in the key of G, you can start putting them together to form chord progressions. A chord progressions is just a series of chords that are commonly used in sequence with each other.

Here are a few common chord progressions you’ll see in G major songs:

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

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped you in your chord journey! The G chord is one of the easiest chords out there, and once you learn it there are endless possible ways to use it. So now it’s your turn – sit down at the piano and start practicing! Start by playing G in its simplest form, and then move onto inversions and voicings. Once you get going, there’s no stopping you!