Piano Chord Encyclopedia

Lesson Steps
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    C Minor Chord

    C minor chord piano chart

    The C minor chord is comprised of three notes: C, E-flat, and G. It is the tonic triad in the key of C minor and has a shape of two outer white keys with a black key in the middle.

    How to play the C minor chord on the piano

    Let’s go through some charts and musical examples that will familiarize you with the chord and how to play it in the various different forms you will encounter in pieces of music.

    First, we’ll look at the most fundamental chords and inversions; then, we’ll explore some more complex voicings and real-world examples.

    The C minor chord in root position

    In root position, the notes of the chord are symmetrically stacked in thirds with the root on the bottom. The appearance on the staff is evenly spaced, as is the feeling of the space in between your fingers while playing.

    C Minor Chord in root position
    Note Order C E G
    Left Hand Fingering 5 3 1
    Right Hand Fingering 1 3 5
    Chord Symbol Cm

    The C minor chord in first inversion

    In first inversion, the third of the chord becomes the bottom note, and the root jumps up to the top.

    C Minor Chord in 1st inversion
    Note Order E G C
    Left Hand Fingering 5 3 1
    Right Hand Fingering 1 2 5
    Chord Symbol Cm6 or Cm/E

    The C minor chord in second inversion

    In second inversion, the fifth of the chord is on the bottom, and the third of the chord goes to the top.

    C Minor Chord in 2nd inversion
    Note Order G C E
    Left Hand Fingering 5 2 1
    Right Hand Fingering 1 3 5
    Chord Symbol Cm6/4 or Cm/G

    More voicings of the C minor Chord

    The voicing of a chord refers to the order and register of the notes being played. Once you have a good grasp of the fundamental inversions, try experimenting with some different voicings by re-ordering the chord tones and moving them around the piano.

    C minor chord theory and function

    The chord is the root in the key of , the dominant (V) in the key of, and the subdominant (IV) in the key of.

    Examples of the C minor chord in music

    To put the chord in context, here are some examples of famous pieces of music in which the C minor chord appears prominently.

    Lesson Steps
      Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
      Scroll to Top