Playing the G Minor Chord on Piano

Have you been practicing chords? This short article breaks down the G minor chord and teaches you to play it in all its positions and permutations. 

For a beginner, chords will take you to another level. Playing more than one note at a time is no small feat, and understanding how they work can be tough. 

Luckily, music theory has easy tools to help you figure out chords. By the end of this post, you will understand the mechanics of the G minor chord in all its variations and forms. 

Chords and inversions.

A chord is when you play two or more notes simultaneously. The most basic chord is a triad (three notes). 

A major chord is built from two intervals, a major third and then a minor third. You can figure it out by taking a major scale’s first, third, and fifth notes. 

You build minor chords from the major scale’s first, third, and fifth notes of a major scale, but the third is flat (lower by a semitone). This means it has two intervals, a minor third, and a major third.

An inversion is when you play these notes in a different order. You can play a triad in three different positions. 

Root position: 1, 3, 5.

First inversion: 3, 5, 1.

Second inversion: 5, 1, 3. 

Building a G minor chord. 

To understand a G minor chord, let’s start from the G major scale.

Take the first, third, and fifth degrees of the scale to make a G major chord: 

Now flatten the third degree of the scale (which is the second note of the chord). 

First inversion of G minor.

Remember, the first inversion is when you play the chord in the following order:

3, 5, 1.

G minor looks like this:

Second inversion of G minor.

The second inversion is when you play the chord in the following order:

5, 1, 3.

Gm second inversion

Want to learn more about chords? You can read up on them here

Advanced tip: Adding sevenths. 

Adding a seven is like adding salt and pepper to your chords. In the key of G, the seven is F#, meaning that the flat seven is F. You can make four new and unique types of chords by adding a seven to your G major chord or Gm chord. 

Play G minor in popular songs.

If you want to learn some popular songs that use the G minor chord, check these out:

  • Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
  • Neon – John Mayer
  • Everything in its Right Place – Radiohead
  • The Way You Move – OutKast

Practice makes perfect.

With a bit of practice and repetition, you’ll be playing G minor in no time. For extra guidance in a step-by-step system, download the Simply Piano app.