How to Identify Chords Written on Sheet Music – Lesson for Beginners

This easy lesson is designed to help you understand how to look at a chord and know what chord is written. By the end of the lesson, you should have a basic understanding on identifying the inversion and root of the chord you are looking at.

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This lesson reviews root position, 1st inversion, and 2nd inversion triads. Depending on which position the notes of the chord are in tells you what the name (root) of the chord is. If the chord is in root position, the root is on the bottom. For 1st inversion, the root is at the top of the chord. For 2nd inversion, the root note is in the middle of the chord. Being able to identify chords by sight as a beginner will really help with reading sheet music and playing piano.

00:00 Intro
00:54 Root position chords
01:45 1st inversion chords
02:35 2nd inversion chords
03:00 Review of major and minor chords
07:45 Chords split between voices

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