G Chord Piano Explained


Looking At G Chord Piano

Alongside C Chord, the G Chord is among the first chords that you will learn while undertaking keyboard or piano lessons. In some materials you may find it referred to as the G Major triad, G Maj or the G Major.

A chord involves playing three or more notes simultaneously to produce a harmonious sound. You can therefore play a G Chord on pianos and other instruments that allow you to play more than one note at once. So any version of the g is good!

To get the G chord on piano, you combine three notes: G, B, and D. It is an easy combination that you can play with either your right or left hand. This will help you learn how to play the g chord. Once you master how to play g major, then you deserve a pat on the back.

Locating the Keys

The G, B, and D notes on piano are all on white keys whose position you can identify using the black keys. The black keys on the piano keyboard are arranged in alternating batches of three and two.

The G key is found between the first and second black keys that are in a trio (see image). B is found to the right of the last (third) black key in the trio. D, on the other hand, is between the two black keys that are in a batch of two. There is also the batch of two black keys and D is located between them.

If you consider only the white keys, you will notice that G, B, and D are also in an alternating pattern.

Forget the E string

Inversions of the G Chord

G is the root of the G chord, hence the name. When the chord is played with G as the base/bottom note as illustrated above, the chord is said to be in root position i.e. G-B-D.

The G chord can, however, be played in varying positions on the piano. These positions are known as inversions.

  • 1st Inversion

In this variation of the G chord, B is the bottom/base note as illustrated below. The first inversion is therefore in the order B-D-G.


  • 2nd Inversion

In this inversion, the notes are in the D-B-G position with D acting as the bass note.

Ways to Play G Major

Fingering for the G Chord

Knowing how to place your fingers when playing the G chord on a piano can make your lesson and practice much easier. So these are how we play the g chords:

  • Right hand

When playing the G chord using the right hand, position your thumb on the G key. Stretch the fingers such that the pinky finger lies on the D key and the middle finger on B. The pointing finger and ring fingers will automatically be above the intermediate keys A and C respectively.

In first inversion, the thumb plays B, the pointing finger plays D and pinky finger G.

In 2nd Inversion, the thumb is on D, middle finger is on G and pinky plays B.

  • Left hand

On the left hand, the fingers’ positioning will appear to be in reverse compared to the right hand positioning. Therefore, the pinky will be on G, the middle finger will still be on B and the thumb on D. This is for the root position.

In first inversion, pinky plays B, middle finger D and thumb the G note.

In 2nd inversion the pinky is on D, pointing finger on B while the thumb pays G.

G Major Chord

If you ever played the guitar, the G major chord is one of the first chords you’ll be taught. Getting your ring finger in the correct position seems to be the least of your troubles. The g chord on guitar does take a little mastering at first, but quite soon you’ll know how to play the g.

G major chord

Guitar Chords

I first got into learning about chords while watching a friend from school in a music class. These beginner guitarists sat around in a circle and practiced chords. The entire guitar lessons for the first month was focused on learning each guitar chord. From the e string and the root note the navigation of the guitar is an interesting journey. Trying to work the bass note, was difficult to begin.

Why mention the guitar? I was told when I was young if you can play one instrument, then the other is easy to learn. What they never told me was learning chord shapes, understanding ring finger positioning, and taking control of the fretboard was more difficult than sitting at a piano and learning.

Yes, I very slowly learned the b string, the g string and although my guitar journey wasn’t a complete disaster, Eric Clapton has nothing to fear from my playing. Adapting the shape or fingering was the thing I kinda struggled with at first. I did get used to the ways of the guitar and when I could play the root note without any problems, I was happy. Learning all different strings seemed easier by learning from several songs. People say there are different ways to learn, some do it by ear, others by playing notes from the page. Understanding chord shape helped me to learn the guitar chord.

Barre Chords

One of the most frightening guitar lessons involved me trying to learn the Barre chords, which played in the third position takes some practice. Adjusting the fingering or shape is something that comes with experience. All guitar players will tell this to you. Often considered the most intimidating of guitar chords, once you get the hang of these, you’re good to go.

G Chord Piano Summary

Hopefully, you’ve learned about the g on the piano and will go ahead and practice. I’ve not mastered the guitar, but I’m trying to decide between a keyboard or a traditional piano for my next instrument upgrade.

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