It's a beautiful chord on the piano. Like many other flat chords, it has a nice smooth sound.
Because Eb is a flat key, it feels different than white key chords.F,GRAMSoAMajor. But don't let that put you off! It is very easy to play. I'll teach you everything you need to know and give you charts and tips as you learn.
What is an Eb chord?
When you see the term "Eb", it is an abbreviation forEs.A "b" is a flat character in music theory.
The E flat chord is basically a chord from the major chord family consisting of 3 tones.what is called a triad.It is formed like any other major chord, building a major third and then a minor third.
If that sounds confusing, don't worry! I'll put it in beginner terms soon and show you lots of keyboard diagrams to help you out.
Is Eb major the same as D# major?
Well, before we go any further, we have to talk about an important topic. You may be wondering if Eb major and D# major are the same chord.
The answer is yes and no.
The physical notes are the same, yes, but the chord notation is different.
I know this can be confusing, but each black key on the piano has TWO names. The note Eb can also be D# (since it is one semitone UP from D and one semitone DOWN from E). Flats always go half a step down and crosses always go half a step up.
(Want to learn more about flats and sharps?Look at this video).
Like I said, the Eb and D# chords are in a sense the same because they use the exact same notes. Your hand will be in the same place when you play these two chords.
However thespelling, spellingthese two chords are different.
Here are the two spellings:
D# – F## (Doppelkreuz) – G#
Most pianists prefer E flat major notation because it is simpler. It has two normal flats and a white touch. D#, on the other hand, has a tricky spelling with an F hash.
I won't go into the details of double sharps in this post (if you're interested, please read my post specifically on D# major). The main thing to know for now is that Eb is much simpler and if you're a beginner, you'll want to start here!
How to Play a Piano Chord in E Flat
Now let's get into the details of the Eb chord!
You play an Eb major chord by simply pressing all 3 notes in the triad at the same time. Below is a chart with annotations included.
Notes in Eb chord
In its normal (root) form, the E flat major chord contains 3 tones: Eb, G and Bb. Note that the first and third notes are B while the middle one is a white key.
One way to think of it is as the opposite of the D, A, and E chords. These chords have a cross in the middle. But Eb has a white button in the middle with black buttons on each side!
Anyway, the Eb is the root of the chord, the G is the major third, and the Bb is the perfect fifth. Check out E flat major on keyboard below!
Let's talk a bit more about how to find these notes if you're a beginning pianist.
What piano key is Eb?
When learning this chord, the first thing to do is find out what it's called.rootof the chord– the note at the bottom. In this case, that note is Es, which, as we discussed, is a black key.
Eb, as the name suggests, can be found by going directly below any E. Just go to the first black key to the left of an E (musically that means down a semitone!)
Another way of looking at it is that Eb is directly above any D.
Hopefully one of these methods sticks in your memory so you can always find Eb easily!
Find G and B on the piano
After finding Eb, you need to find the white button in the middle and the second level. While this may seem intimidating, just take your time.
Remember that these 3 notes are a third apart in terms of intervals. Be sure to use the keyboard diagram while looking at your own piano to make sure you get it right!
Once you know WHERE the notes are, it's time to figure out which fingers to put where! If there's one thing you should know right now, it's this.Fingering is important.If all my students realized that, they could save so muchwasted exercise!
If you think these chords are too small to matter much, think again. Practicing chord fingerings will help you a lot in the future!
The beauty is that theThe fingerings of the major chords are always the same.Yes, even for flat chords! Even though this chord feels different because of the layers, you'll still be using the exact same fingering.
Right hand fingering: 1 – 3 – 5
Left hand fingering: 5 – 3 – 1
Remember that finger 1 is your thumb, finger 3 is your middle finger, and finger 5 is your little finger.
More piano chords to learn
- G7 Agreement
Eb chord inversions
Now that you know the simplest form of the Eb chord, you should start trying out inversions! While fingering is one important aspect of chords, inversions are another. Don't skip this.
Again, Eb's inversions will feel a bit strange due to the two references. However, the more you practice putting your hand in the cast, the more normal it will feel.
By the way, if you're not sure what the inversions are, they're basically the SAME notes mixed in a different order. Instead of having the Eb note at the bottom, let's switch and put G and Bb at the bottom. I'll explain below!
Eb/G - First inversion chord
The first inversion of Eb is also known as "Eb/G"; this is because G is now down. As you can see below, for the first inversion, invert the Eb from the bottom up.
Right hand fingering: 1 – 2 – 5
Left hand fingering: 5 – 3 – 1
Eb/Bb - Second inversion chord
The second inversion of Eb is known as Eb/Bb for the same reason as the last chord: the Bb will now be down!
To play this on the piano, start with your hand in first inversion. Then take the bottom G and place it on top.
Now Bb will be down, which is exactly what we want! See below:
Right hand fingering: 1 – 3 – 5
Left hand fingering: 1 – 2 – 5
As a final step, I highly encourage you to alternate between ALL the different inversions as you practice! I usually have my students start on the root chord, go up inversions, and then come back to the root.
This will help you get used to how the different chords feel with the layers.
Play E flat major chords with your left hand
After you learn how to play the Eb chord and inversions, you can do some cool stuff with your left hand, too!
If you try to play the basic chords lower down on the piano with your left hand, it won't sound very good. This creates a very “fat” sound. You can't hear the notes very clearly. My students often wrinkle their noses when they hear a chord like this haha.
So instead of just playing the chords in the left hand,I recommend experimenting with different voicings of the E flat chord.
Basically, this means that you'll still play the major chord with your right hand... but then you'll also play a bass note with your left hand.
Here's an example of how you might play an Eb chord split between BOTH hands:
- Begin by playing the Eb chord in regular root position in your right hand
- Place each note you learned in the Eb chord as a root note in the left hand. You can play a low Eb to root it, or you can play a low G or Bb and that would result in a 1st/2nd inversion.
- Experiment with different note combinations! You can change the inversion in your right hand and the bass note in your left hand to get different sounds.
Chords in the key of Eb
You are doing great! We've written quite a bit about the Eb chord, but there's still a lot to learn.
Did you know that there are other chords that can go with this chord? In fact, a chord can be formed from any note in the Eb scale.
Here's a short list you can check out:
vii: diminished D
There are 3 flat chords in this list, along with some minor chords and a diminished one. Take each chord one at a time as you learn them, and try a few if you like.Piano Chord Memorization Tips!
What chords go well with Eb?
Each of the chords listed above goes well with the Eb chord since they are all in the same key (3 flats). However, they sound best when you play them in a specific order. This is called a chord progression.
Common chord progressions in the key of Eb
Playing chord progressions in the key of Eb involves (you guessed it!) a lot of flats. But don't let that intimidate you. The more you play these chords, the better you will recognize them.
- Eb – Bb – Cm – Ab (I – V – Vi – IV)
- Es-Ab-Bb (I-IV-V)
- Fm-Bb-Es (II-V-I)
- Es-Ab-Bb-Fm (I-IV-V-II)
It really is a beautiful chord and key. It has a nice smooth sound like many other flat chords. Keep practicing your notes, inversions, and fingerings, and in no time you'll be playing Eb chords like a pro!