Chord Inversions for Piano

Chord inversions for piano are a KEY to the door into the world of classical music! These two very different sheets will get your students further along in this journey.

A very intuitive approach

Piano chord inversions sheet music

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

This exercise sheet with its broken chords turns out to be FUN after a couple of weeks of familiarity...

Get out your metronome

The TIC... TIC... TIC... of your metronome works beautifully with the above sheet.  Once students have achieved accuracy with the fingering, hands separate, find a setting that matches their current speed with the quarter notes.  That's a little boring... but here is what's fun:

Set the metronome to 40 - 50 tics per minute, and show them how to match THREE BEATS to each tic.  Tic-2-3 Tic-2-3, Tic-2-3 Tic-2-3, Tic-2-3 Tic-2-3, Tic-2-3 Tic-2-3!  

This is such a fun challenge that I have had students really push themselves to put this exercise hands together and "beat" the metronome.

Approach inversions in stages

Initially my students will have been introduced to chord inversions by way of the Basic Chords and Scales sheet, found on this page. 

A more aggressive exercise

Chord inversions for piano, sheet music

Please scroll down the page for the download link.

This sheet is harder - instead of one note at a time, one finger at a time, all 3 fingers must quickly adjust in this harder approach.

What makes this sheet so useable?

The fact that each chord is struck TWICE makes this exercise very approachable.  That gives students time to settle in and emphasize each chord before moving on.

First, the tonic chord (C) is moved up and back down, an octave.  Careful fingering is a necessity, to play these chords well.

Line 2 is the subdominant chord, the IV chord (F).  As with the C chord, each triad is played twice.

In line 3, the dominant chord, G, which is the V chord, is played in the very same manner.

Really - how often do you get to use the very top key?

In the last line, we have a REAL CHALLENGE - only the first two chords are the same, and then it's MOVE - MOVE - MOVE!  Each chord is struck just once, all the way up to the top note of the piano!  I'm predicting that this will end up being students' favorite part of the exercise.

Preparation for the classical repertoire

Both of these pages are very new exercises for my late elementary/intermediate students, but I'm rubbing my hands with glee, anticipating the improvement in their understanding of chords.

Some pieces are full of chord inversions, blocked and/or broken.  The Bach C Prelude comes to mind, and the opening measures of the Pachelbel Canon.  And Beethoven - LOTS of Beethoven!

I'm thinking that the two students I have working through the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata, for example, would have benefited from preparation with a whole set of sheets like this, one in each major and minor key.

And popular music, too...

One of my students who just started Moonlight Sonata is also playing an arrangement of "Clocks", which is full of repetitive and fun chord inversions.  Understanding what is going on seems to brings more pleasure to playing, and a quicker grasp of what's going on. 

I have another student working on an arrangement of "The Mandelorian", and I've seen him catch on immediately when I pointed out, "This is an F minor chord," etc.  (Look here to find major chords and scales.  You can find minor chords and scales on this page.)


The links to the chord inversions sheets:



Download Broken Chord Inversions Page



Download Chord Inversions for Piano in the key of C



Music for Music Teachers has other great free resources for piano teachers!  Take a look:

Rote Learning - leaving the written page behind (or treating it like a map!)



MANY OF  THE BEGINNING WORKSHEETS ARE ALSO FOUND IN THE BOOK "SONGS OLD & SONGS NEW"

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.