Let’s look at how to build an E5 chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any other fifth chord.
What are Fifth Chords?
Fifth chords are technically not chords, since the definition of a chord is “three or more notes sounded together”. But we’ll call them chords since they’re treated like chords at the piano.
To play a fifth chord, play the first and fifth notes of the matching major scale.
Another way to think of fifth chords is to play the lowest and highest notes of the matching major chord, leaving out the middle note (the third).
How to Play an E5 Chord on the Piano
So to play an E5 chord on the piano, we’ll play the first and fifth notes of the E major scale:
E – B
We can use this pattern to build any other fifth chord, by playing the first and fifth notes of the matching major scale.
Other Chord Types
Some other chord types you can learn are:
Now you know how to build an E5 chord, and you can use this pattern to build any other fifth chord.
Fifth chords are really simple to use at the piano. They can work as chord substitutions for major and minor chords, since the middle note distinguishing major and minor chords is omitted. They also create more of an open-ended sound, which can be nice to incorporate into creative playing.