How to Play an Em6 Chord on the Piano

Minor Sixth Chords

Let’s look at how to build an Em6 (“E minor sixth”) chord on the piano. We can use this pattern to build any other minor sixth chord.

What Are Minor Sixth Chords?

Minor sixth chords are minor chords with an added note. The added note is the sixth note of the matching major scale.

To build a minor sixth chord, we’ll start by building a minor chordMinor chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching minor scale.

Another way to build a minor chord is to build a major chord, then lower the middle note 1/2 step.

To convert the minor chord into a minor sixth chord, we’ll add the sixth note of the matching major scale.

piano chords chart pdf printable

Chord Types Printable

Learn to play 17 types of piano chords using 12 different root notes with this 35-page PDF! Chords are sorted both by their root note and type.

How to Build an Em6 Chord on the Piano

Now let’s build an Em6 chord. First, we’ll build an E minor chord by taking an E major chord and lowering the middle note 1/2 step: E – G – B. Then we’ll add the sixth note of the E major scale, C♯.

So to play an Em6 chord we’ll play:

E – G – B – C♯

em6 chord piano

We can use this pattern to build any other minor sixth chord, by building a minor chord, then adding the sixth note of the matching major scale.

Other Chord Types

Some other chord types you can learn are:

Major
Minor
Augmented
Diminished
Second
Minor Second
Suspended
Fifth
Sixth
Seventh
Minor Seventh
Major Seventh
Ninth
Minor Ninth
Major Ninth

Conclusion

Now you know how to build an Em6 chord on the piano, and you can use this knowledge to build any other minor sixth chord!

It’s nice to know how to build different types of chords, so we have lots of options at the piano. Minor sixth chords can sometimes make nice substitutions for minor chords, since the extra note creates more of an open sound.

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