Chords are built from the piano scales. The D scale, for example, looks like this:
All the major chords, for example, are formed using the same “formula”: Play the first, third, and fifth note on the scale.So, if we want to form the D Major chord, we would play the first, third, and fifth note on the D scale: D-F#-A
To understand chord inversions, you must note that the D Major chord CONTAINS the notes D, F#, and A, but the root note (D) may not necessarily be the first key you play. With three notes, there can be three variations of how to play this chord:
•Root position: D-F#-A (denoted as D Major, or D) •First inversion: F#-A- D (denoted as D/F#) •Second inversion: A-D-F# (denoted as D/A)
Try playing these inversions of the D Major chord, and notice how they sound slightly different, making the melody have a different tone.