Root Note

Definition of Root Note:

The root note is the pitch upon which a chord is based; the fundamental note on top of which the intervals of a chord are built. A chord is named after its root note (see keynote).

Look at the intervals in a G major chord:


However, even though the root note acts as the tonal foundation of a chord, it’s not always the bottom note (or “bass”):

  • G Major Root Position:  G - B - D
  • G Major 1st Inversion:  B - D - G
  • G Major 2nd Inversion:  D - G - B


G remains the root in each chord inversion, despite its location. G major in the 2nd inversion has D as the bass, but this does not make it a D major chord (which would be D - F# - A).

 ►  Play Piano Chord Inversions With Illustrated Keyboard Fingering


Also Known As:

  • la fondamentale; basso fondamentale (It)
  • la basse fondamentale (Fr)
  • Grundton (Ger)


More Chord Terminology:

Musical Symbols:
Staff & Barlines
The Grand Staff
Key Signatures
Time Signatures

Note Lengths
Dotted Notes
Music Rests
Tempo Commands

Dynamics & Volume
8va & Octave Commands

Repeat Signs
Segno & Coda Signs
Pedal Marks
Piano Chords



Beginner Piano Lessons
 ▪  Notes of the Piano Keys
 ▪  The Point Of Double-Sharps
 ▪  Finding Middle C on the Piano
 ▪  Essential Piano Fingering
 ▪  Comparing Major & Minor Chords

Getting Started on Keyboards
 ▪  Finding the Right Piano Teacher
 ▪  Sitting Correctly at the Keys
 ▪  Playing Piano vs. Electric Keyboard
 ▪  How to Buy a Used Piano

Piano Chords
 ▪  Chord Types & Symbols in Sheet Music
 ▪  Root Notes & Chord Inversion
 ▪  Diminished Chords & Dissonance
 ▪  Essential Piano Chord Fingering
 ▪  Different Types of Arpeggiated Chords

Piano Care
 ▪  Everyday Piano Care
 ▪  Safely Whiten Your Piano Keys
 ▪  When to Tune a Piano
 ▪  Easy-to-Spot Signs of Piano Damage
 ▪  Piano Room Temps & Humidity Levels

Piano Recitals & Performing
 ▪  What to Eat & Drink Before a Performance
 ▪  Concert Etiquette for the Audience
 ▪  Warming Up for a Piano Performance
 ▪  Overcoming Mistakes On Stage

♫ Musical Quizzes!
 ● Identify the Piano Keys
 ● Key Signature Quiz
 ● Note Length & Rest Quiz (U.S. or U.K. English)
 ● Grand Staff Notes Quiz
 ● Time Signature & Rhythm Quiz 

Reading Piano Music
• Note-Lengths in U.K. & U.S. English
• Notes of the Piano Keys
• Memorize the Grand Staff Notes
• Reading Music Rests

Piano Chords
• Easy Bass Piano Chords
• Chord Types & Symbols
• Piano Chord Fingering
• Diminished Chords & Dissonance

Reading Musical Symbols
• Note Accents & Articulation Marks
• How to Play Dotted Notes
• Accidentals & Double-Accidentals
• Reading Segno & Coda Repeats

Beginner Piano Lessons
• Comparing Major & Minor
• Understanding the Key Signature
• Types of Barlines
• BPM & Tempo Commands
• Left Hand Piano Fingering


Helpful Info For Owning a Piano
How to Safely Whiten Your Piano Keys
Learn ivory-safe methods for brightening up your acoustic piano keys, and find out what you can do to prevent keyboard yellowing.

When to Tune a Piano
Find out when (and how frequently) you should schedule a professional piano tuning to keep your piano healthy and on-pitch.

Easy-to-Spot Signs of Piano Damage
Before you buy or sell an acoustic piano, learn how to assess it for both internal and external damage.

Ideal Piano Temp & Humidity Levels
Learn how to maintain sound quality and piano health by monitoring the temperature, humidity, and natural light in your piano room.


Illustrated Piano Chords:
AbmajAbma7Abma9  |  AbminAbm7Abm9  |  AbdimAb°7  |  AbaugAb+7  |  Absus2Absus4