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Understanding Piano Chords, Part 2

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Minor Chords

In our earlier lesson, we introduced you to the makeup of basic chords. Assuming you have more or less mastered those, it’s time to move on to minor chords. This article will take you to the next level.

A quick review

A chord is a group of notes that sound good when played together. The notes can be played in unison, or in a series of notes. The chords are named after their root, or bottom note. Correspondingly, the key of a piece of music is the beginning (and typically last) chord in the piece. All the major keys use the root, third, and fifth notes of the major scale. All of the minor keys use the root, flat third, and fifth of the major scale.

Moving into the Minors

Picking up from where we left off, let’s look at some minor keys and their chords. For the sake of simplicity, we are sticking to triads, as we did in the first article.

The term “diminished,” abbreviated as “dim,” can be illustrated by the following examples:

The standard B chord has the notes B, D sharp, and F sharp. B diminished keeps the root note of B, but lowers, or diminishes the 2nd and 3rd notes to the next lowest notes, so that the notes of Bdim are B, D, and F. In the same way, the standard D chord is D, F sharp, and A. A Ddim chord maintains the root note of D, but diminishes the 2nd and 3rd notes down one note, so that the chord consists of D, F, and A flat.

Key: C Minor

Chords in the key of C Minor: Cm, Ddim, E♭, Fm, Gm, A♭, B♭

Notes of the Cm chord: C, E♭, G

Notes of the Ddim chord: D, F, A♭

Notes of the E♭ chord: E♭, G, B♭

Notes of the Fm chord: F, A♭, C

Notes of the Gm chord: G, B♭, D

Notes of the A♭ Chord: A♭, C, E♭

Notes of the B♭ Chord: B♭, D, F

Key: D Minor

Chords in the key of D Minor: Dm, Edim, F, Gm, Am, B♭, C

Notes of the Dm chord: D F A

Notes of the Edim chord: E G B♭

Notes of F chord: F A C

Notes of Gm chord: G B♭ D

Notes of Am chord: A C E

Notes of B♭ chord: B♭ D F

Notes of C chord: C E G

Key: E Minor

Chords in the key of E Minor: Em, F♯dim, G, Am, Bm, C, D

Notes of the Em chord: E G B

Notes of the F♯dim chord: F♯ A C

Notes of the G chord: G B D

Notes of the Am chord: A C E

Notes of the C chord: C E G

Notes of the D chord: D F♯ A

Key: F Minor

Chords in the key of F minor: Fm, Gdim, A♭, Bbm, Cm, D♭, E♭

Notes of F chord: F A♭C

Notes of Gdim chord: G B♭ D♭

Notes of A♭ chord: A♭ C E♭

Notes of B♭m chord: B♭ D♭ F

Notes of Cm chord: C E♭ G

Notes of D♭ chord D♭ F A♭

Notes of E♭ chord: E♭ G B♭

Key: G Minor

Chords in the key of G Minor: Gm, Adim, B♭,Cm, Dm, E♭, F

Notes of Gm chord: G, B♭, D

Notes of Adim chord: A C E♭

Notes of B♭ chord: B♭, D F

Notes of the Cm chord: C E♭ G

Notes of the E♭ chord: E♭ G B♭

Notes of the F chord: F A C

Key: A Minor

Chords in the key of A Minor: Am, Bdim, C, Dm, Em, F, G

Notes of the Am chord: A C E

Notes of the Bdim chord: B D F

Notes of C major chord: C E G

Notes of Dm chord: D F A

Notes of Em chord: E G B

Notes of F Chord: F A C

Notes of G Chord: G B D

Key: B Minor

Chords in the key of B Minor: Bm, C♯dim, D, Em,F♯m, G, A

Notes of Bm chord: B, D, F♯

Notes of C#dim chord: C♯E G

Notes of D chord: D F♯A

Notes of Em chord: E G B

Notes of F♯m chord: F♯A C♯

Notes of G chord G B D

Notes of Am chord: A C♯E

The next step

Once you have mastered these, there are even more chords to learn! Future articles will move you even further down the road of musical success.

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