How to Play Minor Chords for Piano

minor chords for piano

Minor keys produce piano chords with an emotionally dark sound, adding drama and tension to songs and arrangements. Sometimes used as contrast between light and dark elements in an arrangement.

To create a minor chord, start by finding the first three notes of your major scale (D, A and E). Next, lower that third note (E).


Beginner and intermediate piano players can quickly master minor chords by starting by building them from major chords, then rearrange the order of notes for inversions.

To create a minor chord, start with its root note and add third and fifth notes from minor scale. Lower middle note by half-step or semitone to create minor chord. For instance if major chord has A C E as root notes and add third and fifth from minor scale for middle note lowering e.g. C = E instead.

Minor chords produce a melancholic sound that’s widely utilized across genres of music. You might have heard them used at the start of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony or in 1980’s power anthem Eye of the Tiger for instance.

Keep in mind that minor chords share the same interval structure as major ones, so playing them should be identical. Simply remember to count how many half steps separate each note on the keyboard before finding appropriate fingerings for each chord.


Chord inversions are one of the easier aspects of music theory to grasp. By staying on a chord while moving up or down on the keyboard, chord inversions enable you to stay within an area and play more songs within a smaller footprint while decreasing finger movement.

To create a minor chord, simply lower the third interval (interval) by an octave. This makes it much simpler and sounds the same as its major counterpart while adding an additional note (major seventh) which gives more depth to its sound.

Minor chords can also be formed using sixth and ninth chords, both composed from the same notes but using different strategies: for instance a sixth chord requires adding C – E – G while nine chords incorporate C F A instead.


There are various kinds of triads, and we can divide them into major and minor chords. A minor chord has an open third at its base with perfect fifths between its outer notes.

Minor triads evoke a sad and melancholy melody. Their first note could either be the second or fourth note in our scale depending on which scale we’re playing in, with its middle note often suspended to further deepen its sorrowful sound.

To create a minor chord, start with its root note – usually the lowest note in the chord – then lower its corresponding major scale degree by one semitone – so that when played out on piano keys the first note will be three semitones above second note and fourth above third – this makes a minor chord minor! On music sheets it may be written Cm or CCM depending on its construction method; other chords have “maj” added for added major sevenths above minor third. These chords may also be written as Cmaj7 Cm7 or Cmaj9.


Diminished chords may not be as popular, but they add an intriguing sound that can bring tension to piano progressions. Diminished chords can also be used as passing chords that sit between two other chords within a song to create dissonance that must eventually resolve into harmony with its key.

To create a diminished chord, simply lower the upper note in a triad by half-step and compose your chord as follows: Cdim or Co (with an “o” symbol replacing “b”).

Try substituting this chord as an alternative to the dominant chord when building songs with I, V, vi and IV progressions. Doing so will add tension while making your tune less chromatic.