Major and Minor Chords for Piano

minor chords for piano

A chord is composed of multiple notes, typically three, stacked on top of each other in an order that forms an arch shape. Most commonly it includes root note, third note and fifth note as its components.

Minor chords are like major chords but with a different sound. They add dimension and richness to music!

To create a minor chord, start with a major chord and lower its third interval note by one step. Next, add two notes from a minor scale as second and fifth interval notes:


Triads are blocks of three notes that form the basis of most chords. There are numerous ways of arranging them, though most often they’re used as accompaniment – either supporting singers and musicians alike, or for your own melodic playing. Triads may be major or minor chords that have either an augmented or diminished tone and can even have root or inverted position depending on your needs.

Building a major triad begins by beginning with the initial note in your scale or key signature – C in this example – as its root note, then add two notes four semitones above it (E and G respectively) followed by the final one which should be B to complete your chord. You can also work out minor triads by taking an opposite approach.

For a diminished triad, use the same process but substitute G for B. Augmented triads are similar to major ones but with an added sharp fifth note – indicated by either a circular symbol next to their chord name or by using abbreviations such as ‘aug’. Inverted triads simply mirror major ones but with the third and fifth notes swapped around (C becomes bottom note and E becomes middle note and so on).

Major Chords

As demonstrated in the chord triad lesson, major piano chords consist of three notes stacked atop each other. While they can be difficult to learn initially, mastering these chords will ultimately be worth your while!

There are 12 major chords you can create on the piano, each one offering its own distinct sound. To construct one of them, start with its root note and add third and fifth notes from its associated major scale – for a major chord this means adding all four third and fifth notes and fifth note as needed; to form minor chords simply lower its middle note by half step to form it.

Sometimes you will see minor chords written with “maj” in their names, like C maj 7. This simply indicates that the third note has been raised up by a major seventh; other variations include minor major 7th chords and minor 6/9 chords.

Pop and rock music frequently features songs with both major and minor chords, like The Beatles “Comfortably Numb” or an Eminem tune, that feature these elements. Jazz musicians may also employ diminished chords which consist of two minor thirds built together into diminished chords.

Minor Chords

Minor chords differ from their major counterparts in that their minor 3rd and fifth notes, which are lower in pitch than their major equivalents, can only be created using lower notes of the minor scale. To create one, start with its root chord (typically written with an “m”) then add two and four notes from it to create its minor third and fifth tones respectively.

Certain minor chords can also be enhanced with numbers to represent how many notes above the root you would like added (which is known as an interval). A common minor addition is adding 7ths, giving an octave lower sound that adds bluesy and jazzy characteristics. Another popular choice is adding minor sixths (or m6).

Other minor chords require more time and thought to create, like the minor 11 chord, commonly known as a sorrow chord. To build it, combine a minor triad with a major triad a half step below its root (for instance D), before playing its minor equivalent from D up three half steps – to G!

Chords are an essential element of music. They form the harmonic framework for melodies and lyrics to follow. There are an infinite number of types and sizes of chords out there.

Triad chords are the core component of all chords. Consisting of three notes called root, minor third and perfect fifth respectively.

Enhance minor triads by adding an additional note called the seventh. This creates what are known as minor 7th chords.

A Minor

Minor chords also contain three basic notes on the keyboard: a root note, third note and fifth note. To form one of these chords, start from the root note and move up one semitone or half step until reaching third and then another semitone for fifth notes.

Root note of an A minor chord is A, with minor third (C) and perfect fifth (E).

Triads are simple three note chords. However, we can add other notes from the minor scale for more complex chords.

C Minor

C minor is one of the easiest piano chords to learn and carries an air of melancholy that gives songs emotional depth.

Triad chords consist of three notes stacked upon one another; their distance apart is known as an interval.

By adding a fourth note to a three-note stack, a seventh chord is formed, creating tension and adding complexity to harmonies. Practice this progression with a metronome for accurate timing; additionally, practice its inversions (C-Eb-G) so as to gain a greater understanding of this chord structure.

E Minor

E minor chords are widely used to convey various emotional states, from melancholic and introspective to powerful and upbeat. An Em chord (commonly referred to as E minor triad) combines a minor third with a major second to form the E minor triad.

To play an E minor chord on piano, begin by positioning your fifth finger (pinky) on a white key five keys right of Middle C. Next, place your thumb and first finger (thumb) on G note followed by third finger on B note.

Be mindful that this is only one method for playing this chord; feel free to experiment with different inversions as needed. Continuous practice will enable you to master it.

G Minor

With G Minor scale, you can build triad chords by starting from the root note and moving upward towards its 5th tone. Just like with any chord scale, G Minor allows for adding additional color by introducing non-triad notes into chord progressions that ‘wow’ audiences!

Cherry Glazerr’s “Had Ten Dollaz” provides an outstanding example of this in her use of G Minor chords to express tension and emotion through music. Their menacing guitar riff, coupled with her unsettling lyrics, perfectly showcase this trait of G Minor chords.

G Minor can also create an atmosphere of menacing darkness in EDM, hard dance and Drum n Bass styles.

B Minor

B minor chords are relatively straightforward and common in various piano genres from classical to rock and pop music. Although more challenging to play due to a sharp bottom note, with practice anyone can become proficient at this form of chord.

As with other minor triad chords, B Minor produces a sad and melancholy tone, making it suitable for songs with tension-building lyrics or waiting scenes. Furthermore, its tone between 7th and 8th scale degrees adds tension;

D Minor

D minor is an ideal key for melodies that aim to convey genuine and earnest emotion, such as hymns.

Chords in D minor are formed using the D natural minor scale with one flat (B), meaning all notes can be played using similar fingering patterns as major chords.