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Piano Minor Chords

Piano minor chords are similar to major chords except the 3rd is moved down a half step to the left.  C Maj is spelled C-E-G. C min is spelled C-Eb-G.  It's a minor 3rd as opposed to a major 3rd.

Minor chords consist of 12 chords. There are different enharmonic names, but there are only twelve minor chords in piano and in music.  

As a result, there are only 12 natural minor keys in music.  There are other modal minor scales, but in terms of natural minor, there are 12. 

Visit the circle of fifths to learn more about how chords are built.  Visit jazz guitar scales to learn more about modal scales.

Piano Minor Chords

Piano major chords gives an excellent visual of how major chords are voiced on piano.  For minor chords you only change the middle 3rd down a half step to the left.  Below is the voicing on piano for the Am (A minor) chord on piano. Am is spelled A-C-E.

Below is the voicing on piano for the Gm (G minor) chord on piano. Gm is spelled G-Bb-D.

Minor Chords

The minor chords are also called triads because they are made up of 3 notes.  Below are the spellings.  Refer to the keyboard above.

C min - C-Eb-G
F min - F-Ab-C
G min - G-Bb-D
D min - D-F-A
E min- E-G-B
A min- A-C-E
Db min- Db-Fb-Ab
Eb min- Eb-Gb-Bb
Ab min- Ab-Cb-Eb
Gb min- Gb-Bbb(A)-Db
B min- B-D-F#
Bb min- Bb-Db-F

Enharmonic just means that a chord or note can have a different name because of the key you're in, but it's still the same chord. The enharmonic names for the above chords are:

C=B#, F=E#, Db=C#, Eb=D#, Ab=G#, Gb=F#, B=Cb, Bb=A#, E=Fb

Minor 7th Chords, Dom 7th Chords & minor 6th Chords

You can add scale tones to your triads to create min7 chords, Dominant 7 chords and 6th chords.  These are 4 note chords.

minor 7th Chord is adding the actual 7th note of the scale on to the triad.  For example, C min is C-Eb-G.  The 7th note of a C minor scale is Bb.  So C min7 is spelled C-Eb-G-Bb.

Dominant 7th Chord is adding the flat 7(b7) of the scale on to the triad.  In C Major that would be Bb.  So C Dominant 7 or just C7 is spelled C-E-G-Bb.

A minor 6th Chord is just adding the 6th note of the scale on to the triad. In C minor that would be A.  So Cm6 is spelled C-Eb-G-A.

Once you understand what notes are in each key it becomes easier to build chords.  Visit the circle of fifths for how keys are built.


More ips on minor piano chords .... enjoy!

Continue to Piano Chord Inversions

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