How to Play an Adim Chord on the Piano

Diminished Chords

Let’s look at how to play an Adim (A diminished) chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any diminished chord.

What Are Diminished Chords?

Diminished chords are minor chords with the upper-note lowered 1/2 step.

So to build a diminished chord, we’ll start by building a minor chord. Minor chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching minor scale (learn how to build a minor scale here).

Another way to build a minor chord is to take the matching major chord and lower the middle note 1/2 step.

Then to convert the minor chord into a diminished chord, we’ll lower the upper-note 1/2 step.

piano chords chart pdf printable

Chord Types Printable

Learn to play 17 types of piano chords using 12 different root notes with this 35-page PDF! Chords are sorted both by their root note and type.

How to Play an Adim Chord

Now let’s build an Adim chord on the piano. To build an Adim chord, we’ll start with an A minor chord, using the first, third and fifth notes of the A minor scale: A – C – E

Then we’ll take the upper-note, E, and lower it 1/2 step to E♭.

So to play an Adim chord, we’ll play:

A – C – E♭

adim chord piano

You can use this pattern to build any diminished chord. First build a minor chord, then lower the upper-note 1/2 step.

Diminished chords can be written as “dim” or “º”. So if you see a chord written as Aº, it also indicates an A diminished chord.

Other Chord Types

There are many other chord types you can learn. Here are some others:

Major
Minor
Augmented
Second
Minor Second
Suspended
Fifth
Sixth
Minor Sixth
Seventh
Minor Seventh
Major Seventh
Ninth
Minor Ninth
Major Ninth

Conclusion

Now you know how to build an Adim chord, and you can use that pattern to build any diminished chord on the piano.

Understanding how to build chords is so much better than memorizing the notes for each chord, because once you understand how to build different chords you can use the pattern again and again! The piano begins to come to life as you recognize patterns and start seeing the relationships between notes.

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2 Comments

  1. RUBAB Sakina

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    Reply
    • Julie Swihart

      I’m glad it’s helpful! I don’t cover learning to read and write sheet music on my blog, but if you’d like to write down compositions using chords, you can use the chords from a particular key to create a chord progression, and then write down the chord progression using chord symbols (A = A major chord, Am = A minor chord, etc.).

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