Lets look at how to play a B flat diminished chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any other diminished chord.
What Are Diminished Chords?
Then to convert the minor chord into a diminished chord, we’ll lower the upper-note 1/2 step.
How to Play a B Flat Diminished Chord
So to build a B flat diminished chord, we’ll start by building a B flat minor chord. We can build a B flat minor chord by taking a B flat major chord: B♭ – D – F, and lowering the middle note 1/2 step: B♭ – D♭ – F
Then we’ll convert the minor chord into a diminished chord by lowering the upper-note 1/2 step: B♭ – D♭ – F♭
You may be wondering why we would call the F♭ an F♭ instead of an E. The reason is because diminished chords are built using a “1 – 3 – 5” pattern on the piano: a root, minor third, and a diminished fifth. These labels refer to intervals, which you can learn more about here. Since the root of this chord is B♭, a fifth up from B in the alphabet is F , so we need to label this note as a type of F. This is why it’s called “F♭”.
We can use this pattern to build any other diminished chord. We can take the matching minor chord and lower the upper-note 1/2 step.
Another way to label diminished chords is with the º symbol, so we could also write B♭dim as B♭º.
Now you know how to build a B flat diminished chord on the piano, and you can use this pattern to build any other diminished chord.
Diminished chords aren’t as common as major and minor chords, but it’s nice to know how to build them when you need them.