Let’s look at how to build a B2 chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any other second chord.
What are Second Chords?
Second chords are major chords with an added note. The added note is the second note of the matching major scale.
To play a second chord, we’ll start with a major chord. Major chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale (learn how to build a major scale here).
To convert the major chord into a second chord, we’ll add the second note of the matching major scale.
How to Play a B2 Chord
Now let’s build a B2 chord. First we’ll build a B major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the B major scale: B – D♯ – F♯
Then we’ll add the second note of the B major scale to the chord: C♯
So to play a B2 chord, we’ll play:
B – C♯ – D♯ – F♯
We can use this pattern to build any other second chord, by first building the matching major chord, then adding the second note of the matching major scale.
Second chords use the same notes as “add9” chords. An add9 chord is a major chord with an added major ninth. A major ninth is the same note as the second note of the scale, just one octave up. So the Badd9 and B2 chords have the same notes, just in a different order.
Badd9: B – D♯ – F♯ – C♯
B2: B – C♯ – D♯ – F♯
Now you know how to build a B2 chord on the piano, and you can use this pattern to build other second chords!
Second chords can make nice chord substitutions for major chords, since they only add one note. The extra note adds some nice variety to the major chord and provides more options when playing creatively at the piano.