How to Play a Cdim Chord on the Piano

Diminished Chords

Let’s look at how to play a Cdim (C 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 major chords with the middle note lowered 1/2 step.

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

This post covers diminished chords in more detail.

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 a Cdim Chord

Now let’s build a Cdim chord on the piano. We’ll start by building a C minor chord by taking a C major chord and lowering the middle note 1/2 step: C – E♭ – G

Then we’ll lower the upper-note G 1/2 step, to G♭.

So to play a Cdim chord, we’ll play:

C – E♭ – G♭

cdim chord piano

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

Another way to label diminished chords is with the º symbol, so we could also write Cdim as Cº.

Other Chord Types

Some of the other chord types you can learn are:

Minor Second
Minor Sixth
Minor Seventh
Major Seventh
Minor Ninth
Major ninth


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

Using patterns to build chords, and using chords to play the piano is a wonderful way to enjoy music.

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