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. Learn to play 17 types of piano chords using 12 different root notes with this 34-page PDF! Chords are sorted both by their root note (C, D, E, etc.) and type (major, minor, augmented, diminished, etc.). 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♭
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:
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 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.