Let’s look at how to build diminished chords on the piano. Once we know the pattern for building a diminished chord, we can apply that pattern starting on any note.
How to Play Diminished Chords
Let’s build an A diminished chord. We’ll start by building an A minor chord. We can build an A minor chord by playing the first, third and fifth notes of a an A minor scale (learn how to build a minor scale here): A – C – E
Then we’ll lower the upper-note 1/2 step, to E♭.
So an A diminished chord is:
A – C – E♭
But to summarize it, a diminished chord is built using a root, minor third and a diminished fifth. Since A is our root, a fifth up from “A” is “E”. So we need to label the last note some type of E, making it E♭.
Now let’s build an E diminished chord. We’ll start by building an E minor chord, using the first, third and fifth notes of an E minor scale: E – G – B
Then we’ll lower the upper-note 1/2 step, to B♭.
So an E diminished chord is:
E – G – B♭
Now you know how to build diminished chords on the piano! Just take any minor chord and lower the upper-note 1/2 step. Piano chords are such a quick and enjoyable way to begin learning and playing the piano!