How to Play a Dm Chord on the Piano

Minor Chords

Let’s look at how to play a D minor chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any minor chord.

What Are Minor Chords?

Minor chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching minor scale.

You can learn how to build a minor scale here.

And while there are three types of minor scales (natural, harmonic, and melodic), it doesn’t matter which scale you use to build a minor chord. The first, third and fifth notes of all three scales will be the same.

Another way to build a minor chord is to take the matching major chord and lower the middle note 1/2 step.

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 Dm Chord

So to play a Dm chord on the piano, we’ll play the first, third and fifth notes of the D minor scale: D – F – A

These are also the notes we get if we take a D major chord and lower the middle note 1/2 step.

D – F – A

dm chord piano

You can use this pattern to build any minor chord. Just find the first, third and fifth notes of the matching minor scale. Or you can take the matching major chord and lower the middle note 1/2 step.

Other Chord Types

There are many other chord types you can learn. Here are some others:

Major
Augmented
Diminished
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 Dm chord on the piano, and you can use this pattern to build any minor chord.

Minor chords sound really introspective and somber at the piano, and they’re a wonderful complement to major chords.

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2 Comments

  1. john

    Good afternoon Julie, I have been following your instruction about playing chords with considerable interest
    i now have a question for you which I am sure will be of interest to many of your followers
    If you take any major or minor scale and the chords related to that scale , do have any advice on how logically to determine which next chord would “resolve ” best, or do you have to rely on your ear telling you if this next chord is OK. My ear is not very good at helping me here. If you are playing cocktail style for example, it is very important to get this “resolving ” correct, it is actually most important to get this resolving correct for any style.
    Any advice you can provide would would be most welcome

    Reply
    • Julie

      Hi John, Great question!

      I think the best way to approach this in the beginning would be to think through the primary chords for the key you’re playing in. These three chords interchange nicely with one another. You’ll resolve to the first primary chord when closing a progression or series of progressions (so in the key of C major, you’ll resolve to a C major chord).

      Once this comes naturally, you can start adding in the chords that belong to the relative natural minor key. Since C major is relative to A natural minor, the chords belonging to these two keys are the same. So the primary chords in C major are C – F – G, and the primary chords in A minor are Am – Dm – Em, and all six chords belong to both keys (but when playing in A natural minor, you will resolve to an Am chord).

      So for example, you could play C – F – Am – G, or C – Am – F – G, etc. Then try the same thing using C – F – Em – G. Then C – F – Dm – G. Then over time you can start interchanging these different progressions with one another, and extending them.

      That was a long answer, but I hope this helps get you started! This does get easier to do in time!

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