How to Play an E Flat Diminished Chord on the Piano

Diminished Chords

Let’s look at how to play an E flat diminished chord on the piano. We can use this pattern to build any other 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. We can build a minor chord by taking a major chord and lowering the middle note 1/2 step.

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

How to Play an E Flat Diminished Chord

So to build an E flat diminished chord, we can start with an E flat minor chord. We can build an E flat minor chord by taking an E flat major chord: E♭ – G – B♭, and lowering the middle note 1/2 step: E♭ – G♭ – B♭

Then we’ll convert the minor chord into a diminished chord by lowering the upper-note 1/2 step: E♭ – G♭ – B♭♭

You may be wondering why we would call the B♭♭ a B-double-flat instead of an A. The reason is because diminished chords are built using a “1 – 3 – 5” pattern on the piano: a root, minor third, and a diminished fifth. These labels refer to intervals, which you can learn more about here. Since the root of this chord is E♭, a fifth up from E alphabetically is B (since we repeat the A – B – C – D – E – F – G pattern on the piano, E to B is a fifth), so we need to label this note as a type of B. This is why it’s called “B♭♭”.

E flat diminished chord piano

We can use this pattern to build any other diminished chord, by taking the matching minor chord and lowering the upper-note 1/2 step.

Another way to label diminished chords is with the º symbol. So we could write an E flat diminished chord as E♭dim or E♭º.

chord types piano printable pdf

Chord Types Printable

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.).

Conclusion

Now you know how to build an E flat diminished chord on the piano, and you can use this pattern to build any other diminished chord.

Diminished chords aren’t as common as other chord types, but now you know how to build them for when you need them!

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