Minor Second Chords
Let’s look at how to play an Em2 chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any other minor second chord.
What Are Minor Second Chords?
Minor second chords are minor chords with an added note. The added note is the second note of the matching major scale.
So to build a minor second chord, we’ll start with a minor chord. We can build a minor chord by taking the matching major chord and lowering the middle note 1/2 step.
To convert the minor chord into a minor second chord, we’ll add the second note of the matching major scale.
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, etc.).
How to Play an Em2 Chord
To build an Em2 chord, we’ll first build an Em chord: E – G – B
Then we’ll add the second note of the E major scale: F♯
E – F♯ – G – B
We can use this pattern to build any minor second chord. Just build a minor chord, then add the second note of the matching major scale.
An Em2 chord uses the same notes as a Emadd9 chord. An Emadd9 chord is a minor chord with an added note. The added note is the ninth note of the matching major scale. The ninth note is the same note as the second note of the scale, just one octave up. So the Emadd9 and Em2 chords have the same notes, just in a different order:
Em2: E – F♯ – G – B
Emadd9: E – G – B – F♯
Now you know how to build an Em2 chord on the piano, and you can use this pattern to build any other minor second chord!
Minor second chords can often be used as substitutions for minor chords, since adding the second note to the chord works well for many songs.