How to Play an Fdim Chord on the Piano

Diminished Chords

Let’s look at how to play an Fdim (“F diminished”) chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building 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 Fdim Chord

To build an Fdim chord, we’ll first build an F minor chord. We can build an F minor chord by taking an F major chord, F – A – C, and lowering the middle note 1/2 step: F – A♭ – C

Then we’ll convert the F minor chord into an F diminished chord by lowering the upper-note 1/2 step: F – A♭ – C♭

You may be wondering why we would call the C♭ a C♭ instead of a B. 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 F, a fifth up from F alphabetically is a C, so we need to label this note as a type of C. This is why it’s called “C♭”.

fdim chord piano

We can use this pattern to build any other diminished chord. We can take the matching minor chord and lower the upper-note 1/2 step.

Another way to label diminished chords is with the º symbol, so we could also write Fdim as Fº.

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.

Other Chord Types

Some other chord types you can learn are:

Minor Second
Minor Sixth
Minor Seventh
Major Seventh
Minor Ninth
Major Ninth


Now you know how to build an Fdim chord on the piano, and you can use this knowledge to build any other diminished chord!

Diminished chords aren’t as common as major and minor chords, but it’s helpful to know how to build them for when you need them.

Using chords to learn the piano is a wonderful way to enjoy music and be creative!

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