How to Play Piano Chords in B Minor

Minor Key Chords

Let’s find the piano chords in the key of B minor. Once we find the chords, we can use them to create chord progressions and play creatively in that key!

How to Find Chords for the Key of B Minor

Before we find the chords for B minor, we’ll need to build a B minor scale. The notes in the B minor scale are the notes we’ll use to build the chords in that key.

There are different types of minor scales (learn how to build them here), so we’ll start with a natural minor scale. Each natural minor scale has a relative major scale on the piano. This means these two scales use the same notes to build their scales, but start and end on different notes. D major is relative to B minor, and since these two scales share the same notes, they also share the same chords, just in a different order.

Here are the notes for a B natural minor scale:

B – C♯ – D – E – F♯ – G – A – B

Now we can build a chord off each note of the scale, using only the notes of the scale to build the chords.

We’ll start on B and build a “1 – 3 – 5” chord, using the notes of the scale: B – D – F♯

Then we’ll start on C♯ and build another “1 – 3 – 5” chord, using the notes of the scale: C♯ – E – G

Next we’ll start on D and build another “1 – 3 – 5” chord, using the notes of the scale: D – F♯ – A

We can continue following this pattern, building a “1 – 3 – 5” chord off each note of the scale, and using only the notes of the scale to build the chords.

Piano Chords in the Key of B Minor

Here are the chords for the key of B minor:

B – D – F♯ = B minor chord

C♯ – E – G = C♯ diminished chord

D – F♯ – A = D major chord

E – G – B = E minor chord

F♯ – A – C♯ = F♯ minor chord

G – B – D = G major chord

A – C♯ – E = A major chord

chords for minor keys piano chord charts pdf

Chords for Minor Keys Printable

Learn the chords for each minor key with this 39-page PDF! Chords are built with both the natural minor and harmonic minor scales.

How Do We Label the Chords?

You may be wondering how we can tell if a chord is major, minor or diminished. There are actually four types of “1 – 3 – 5” chords, or “triads”:

Major
Minor
Augmented
Diminished

Here are their differences:

Major chords are built with the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale.

Minor chords are built with the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale, but the third note is lowered 1/2 step.

Augmented chords are built with the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale, but the third and fifth notes are raised 1/2 step.

Diminished chords are built with the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale, but the third and fifth notes are lowered 1/2 step.

When we build a “1 – 3 – 5” chord off each note of a natural minor scale, we’ll always get these chord types in this order:

Minor
Diminished
Major
Minor
Minor
Major
Major

We can use this pattern to find the chords for other minor keys!

Primary Chords for B Minor

Each minor key has three primary chords, built off the first, fourth and fifth note of the scale. These chords are used often in that key.

The primary chords for B minor are:

B minor
E minor
F♯ minor

How to Find Chords for B Minor Using the Harmonic Minor Scale

Now let’s find chords using the B harmonic minor scale.

Harmonic minor scales are similar to natural minor scales, except the seventh note is raised 1/2 step.

Here are the notes for the B harmonic minor scale:

B – C♯ – D – E – F♯ – G – A♯ – B

Next we’ll build a “1 – 3 – 5” chord off each note of the B harmonic minor scale, using only the notes of the scale like before.

Chords for B Minor Using the Harmonic Minor Scale

Here are the chords for B minor using the harmonic minor scale:

B – D – F♯ = B minor chord

C♯ – E – G = C♯ diminished chord

D – F♯ – A♯ = D augmented chord

E – G – B = E minor chord

F♯ – A♯ – C♯ = F♯ major chord

G – B – D = G major chord

A♯ – C♯ – E = A♯ diminished chord

Labeling the Chords

When we build a “1 – 3 – 5” chord off each note of a harmonic minor scale, using only the notes of the scale to build the chords, we’ll always get these chord types in this order:

Minor
Diminished
Augmented
Minor
Major
Major
Diminished

Primary Chords for B Minor Using the Harmonic Minor Scale

The primary chords for B minor, based on the harmonic minor scale, are:

B minor
E minor
F♯ major

When we use the harmonic minor scale instead of the natural minor scale to build the chords, the third primary chord becomes major instead of minor. This can add some nice variety and contrast to the music.

Other Minor Key Chords

Here are posts teaching the chords for other minor keys:

A Minor Chords
E Minor Chords
F Sharp Minor Chords
C Sharp Minor Chords
G Sharp Minor Chords
D Sharp Minor Chords
A Sharp Minor Chords
D Minor Chords
G Minor Chords
C Minor Chords
F Minor Chords
B Flat Minor Chords
E Flat Minor Chords
A Flat Minor Chords

Conclusion

Now you know how to find the piano chords in the key of B minor, and you can use this pattern for other minor keys as well!

Minor keys are enjoyable to use at the piano because they’re more somber and reflective, and provide a nice contrast to major keys.

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