In this lesson, you will learn how to play every single diminished chord on piano and keyboard.
How do you form a diminished chord? You play a key, skip two keys, play a key, skip two keys and play a key. For example, if you start on C, you play the note C, skip two keys (Db and D), play Eb then skip two keys (E and F), then play Gb. The notes, C, Eb and Gb played together is a C diminished chord. A C diminished chord can be written like this: Cdim or C°.
You can watch this lesson in the following youtube video. You will see me play all the chords with both hands.
Let’s try D diminished. Play D, skip two keys (Eb and E), play F, then skip two keys (Gb and G), and play Ab. D, F and Ab played simultaneously is a D diminished chord. We played a key, skipped two keys, played a key, skipped two keys, then played a key. We formed a D dim or D° chord.
Let’s try E diminished. Play a key (E), skip two keys (F and Gb), play a key (G), skip two keys (Ab and A), and play a key (Bb). These gives us the notes E, G and Bb. E-G-Bb is an E diminished chord.
We can do the same with any of the chords. Try F diminished. The notes are F, Ab and Cb. That’s how easy it is. You can try this with every key on your keyboard.
Another way to think of forming a dim chord is to play a minor chord and to simply lower the third note in the chord by a half step. So the notes of the C minor chord are C, Eb and G, while the notes of the C diminished chord, as we have seen are C, Eb and Gb. The note, G is lowered by a half step (or semitone).
The notes of the D minor chord are D, F and A, while the notes of Ddim are D, F and Ab. A is played a half step lower.
The notes of the E minor chord are E, G and B while for Edim, the notes are E, G and Bb. If you already know how to play minor chords, it’s very easy to form the diminished. Try this with various minor chords.
I want you to try out all the diminished chords. Remember to play a key, skip two keys, play a key, skip two keys and play a key.
This is what your chords should look like.
Without getting into too much theory, you can see how easy it is to form this type of chord on piano.
Practice the chords with your left hand as well.