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Zebra Keys

Chords

Lesson 27 - Playing the Minor Chord

printable version

I. Index


1.  Introduction
2. Playing the Minor Chord
3. Minor Chord in All 12 Keys
4. Conclusion


II. Content


1. Introduction
In this lesson, you will learn about minor chords. In the beginner section, you learned about another kind of chord called the major chord. Minor chords are similar to major chords with one important difference. The middle note of a minor chord in root position is one half step lower than the middle note of a major chord in root position. This causes the minor chord to sound sad while the major chord sounds happy. Since minor chords sound sad, they are used in music as a nice contrast to major chords, which sound happy.


2. Playing The Minor Chord
Let's take a look at the minor chord starting on C. This is also called the C minor chord. In the animation below, the notes of the C minor chord are first played separately, then together.










Compare the C minor chord above to the C major chord below, which we learned about in the begginer section. Notice that the only visual difference between the minor chord and the major chord is that the third note of the minor chord in root position is one half step lower than the third note of the major chord in root position. The minor chord also sounds sad, while the major chord sounds happy.










3. Minor Chord in all 12 Keys
You can play the minor chord in all twelve keys. Below is a chart of all 12 minor chords. If you look closely at the chart below, there is actually a pattern that can help you recognize all 12 minor chords.
  • The first three chords are made up of the pattern: white key, black key, white key. These chords are the C minor chord, F minor chord, and G minor chord.
  • The second three chords are made up of entirely white keys. These chords are the D minor chord, E minor chord, and A minor chord.
  • The third three chords are made up of the pattern: black key, white key, black key. These chords are the Db minor chord, Gb minor chord and Ab minor chord.
  • The last three chords are the oddball chords. The Eb minor chord is made up of all black keys. The Bb minor chord is made up of the pattern: black key, black key, white key. The B minor chord is the opposite of the Bb minor chord, and is made up the pattern: white key, white key, black key.











4. Conclusion
Minor chords sound sad, and when used in music, contrast nicely with major chords, which sound happy. In this lesson, you learned how to play the C minor chord. There is a minor chord for each of the 12 keys.




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