When you start learning to play the piano, one of the things your teacher or instructor will tell you is that there are 12 major and minor chords on the piano. In today’s blog post, we’ll be looking at one of those chords and the chord I’m talking about is the D Minor chord. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about this chord.
The D Minor Chord
The basic D minor chord is just a triad that’s built on the D minor scale. A triad is a term instrumentalists and musicians use to refer to a chord that’s made up of three notes. You can find the notes of the D Minor chord when you use the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes in the D minor natural scale.
Every scale is made up of 7 notes and the D minor scale makes no exception. The D minor scale is made up of the following notes: D, E, F, G, A, Bb, and C. Remember when I made mention of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the D minor, they are simply the notes D, F, and A. Those notes are the notes of the D minor chord.
You should already know that there are three types of minor scales. In case you forgot I’ll remind you. The three types are natural, harmonic, and melodic. Normally, in the harmonic and melodic scales, some notes are usually slightly altered to give the scale a slightly different sound but that doesn’t affect the D minor chord because the changes happen in the 6th and 7th notes.
The D Minor Seventh Chord
Since changes don’t happen with harmonic and melodic notes, to give or add variety to the sound of music played on the chord, music composers add the D minor seventh chord into their pieces. This is simply just adding the 7th note together with the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes. The notes now become D, F, A, and C.
So far, you have learnt that to play the D minor, you’ll need the notes D, F, and A in that particular order. The thing is if you only play that, at some point, your play will eventually get boring.
That’s why composers playing on this chord use inversions to sort of spice up their play which is genius if I may add. To invert any chord in particular (D minor inclusive), play the exact notes but in a different order. For example, usually, the chord goes D, F, and A right? Now, for the first inversion, you can play something like F, A, and D.
What happens is that, rather than the usual third between each note in the chord, you’ll now have a third and a fourth. This makes it create a slightly different sound despite the fact that you are still on the same notes.
Where to find the D minor chord on the piano
At this point, you now know the notes that makeup D minor but where can I find them on a piano? When you approach your piano, you’ll notice that the keys form a repeated pattern. Have you noticed it? If you haven’t, then I’ll go ahead and tell you. There are groupings of 3 and 4 white keys then another grouping of 2 and 3 black keys. Can you see them now? I’m sure you do.
The C key is the leftmost key in the groupings of 3 white keys. The white continue following this order: C, D, E, F, G, A, B and then that pattern repeats itself. This means that a piano could be very long but only those 7 notes are being repeated throughout. The black keys on the other hand are sharps and flats and they are dependent on whether you are ascending or descending.
Therefore to play the D minor chord you’ll just have to look for D, F, and A following the arranging I gave you above. Found it? Yeah, it’s that easy. You can even proceed to add the D minor seventh chord by adding C.
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