Q:

How do you play a diminished chord on the piano?

A:

Quick Answer

Play a diminished chord on the piano by finding the root note, the minor third interval and the diminished fifth interval, and pressing all three keys down together. The minor third interval is three half-steps above the root note, and the diminished fifth is six half-steps above the root.

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Full Answer

  1. Find the root note

    The root note of a diminished chord is the note that names the chord. For example, an A diminished chord has the note A as its root.

  2. Locate the minor third interval

    The note that represents the minor third interval is three half-steps up from the root note. Each piano key, whether it is black or white, counts as one half-step. Start with the key on the right side of the root note, and count up to three to find the minor third interval.

  3. Locate the diminished fifth interval

    Count up six half-steps, or keys, from the root note to find the key that represents the diminished fifth interval. Remember to count every key starting with the key to the right of the root note.

  4. Play the three notes together

    Arrange your first, third and fifth fingers on the three notes. Your finger order depends on the hand you are using to play the chord. Curve your fingers, and firmly press all three keys down at once to sound the chord.

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