The "Salt" of a Musical Meal


Hello again, and welcome to the next lesson. I hope you are enjoying learning about all the chords in the world -- and we're going to cover them ALL before we're done -- you'll know more about chords than 99% of the people in the world -- believe it or not, it's true.

If you recall the first week we learned about the three chords you absolutely, positively CAN'T do without. If you need to review that, click here. Then the next  week we took an airplane ride over Chordland just to get the lay of the land -- the overview of the world of chords. If you need to review that ride, please click here before going on.

Then in the next weeks lesson we showed you how easy it is to learn ALL the major chords (there are 12 of them) and be able to play them in seconds -- not hours or days or weeks or months or years. Some people go through their entire lives not being sure about what such and such a major chord is -- and it's all so unnecessary, because you can memorize them in just a few minutes, and learn to play them in 12 seconds or less - one second per chord. I have had many private students over the years who could play them all in as little as 5 seconds -- one little gal (she was about 12 at the time) had particularly fast hands, and could play them in - believe it or not - 3 seconds!  I have slow hands with fat fingers, and yet I can play them in something like 5 or 6 seconds. If you need a review of that lesson on major chords, click here before going on.

Next  you learned how to easily turn major chords into minor chords just by moving one key one-half step -- by lowering the 3rd of the major chord. If you need a review of minor chords, click here.

Then we learned inversions -- how to stand chords on their head. If you need a review of inversions, click here .

Today we are going to diminished triads. The formula is real simple:

Diminished Triad = Root   lowered 3rd   lowered 5th

Here's what they look like on the staff:

...and I'll let you figure out the other six diminished triads.

CHORD Symbol Definition

A dimished triad appears in lead sheets as any of the following chord symbols:

Co  Cdim

And here's what they look like on the keyboard:

Fingering Positions for Diminished Chords
5-3-2 fingers on C-Eb-Gb
C dim
5-3-2 fingers on F-Ab-B
F dim
5-3-2 fingers on G-Bb-Db
G dim
5-3-2 fingers on D-F-Ab
D dim
5-3-2 fingers on E-G-Bb
E dim
5-3-2 fingers on A-C-Eb
A dim
5-3-2 fingers on Db-E-G
Db dim
5-3-2 fingers on Eb-Gb-B
Eb dim
5-3-2 fingers on Ab-B-D
Ab dim
5-3-2 fingers on Gb-A-C
Gb dim
5-3-2 fingers on B-D-F
B dim
5-3-2 fingers on Bb-Db-E
Bb dim

Now it's up to you. Play each diminished triad in root position, then 1st inversion, then 2nd inversion. Play each chord up and down the keyboard for at least 2 octaves -- maybe 3 octaves. Play them with your left hand, then play them with your right hand. Then play them hands together.

Go through all 12 major chords, inverting every one. Then go through all the 12 minor chords, inverting each one up and down the keyboard -- hands alone, then hands together. Finally, go through all 12 diminished chords, inverting each one up and down the keyboard -- each hand alone, then together. Then skip around from major to minor to diminished, etc.

When you can do that you ought to feel really optimistic about learning chords, because you've got a great start. After all, you have gone from:

12 major chords + 12 minor chords +

12 diminished chords with 3 inversions of each

means you can now play

108 chords!

'Way to go!


Next week we will add 12 more chords to our growing list of chords we can play. We'll take up augmented triads -- they are like the "pepper" of a musical meal, and you'll see how easy they are to learn once you know major and minor and diminished chords!



This page updated on March 25, 2019.