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15: Minor Triads

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Lesson 15: Minor Triads

This lesson teaches minor triads. The minor triad is the 2nd-most basic chord type, after the major triad.

Before you take this lesson, you should know: the major triads. You can test yourself with Lesson 14: Major Triad Games.

The rule for the minor triad is pretty simple: The minor triad consists of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of a major scale (like the major triad), except you lower the 3rd a half-step. Symbolically, we write it like this:

Minor triad: 1 ♭3 5

The chord symbol for the minor triad is m ("little em"). Here are a couple of examples:

SymbolName & nicknames
BmB minor triad, B minor chord, B minor
C♯m C-sharp minor triad, C-sharp minor chord, C-sharp minor

Here are two example pairs of major & minor triads, so you can see how the major and minor triads are related to each other:

D ("D major chord"):D F♯ A
Dm ("D minor chord"):D F A
E♭ ("E-flat major chord"): E♭ G B♭
E♭m ("E-flat minor chord"): E♭ G♭ B♭

For reference, these are the notes in the common minor triads:

Chord Symbol Root 3rd 5th
B♭m B♭D♭F
C♯m C♯EG♯
D♯m D♯F♯ A♯
E♭m E♭G♭ B♭
F♯m F♯AC♯
G♯m G♯BD♯

Practice these minor triads in Lesson 16: Minor Triad Games.


1: Introduction
2: Practicing Songwriting
3: Pitch Names
4: Letters Game
5: Sharps & Flats
6: Half-Steps & Whole-Steps
7: Steps Game
8: Scales
9: Major Scale 1-2-3
10: Major 1-2-3 Games
11: Major Scale 1-5
12: Major 1-5 Games
13: Chords: Major Triads
14: Major Triad Games
15: Minor Triads
16: Minor Triad Games
17: Major Scale 1-8
18: Major Scale Games
19: Keys
20: Roman Numeral Chords
21: Scales Above 8
22: Diatonic Triads
23: Using Diatonics
24: Tonic Function
25: Subdominant & Dominant
26: Diatonic Function Analysis
27: Natural Minor Scale
28: Natural Minor Games
29: Minor Key Triads
30: 7th Chords
31: 7ths Games
32: Suspended-4th Chords
33: Time: Beats & Measures
34: Starting a Song: Hook Chords
35: Melody: Chord Tones
36: Treble Staff
37: Treble Staff Game
38: Note Lengths
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
40: Rhythm: Rests
41: Key Signatures
42: Syncopation
43: Pentatonic Scales
44: Hook Melodies
45: Hook to Chorus: Rolling Stone
46: Melody Rhythm: Rolling Stone
47: Non-Root-Bass Chords
48: Embellishing Tones
49: Diatonic 7ths
50: Pitch & Frequency

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