Playing the B Minor Chord on Piano

Trying to play a song with a B minor chord? Be sure to look at this guide to playing B minor in all its variations!

The piano is a world of musical possibilities. Chords can be kind of scary for beginners. Where to begin? Take a deep breath – once you understand music theory tools, playing chords will be intuitive and easy. Check out this short article to learn about the B minor chord’s various forms and positions. 

The key to chords and inversions.

A chord is when you play a combination of two or more notes together. The most basic chord has three notes, called a triad. 

To play a major chord, you take the first, third, and fifth notes of a major scale and play them together. It comprises two intervals, a major third and then a minor third.

A minor chord also uses these two intervals in reverse order—first a minor third and then a major third. You build it from the first, third, and fifth notes of a major scale, but the third is flat (lower by a semitone). 

An inversion is when you play a different order of these three notes. You can play triads in three different positions. 

Root position: 1, 3, 5.

First inversion: 3, 5, 1.

Second inversion: 5, 1, 3. 

How to play a B minor chord. 

To understand B minor, let’s start with the B major scale.

Then play a B major chord by taking the first, third, and fifth degrees of the scale. 

To make this chord minor, flatten the third (which is the second note of the chord). This is a B minor chord in root position:

First inversion of B minor.

Remember, the first inversion is when you play the chord in this order:

3, 5, 1.

Second inversion of B minor.

The second inversion is when you play the chord in the following order:

5, 1, 3.

You can learn more about minor and other chords here.

Advanced tip: Adding the ninth.

Want to add flavor to your chord? Add a nine! The ninth is the second degree of the scale when you play it one octave higher than the chord’s root note. You will most likely add the seven when you play the nine. 

The seventh of B is A#, or A if it’s flat. The ninth of B is C#. Check out this table to learn how to use the ninth with B major and minor chords. For starters, play it in root position – so make sure the B is the lowest note in the chord.

Play popular songs with the B minor chord.

Do you feel ready to learn some popular songs which use the B minor chord? Try this on for size:

  • Hotel California – The Eagles
  • Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls
  • Money – Pink Floyd
  • River Flows in You – Yiruma

Play all day.

Practice makes everything click. Have a go at playing Bm with the help of this post. Don’t forget to download the Simply Piano app for interactive learning and step-by-step assistance playing B minor and many other chords.