Playing the Bb Minor Chord (A# Minor) on Piano
Trying to learn all the major and minor chords? This short article breaks down what you need to know to play the Bb minor chord.
Chords can be a whirlwind of numbers, letters, and sounds. It’s easy to get lost and confused, especially when just beginning on the piano.
Luckily for you, music theory is full of easy tools to help you figure out and understand chords. We’ve collected all the essential information, including clear and easy tables, to help you play Bb/A# minor.
Chords and inversions.
The definition of a chord is to play two or more notes simultaneously. When you play three notes at the same time, you’re playing a triad.
A triad generally will be major or minor. You build a major chord using the major scale’s first, third, and fifth notes. It comprises two intervals, a major third and then a minor third.
Minor chords have the same two intervals in reverse – a minor third and then a major third. You build them from the major scale’s first, third, and fifth notes, but the third is flat (lower by a semitone).
An inversion is when you play these notes in a different order. Triads can appear in three positions:
Root position: 1, 3, 5.
First inversion: 3, 5, 1.
Second inversion: 5, 1, 3.
Building a Bb minor chord.
To make a Bb minor chord, we begin with the Bb major scale.
Then make a Bb major chord, using the first, third, and fifth degrees of the scale:
To make it minor, flatten the third degree of the scale (which is the second note of the chord):
First inversion – Bb minor.
The first inversion is when you play the chord like this:
3, 5, 1.
Here is Bb minor in first inversion:
Second inversion – Bb minor.
The second inversion is when you play the chord in the following order:
5, 1, 3.
This is Bbm in second inversion:
Bb’s long lost sister: A#
Did you know Bb is also called A#? It’s all about the context. This system comes from a rule that you cannot have the same letter appear twice in a scale or chord.
In the case of A#, this causes a confusing lettering situation. The letters C, F, and G all have a ‘double sharp’ symbol (which looks like x). This is because all of these notes are already sharp on an A major scale. So when A becomes A#, they all raise up by another semitone.
All of the above Bb tables are here below, with the new lettering of A#. Remember that they still sound exactly the same as each other.
A# major scale:
G# major chord:
G# minor chord:
G# minor first inversion:
G# minor second inversion:
You can find a fast and effective rundown on our blog to Quickly Learn Piano Notes and Chords.
Popular songs with Bb/A# minor.
Do you want to figure out some popular songs that use the Ab/G# minor chord? Check out these:
- Burn – Ellie Goulding
- Midnight in Manhattan – Peter White
- Sleeping with Ghosts – Placebo
- I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
Here we go!
There is no time like the present for learning chords. They give you a major step-up in your musical journey and get you through every minor challenge! Start to play Bb/A# minor, and make sure you download the Simply Piano app–it’s an interactive, fun, and easy guide to learning chords.