Minor Diatonic Chord Shapes Part 2

Minor Diatonic Chord Shapes v, ♭VI, ♭VII

The last three diatonic chords of the minor scale are the v, ♭VI, and ♭VII. Make sure you've learned chords i through iv.

The v Chord – Minor Triad/Minor 7th

In the natural minor scale, the v chord is a minor triad or minor 7th chord. The v chord is often a very important chord within a key, and we will discuss a lot more about the v chord in minor keys in upcoming lessons.

In the key of G minor, the v chord is Dm, or Dm7.

Chord

Key

Example 7th

Example Triad

v

D minor

Dm7

Dm

The ♭VI Chord – Major Triad/Major 7th

In a minor key, the ♭VI chord is a major triad or major 7th chord.

In the key of G minor, the ♭VI chord is E♭, or E♭maj7.

The shape I'm showing you here is inverted, or sort of upside-down. Be sure to play them in the correct root-3-5-7 order. The root is high and the 3rd, 5th and 7th are played lower. You could play the notes all ascending, but the 7th would force you to shift. I don't want you shifting yet, and bass players favor low notes, right?

These "funny" or "unusual" shapes are a good introduction to the many useful shapes and positions we'll explore in the future.

Chord

Key

Example 7th

Example Triad

♭VI

G minor

E♭maj7

E♭

The ♭VII Chord – Major Triad/Dominant 7th

In a minor key, the ♭VII chord is a major triad or dominant 7th chord.

Like the ♭VI chord above, this shape is upside-down or inverted.

In the key of G minor, the ♭VII chord is F, or F7.

Chord

Key

Example 7th

Example Triad

♭VII

G minor

F7

F

Summary

These are the seven basic diatonic chords derived from the natural minor scale. On the exercises page, you'll find exercises using all seven chords. Memorize them and get them under your fingers. Get the sounds of them in your ears.

So far, I hope you:

  • Understand that the major and minor scale use the same seven chords only numbered differently.
  • Have memorized the chord qualities of each minor scale chord ( i is minor/minor 7th, ♭III is major, major 7th, etc.)
  • Have learned the extended minor scale position shown in this lesson block.
  • Have learned the shapes shown so far for all seven minor scale diatonic triads and seventh chords.

Be sure to have all of this comfortable in your mind, ears and fingers before moving on. The next few lessons will require it.

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