Playing the D Minor Chord on Piano

Want to play chords in all their variations? We’ve broken down the D minor chord in this step-by-step guide. 

If you’re a beginner at piano, it can be overwhelming to learn chords. Playing so many notes simultaneously in different combinations is complicated at first. 

But no stress! There are straightforward methods in music theory for figuring out chords. This short article breaks down the D minor chord and explains how to play it in all its positions and forms. 

Chords and their Inversions

When you play a combination of two or more notes simultaneously, this is a chord. The most basic chord is a triad that has three notes. 

We build the major chords from two intervals, a major third, and a minor third. You can figure it out by taking a major scale’s first, third, and fifth notes. 

We build minor chords from the major scale’s first, third, and fifth notes, but the third is flat (lower by a semitone). This means it has two intervals, a minor third, and a major third.

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

Root position: 1, 3, 5.

First inversion: 3, 5, 1.

Second inversion: 5, 1, 3. 

Making a D minor chord. 

To understand a D minor chord, let’s start from the D major scale.

1234567
DEF#GABC#

Now, let’s play a D major chord by taking the first, third, and fifth degrees of the scale. 

135
DF#A

To make this chord minor, flatten the third degree of the scale (which is the second note of the chord). 

1b35
DFA

D minor chord in first inversion.

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

3, 5, 1.

b351
FAD

D minor chord in second inversion.

The 2nd inversion is when you play the chord in the following order:

5, 1, 3.

51b3
ADF

Advanced tip: Adding sevenths. 

To make your chords more colorful, add a seven. In the key of D, the seven is C#, meaning that the flat seven is C. 

If you know how to play a D major chord and a D minor chord, you can easily add sevens to make four new types of chords. Each one with its unique flavor:

13 or b357 or b7
Dmaj 7DF#AC#
Ddom 7DF#AC
Dmin 7DFAC
Dminmaj 7DFAC#

Check out this resource for more information on minor chords.

Popular songs that use the D minor chord.

If you want to learn some popular songs that use the D minor chord, check out:

  • Godfather Theme – Soundtrack Orchestra
  • Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
  • Killing in the Name – RATM
  • They Don’t Care About Us – Michael Jackson 

Go ahead and play!

What are you waiting for? Try playing D minor with the help of this post. Don’t forget to download the SimplyPiano app for interactive guidance in playing D minor and plenty of other chords. 

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