In this article, you’ll learn how to construct the B flat diminished triad as well as how to play it on piano and guitar.
We’ve also included sections on inversions for those that want a deeper understanding. Lastly, listen to some examples of popular songs that featured this triad.
Root, Flat 3rd and Flat 5th
The B flat diminished triad is formed of the 1st, flat 3rd and flat 5th of the B flat major scale.
- Bb – root note
- Db – Minor 3rd above the root
- Fb – diminished 5th above the root
Here is the triad written on the stave in the treble and bass clef.
Before you read on make sure that you have a basic understanding of intervals. Intervals are vital for understanding how triads are built. Check out our guide to major, minor and perfect intervals for more on this.
Bb diminished Triad on Piano
Below you can see how to play this triad on the keyboard or piano. This pattern of notes could also be played starting on any B flat note.
However, the order of the notes must be the same:
- B flat – lowest note
- D flat – middle note
- F flat – highest note
This is called ‘root position’.
Bb dim Triad on Guitar
There are two simple positions that you can use to play a B flat dim triad on guitar. Both positions can also be slide up or down the neck to play different diminished triads.
A 1st inversion is where we take a triad but we start on the second note, which in this case is Db. We still keep the Fb above, but then the Bb (or root) become the highest note.
This way of rearranging a triad gives us a different sound as the relative pitches of the three notes has changed.
- Db – min 3rd (lowest note)
- Fb – dim 5th (middle note)
- Bb – root note (highest note)
1st inversion on Piano
On the piano we can play the 1st inversion of a B flat dim triad by starting on a Db.
1st Inversion on Guitar
Below are the most common shapes for playing a B flat diminished triad in the 1st inversion. Remember that we can only use certain shapes are the pitches of the three notes are important.
A 2nd inversion is where we take a triad but we start on the third note, which in this case is Fb. We still keep the Bb above this as we did from the 1st inversion. Then the Db becomes the highest note in the chord.
- Fb – dim 5th (lowest note)
- Bb – root note (middle note)
- Db – min 3rd (highest note)
We could construct a 2nd inversion starting on any Fb note in any octave. The only thing that must stay the same is that the we use the Bb above and the Db above that.
2nd inversion on Piano
On the piano we can play the 2nd inversion of a B flat diminished triad by starting on a Fb. They play the Bb above and the Db above this.
2nd Inversion on Guitar
Below are the most common shapes for playing a B flat diminished triad in the 2nd inversion. Remember that we can only use certain shapes are the pitches of the three notes are important.
Keys that Include B Flat Diminished Triad
You might be asking – what key do you find B flat diminished triad in? Well, as you can see below, Bb Dim is the second chord in the key of Ab minor.
It is also the 7th chord in the key of B Major. A#Dim is enharmonically equivalent to BbDim.