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Chords in the Key of B

Pianote  /  Chords  /  UPDATED Mar 9, 2023

Click on the chord symbol for a diagram and explanation of each chord type:

B | Bm | Bsus2 | Bsus4 | Bmaj7 | Bm7 | B7 | Bdim7 | Bm7♭5


B MAJOR TRIAD

Chord Symbol: B or Bmaj

The B major triad consists of a root (B), third (D♯), and fifth (F♯). The distance between the root and the third is a major third interval (or four half-steps), and the distance between the third and the fifth is a minor third interval (or three half-steps). Major triads have a “happy” sound.

Root Position

Keyboard diagram of a B major triad in root position with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

1st Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B major triad in 1st inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

2nd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B major triad in 2nd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

B MINOR TRIAD

Chord Symbol: Bm

The B minor triad consists of a root (B), third (D), and fifth (F♯). The distance between the root and the third is a minor third interval (or three half-steps), and the distance between the third and the fifth is a major third interval (or four half-steps). Minor triads have a “sad” sound.

Root Position

Keyboard diagram of a B minor triad in root position with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

1st Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B minor triad in 1st inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

2nd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B minor triad in 2nd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

B SUSPENDED 2

Chord Symbol: Bsus2

In the Bsus2 chord, the third of the B major or minor chord (D♯ or D) is replaced (“suspended”) with a major 2nd (C♯).

Root Position

Keyboard diagram of a B sus 2 triad in root position with keys highlighted in red and labeled.

B SUSPENDED 4

Chord Symbol: Bsus4

In the Bsus4 chord, the third of the B major or minor chord (D♯ or D) is replaced (“suspended”) with a perfect 4th (E).

Root Position

Keyboard diagram of a B sus 4 triad in root position with keys highlighted in red and labeled.

B MAJOR 7

Chord Symbol: Bmaj7

A major 7 chord is a major triad with an added seventh. The distance between the root and the seventh is a major 7th interval.

Root Position

Keyboard diagram of a B major 7 triad in root position with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

1st Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B major 7 triad in 1st inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

2nd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B major 7 triad in 2nd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

3rd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B major 7 triad in 3rd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

B MINOR 7

Chord Symbol: Bm7

A minor 7 chord is a minor triad with an added seventh. The distance between the root and the seventh is a minor 7th interval.

Root Position

Keyboard diagram of a B minor 7 triad in root position with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

1st Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B minor 7 triad in 1st inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

2nd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B minor 7 triad in 2nd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

3rd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B minor 7 triad in 3rd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

B DOMINANT 7TH

Chord Symbol: B7

A dominant 7th chord is a major triad with an added seventh, where the distance between the root and the seventh is a minor 7th interval.

You can also think of dominant 7th chords as being built on the fifth note of a major scale and following that scale’s key signature. For example, B7 is built on B, the fifth note of E major, and follows E major’s key signature (F♯, C♯, G♯, D♯).

Root Position

Keyboard diagram of a B dominant 7th chord in root position with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

1st Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B dominant 7th chord in 1st inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

2nd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B dominant 7th chord in 2nd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

3rd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B dominant 7th chord in 3rd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

B DIMINISHED 7TH

Chord Symbol: Bdim7

A diminished 7th chord is a four-note-chord where each note is a minor third apart. You can think of diminished 7th chords as a “stack of minor thirds.”

Root Position

Keyboard diagram of a B diminished 7th chord in root position with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

1st Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B diminished 7th chord in 1st inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

2nd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B diminished 7th chord in 2nd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

3rd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B diminished 7th chord in 3rd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

B HALF-DIMINISHED 7TH

Chord Symbol: Bm7♭5

The half-diminished chord is also called the “minor seven flat five” chord. It is a minor 7 chord where the fifth is lowered by a half-step.

Root Position

Keyboard diagram of a B minor 7 flat 5 chord in root position with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

1st Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B minor 7 flat 5 chord in 1st inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

2nd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B minor 7 flat 5 chord in 2nd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

3rd Inversion

Keyboard diagram of a B minor 7 flat 5 chord in 3rd inversion with keys highlighted in red and labelled.

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