(Natural) Minor Diatonic Triads / Music Theory Lesson

Author: sleepfreaks

Before Going into Minor Related Studies

We have taken a deep look at major diatonic chords, and we have a good amount of theorhetical knowledge to create bright sounding chord progressions.

Now we will be moving onto more minor related content.
Try making different songs using the dark and cool sounding minor style progressions.

First, we will start by taking a look at the minor diatonic triads.
By following along, even those who may have previously struggled with minor related theory will be able to grasp a better understanding.

The information from below is crucial so we recommend brushing up first:

In addition, knowing the flow of making major diatonic chords will make this topic much easier.
Diatonic chords are made by stacking up 3 notes 1 3 and 5 starting from that root using notes from ascale.

(Natural) Minor Diatonic Triads

There are actually 3 main types of minor scales, but we will be focusing on the natural minor scale for this article.
Lets take a look in the Key of A minor, which only uses the white keys.


First, we will look at the diatonic triads that can be made from a natural minor key (natural minor hereby refered to as minor).

How Minor Diatonic Chords are Made

Making diatonic triads actually follow the same basic idea as with major diatonic chords.
First, we have an A minor scale.


We will stack two notes on top of A, each skipping a note in between.
In this case, the notes are C and E. You can copy and paste if using your DAW.

As seen, we get an A minor chord.
Lets continue this process on the notes B, D, F, and so on.

By doing so, we no longer have any higher notes to use for the 5th note E.
If confused, you can sequence in another octave above the A minor scale as well.

When you have finished up to G, take a look at the completed group of triad chords.

These are the diatonic triads of A minor, but if you cant tell what chords are which at a glance, think of the chords as the root starting from C.
* (move each chord so the root becomes C)

The chord on the furthest left is Am, and we can easily find which chords are minor, diminished (triad), or major.

Lets return them back to their original position and see what diatonic chords are found.

From the left, we have:

Minor / diminished (triad) / major / minor / minor / major / major

This line up, like when looking at major keys, will remain the same regardless of what minor key you are in.

Ex: Diatonic chords in C Minor

Last but not least

You may have already noticed this, but C major and A minor are relative to each other, so the only difference in notes between the two scales are their order.
This means that the diatonic chords are also just in a different order as well.


Though the function of the chords may change, you will not need to learn any new chords at this point and time.
You can study up on minor diatonic chords with ease knowing this information!

Next time, we will take a look at minor diatonic 7th chords.

Article Writer: Kazuma Itoh

講師 伊藤
After moving to the USA at 18 years of age with a scholarship from Berklee, he completed a 4 year study focused on song writing and arranging there.
Using this knowledge, he works across a variety of fields from pop music, film music, and more.