A Bb major chord is the root chord for the key of B flat. Not only used in the key of Bb, it is also widely used in the keys of F and Eb.
Knowing when and where to use this chord is important when playing different chord progressions. Let’s begin looking at how to build it and what the chord looks like.
Bb major chords are built off of the root note of Bb.
You can start on the Bb above middle C or below middle C. You will have the same chord regardless of where you start, they will just be an octave apart.
Deciding to use either the high or low chord will depend a lot on the song. Some songs will sound better with the lower chord, while other will sound better with the higher. Just use your ear when deciding which is best.
For now, start on the Bb note below middle C, and add D and F to have the complete Bb chord.
How to Build It
When building the Bb Major Chord you need to follow the simple structure for all major chords.
Each major chord is built from a major scale. The major scale tells you the notes that are going to use in the major chord.
In the key of Bb, you need to look at the Bb Major Scale. These notes areBb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A.
To build a major chord, number the notes 1 through 7 like in the image below. To make a major chord, you use the first, third, and fifth notes in the scale.
The first note being the root of Bb, third being D, and fifth being F.
Fingering and Inversions
Each major chord has three different inversions that can create different sounds from one single chord. Take a look at the chart to see the three inversion for the Bb Chord.
Fingering for the Bb Chord is also very important. In order to transition easily between chords it’s important to know the proper fingering.
The root position is the most common position for all major chords. Start on the root note Bb with the thumb. Use the middle finger on D and then add the fifth finger on F.
The first inversion starts with a root note of D with the thumb. Then use the second finger to play the F. Finish the chord on Bb on top with the fifth finger.Second Inversion
The second inversion uses the same fingering as the root position. Start by playing an F with your thumb. Go up to Bb with your middle finger and end on D with your fifth finger.
Make sure to memorize each of these inversions. They are great to use so you don’t have to jump all over the piano to switch to a new chord.
When learning the Bb Major Chord, make sure to also learn its musical notation.
The Bb Chord has one flat as shown in the image below. Both of the other two notes in the chord are natural, or white notes.
Study this chart so when you see this chord in a piece of music, you can quickly and easily pick it out without having to read each individual note.
Using The Bb Chord
You will generally use the Bb Major chord in the keys of Bb, F, and Eb.
When it is used in the key of Bb Major, it will almost always be the leading chord of the song. Most all contemporary songs start on the root chord. So, if you know a song is in the key of Bb, it will generally start on the Bb Chord.
In the key of F, the Bb major chord is used as the fourth chord in the scale. It will generally follow after an F Major Chord or a D Minor chord.
The key of Eb uses Bb as the fifth chord. It will normally follow the Ebchord or follow after a C Minor chord.
These are just rough guides. The Bb major chord can follow after many other chords. These are just some of its more predominant usages.
Need more help learning chords? Learn almost every chord you'll ever need with our Piano Chord Encyclopedia.
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