The B flat Major Chord

How to play the B flat Chord

The B flat major chord is the very first chord in the B flat major scale. This scale is very much used in Jazz, soul and R&B. It has a very colorful and emotional vibe to it and sounds very jazzy when improvised over. It goes well with the G minor chord.

On the piano, the B flat Major Chord is play using the following keys:

Bb D F - although for a jazzier soulful feel to it, its always best to add the 7th (A) is this case, which leaves you with Bb D F A.

The B flat Minor Chord is Bb Db F

For piano improvisation I find it very useful to use a power chord for the b flat major. A power chord is simply extending the chord with your left hand so that the key (Bb) and the 5th (F) are like bass notes. e.g. A power chord b flat major would be, left hand Bb, F right hand would be Bb, D, F, A. You can easily improving on the right hand using random voicing patterns. See the picture below.

B Flat Major 7th using power chords. Play 1+5+1 with the left, allows you do some some voicing with your right hand
B Flat Major 7th using power chords. Play 1+5+1 with the left, allows you do some some voicing with your right hand

B flat Major Scale

As mentioned above, the B flat scale has a jazzy sound and feel to it and sounds impressive when improvised on, it is also easy on the finger when playing the keyboard or piano. Please see below for a list of all the chords that belong in the B flat Major Scale.

The notes are Bb C D Eb F G A

  1. B flat Major
  2. C Minor
  3. D Minor
  4. E flat Major
  5. F Dominant / 7th
  6. G Minor
  7. A Diminshed

Please also note that keys outside these scales can also be used, however they must be simply "passing" notes to create that jazzy mood. A phrase should never end on a key outside this scale. e.g.C Dd D is ok, however D Eb E is not good. Ending on an E will sound wrong.

The fundamentals for Jazz/Soul or even other genres is the 2-5-1 chord progression. From the above that would be Cmin, Fdom/7, Bb Maj. Play it and see how natural it sounds. Another combination is the 3-6-2-5-1.

Happy playing!!

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