Just as minor scales have a different pattern of whole steps and half steps from major scales, minor chords have a different pattern than major chords. We create a minor triad from scale degrees 1, 3, and 5 of the natural minor scale. Follow these steps to determine the pitches of a minor triad:
1. Write out the scale degrees under the staff. Just like the major triad, only the numbers 1 through 5 are needed. We will continue with the key of B flat, and create a B flat minor triad.
2. Write the pattern of whole steps and half steps as they occur between each scale degree (W H W W).
3. Write in the first five pitches of that diatonic scale. Do not skip any pitches or repeat any pitches.
Scale degree 1 to 2 is a whole step. A whole step above B flat is C, so no accidental is needed.
Scale degree 2 to 3 is a half step. A half step above C is D flat, so we need to add that accidental.
Scale degree 3 to 4 is a whole step. A whole step above D flat is E flat, so we must write a flat in front of the E.
Scale degree 4 to 5 is a whole step. A whole step above E flat is F.
The triad consist of scale degrees 1, 3, and 5 played at the same time. Therefore, the notes of a B flat minor triad are B flat, D flat, and F. When these notes are played one at a time, they are called a B flat minor arpeggio.