Diminished chords - what am I missing?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by johmica, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    You are correct. My post (#4j is wrong.
     
  2. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I apologize for my careless post (#4)
     
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  3. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

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    No worries. If I had a nickel for every wrong thing I’ve said in my posts here, well, I’d have a heck of a lot of nickels.
     
  4. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    OK. I can force my fingers into some of these shapes but it’s like trying to understand logarithms from log tables. I didn’t get it until I started using logarithms to understand the performance of electronic devices I was working with. How are diminished chords used? I don’t recall ever seeing one in an Ultimate Guitar chords and lyrics download. Any help and direction will be appreciated. Help and direction for the use of augmented chords will also be appreciated.
     
  5. Misty Mountain

    Misty Mountain Tele-Meister

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    I understood a minor 7b5 as half diminished as the 3,5,7 are flatted (circle with a line through it in some notation). A fully diminished chord is flat 3, flat 5 and double flatted 7.

    So C diminished 7 will be C Eb Gb Bbb

    C half diminished 7 or minor 7b5 will be C Eb Gb Bb
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  6. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

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    This thread is making me hungry for some dim sum.
     
  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    One widely used application is as passing chord….In C…C,C#dim,Dm7,G7…..or you can play another diminished chord following the Dm7 to get to the Em7….
    The first time I used a diminished chord was when I found it in ‘Spooky’ by Dennis Yost and the Classics IV back in the 70s.
    Another song I like it in is ‘Desert Skies’ by The Marshall Tucker Band…again to get from the I to the ii.
    Willie Nelson used it in ‘Crazy’ to go from the V to the I…a G#dim in between them. Then, he did the classic move from the I(C) to a C#dim, Ii, V7, back to the I.
    Hendrix used it in at least one song….he goes up the fretboard 1 1/2 steps at a time ‘repeating the diminished.
     
  8. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don’t you mean diminished returns? :D
     
  9. Misty Mountain

    Misty Mountain Tele-Meister

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    lots of blues songs use full diminished #4 in a chord progression like Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green) I need your love so bad. A-A7-D7-D#dim7 (or Eb dim7 if you prefer ), etc. The D#dim 7 is the four chord sharpened and diminished in this case. Makes a song kind gospel when used in this context.

    Plus that song has a cool vi,ii,V,I turnaround.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  10. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Important to add to this is that º7 and m7b5 chords function differently.

    º7 chords act (generally) as passing chords (as noted in a previous post) and leading tone chords.
    m7b5 (or 1/2 diminished) chords (generally) act as the ii chord in a minor ii -V - I progression or the iii chord in a iii - vi - ii - V prog.

    *Dominant 7b9 chords are also dim7 chords usually without the root.
    Example: an A7b9 (sans root) is the same as Bbº7
     
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  11. billy logan

    billy logan Tele-Meister

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    I think of Major and minor triad chords as the bricks - and the in-between diminished chords as the mortar.
    So you might have a nice progression walking up from C MAJ to F MAJ:

    C > D minor > E minor > F - or - you might hold those bricks together with:

    C > C# diminished > D minor > D# diminished > E minor > F ... same destination. but your bass note rises in a different way. IF you want that..

    That's my way of agreeing with the posts above :)

    beyond here lie dragons: {{If you want to call "C# diminished" "Db diminished" instead, BE MY GUEST*. standard notation is COMPLETELY FLAWED ime. E.g., A little triangle denotes MAJOR 7th which insults my understanding of a diminished chord as "every third fret" - lots of "three-ness" involved,like 3 sides of a triangle, BUT NO! little circle for diminished :(}} [[* call it H## diminished if you want! Get extra credit from the jerk professor from Berlin]]

    That big band way of imitating a steam locomotive starting up is just a four-note diminished chord moving up and up chromatically, like for Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

    In some tunes it sounds OK to play a diminished chord in the role of the V7. e.g., Key of C, instead of G7 to C, play G#diminished to C. in other words G# diminished (D F G# B) to C (C E G C)

    now you're flirting with using that diminished chord to transition to a new key. e.g. G# diminished (F G# B D) then force it into the new key of, for instance, Eb, instead of resolving to C.

    well maybe it'll be helpful to somebody. yikes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  12. oldunc

    oldunc Tele-Holic

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    Way too big a question for here, but diminished chords of various sorts are all about tritones. In traditional tonal music the tritone (known as "the devil in music") has driven cadences, as it demands to be resolved, and diminished chords are usually serving dominant or subdominant roles. The VII chord (min7b5) in a major scale, or the II in a minor scale, occurs naturally in the scale and can serve as a dominant, resolving either to the I or the VI (relative). The dim7 chord is particularly equivocal since it contains 2 tritones- that allows it to resolve a number of different ways, making it useful in modulations. In blues and jazz tritones have come to be used merely as a tone color without harmonic function, and a lot of modern music is atonal, avoiding cadences entirely, so it's more a matter of what sounds good to you, but mostly they will be substituted in for chords containing the same tritone (s). When they start talking about subbing in a chord for one a tritone away (eg. Bb7 for E maj7) they lose me, but it's often done.
     
  13. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    You have diminished yourself in our eyes as an expert in music theory. (j/k) :D
     
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  14. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

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    mb5 = ø = half dim = dim triad (1 b3 b5)
    m7b5 = ø7 = half dim = half dim7 (1 b3 b5 b7)
    o = o7 = dim = dim7 (1 b3 b5 bb7) ........ or (1 b3 b5 6)

    Life's full of foibles.
    Dim chord insinuates a dim7 (without the bb7 it's mb5).
    Half dim may indicate a mb5 or m7b5, so without music notation it's ambiguous.
    If I'm just jotting down chords, I prefer to use mb5, m7b5, and dim to clearly differentiate.

    The mb5 and the m7b5 have a strong urge to resolve to the 5th (due to the tritone).
    The Dim (dim7) with 2 tritones has more instability (dissonance) and more places to resolve to. By itself it has no clear root note (so is useful for shifting key centres).

    I think I'm repeating what's already been said above ..... Oh well.
     
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  15. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    Brilliant. I think. I wish I had even half a clue what you were talking about :)

    But that's my issue, LOL.
     
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  16. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    Interestingly, I’ve tried to mess around with, understand and use diminished chords these last few days. What I discovered is...

    ...I like beer. :)

    Pax/
    Dean
     
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  17. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Tele-Meister

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    Well I think that the 3rd or 7th should be noted as M7 if you are in the minor key and m7 if you are in a Major key.
     
  18. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    I think the most common use is to chromatically fill between two chords whose bass notes are a whole step apart:

    | G/ G#dim / | Am7 / D7 / | (repeat as a vamp, for example)

    G: 355433
    G#dim: 4x343x
    Am7: 5x5555
    D7: x5453x



    | G / G9/B / | C / C#dim / | G/D or D7 |

    G: 355433
    G9: x2323x
    C: x3555x
    C#dim: x4535x
    G: x55433 (or D7: x5453x)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  19. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Here's how Eldon Shamblin plays Stay All Night, Stay a Little Longer. Note he uses the Cm in a similar way, filling between two chords whose bass notes are a whole step apart. I have a lesson on it on my YouTube channel.

    Play bass note / strum

    G : x 10 9 7 8 x
    G7: x 8 9 7 8 x
    C : x 7 5 5 5 x
    Cm: x 6 5 5 4 x
    G : x 5 5 4 3 x
    C#dim: x 4 5 3 5 x
    D7: x 3 4 2 3 x
    G: x 2 5 4 3 x



    Second half of the verse:

    G: 3 5 5 4 3 3
    G9: x 2 3 2 3 x
    C: x 3 5 5 5 x
    C#dim: x 4 5 3 5 x
    G : x 5 5 4 3 x
    C#dim: x 4 5 3 5 x
    D7: x 3 4 2 3 x
    G: x 2 5 4 3 x




     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  20. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Or in a blues or swing tune plugging IV#dim in for the final part of the IV chord:

    | G///| C9/C#dim/|G///|


    Or if you have a long duration of a single chord:
    |G///|G///|

    it is often broken up like this:
    |G/Gb/|G///|

    You can use the diminished of the same root:
    |G/Gdim/|G///|
     
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