In the previous lessons, we checked out different types of major chords, minor chords, and dominant chords. Here you will learn Diminished chords and how to build 3 different types of diminished chords – Diminished, Diminished 7th and Half Diminished Chords on Guitar.
The scale for explaining diminished chords also remains the same, yes, the good ole C Major Scale!
A Diminished chord is quite similar to a Minor Triad (1-b3-5) but differs with a flattened 5th degree or also, it can be seen as a Major Triad with flattened 3rd and 5th degrees.
The formula for building a Diminished Chord is 1-b3-b5.
By applying this formula on the C Major Scale, we can derive a C Diminished Chord notes as C-Eb-Gb
A Diminished Chord can be denoted as Cdim or C Diminished.
Diminished Seventh Chord
Adding a double flattened 7th degree from the major scale to the Diminished Chord Triad yields a Diminished 7th Chord or a Fully Diminished 7th Chord.
Note: Double flattening just means that you lower a note by 2 semitones (2 frets) or a whole tone.
The formula for building a Diminished Seventh chord is 1-b3-b5-bb7
Applying this formula on the C Major Scale gives us a C Diminished 7th Chord as C-Eb-Gb-A
(Lowering the B note twice or a whole tone gives us the A note).
C diminished 7th chord can be represented as Cdim7 or C Diminished 7.
Unlike the fully diminished chord, a Half-Diminished Chord has the 7th degree lowered just ONCE. That’s the only difference between a Full and Half-Diminished Chords!
But a half-diminished chord is also the same as a Minor 7th Chord with a Flattened 5. So the half-diminished chord is more popularly known as m7b5 than its real name.
The formula for building a half-diminished chord is 1-b3-b5-b7.
By applying this formula on the C Major Scale we get the C Half-Diminished or Cmin7b5 chord as C-Eb-Gb-Bb.
A half-diminished chord is represented as Cm7b5 or Cmin7b5 or C Half-Diminished.
I hope this lesson could unravel the mystery behind the diminished chords to a good extent. And I hope you also enjoyed it.
By the way, how often have you used diminished chords in a musical situation? Can you identify different chords by ear?
Please do share your thoughts and suggestions as comments.
In the next lesson, we’ll learn to derive Augmented and Suspended Chords.