7 Stunning Diminished Tips for Powerful Songs

This lesson discusses one of the most useful chord types when it comes to substitution principles - the Diminished chord. If you've ever wondered how to effectively use this exotic /jazzy sound you're in luck. This lesson covers seven of the most popular ways that Diminished chords are applied in songs...

There are three main types of Diminished; the triad, the half-Diminished - also referred to as the Minor 7 (b5) - as well as, the Fully Diminished, which is also often called the “Dim. 7th.”


In this lesson our main focus will be based upon using the Half Diminished (also known as the "Minor 7 (b5)" chord), along with the Fully Diminished (also often called the "Dim.7" chord), as a way to connect other chords within a piece.

In this lesson we’ll do this with the Diminished chords being introduced introduced 'in between' some common chord movements within seven different chord progressions.

Before we get started with applying these various Diminished chord shapes, I wanted to review a few popular chord patterns of the Diminished chord, so that you’re well aware of this shape on the guitar neck.

Shape 1). The 6th-string Root Mi7(b5), Half-Diminished

Shape 2). The 5th-string Root Mi7(b5), Half-Diminished

Shape 3). The 6th-string Root Diminished 7th chord (Fully Diminished)

Shape 4). The 6th-string Root Diminished 7th

If you want to dig a lot deeper into the world of the “Diminished” chord, covering all three types of Diminished everywhere on the guitar neck, then check out my YouTube lesson titled, “The 3 Levels of Diminished.”

Next, let’s put these chord shapes to use functioning as passing chords between other chords of a key. For simplicity, we’ll keep everything within the key of, “C Major.” Here’s our first examples showing Dim.7 options around our keys, “V-chord”…

Example #1). Same root as V-chord

Example #2). Half-step below the V-chord

Example #3). Half-step above the V-chord Next, we’ll check out an example that applies Dim.7th to create an up-ward chromatic idea.

Example #4). Ascending chromatic option Now, we’ll work out a descending chromatic diminished option that uses the Dim.7 as a chromatic passing chord, plus introduces the sound of a “half-diminished” chord, “Mi7(b5)” to replace the diatonic “II-Chord,” of a major key.

Example #5). Descending chromatic option Another really cool sounding way to apply the Mi7(b5) chord is through a ‘step-by-step’ drop down that precedes the tonic chord of “Major 7”.

Example #6). Drop-down to the Tonic chord My last example is going to use shared chord tones as a way to both substitute and anticipate the arrival of popular diatonic chords.

Example #7). Anticipating the “II-chord” with the “VII-chord” of Minor 7(b5) and substituting the “V-chord” up a ½-step with the “Diminished 7th.”

Using Diminished chords as a way to enhance popular harmonic movements (that already exist within a key) can be really cool sounding.

These chords offer a lot of tension, so they work excellent for playing when you’re “on the way” over to other chords located within either higher or lower inversions.

Take these chord concepts and try substituting them into some of your favorite chord progressions. You can do that in similar ways to what I’ve done here, or you can make up your own ways.

Whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll find that the Diminished chord effects are a great enhancement to harmony lines and they offer a solid method for situations where you need passing chords.

As always, thanks for joining me, if you liked this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more, (and remember to hit that bell when you subscribe so that you’ll never miss any of my uploads to YouTube).

I also for sure want to let you know about the guitar courses available over on my website at CreativeGuitarStudio.com.

I’ve got step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses that work alongside of in-depth elective programs to form the best guitar course available.

The courses work to help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to that next level of guitar playing, in a very organized step-by-step way, that makes sense.

I look forward to helping you further at CreativeGuitarStudio.com

Until next time, take care and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now. 



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