Intermediate Chords tutorials
9. Diminished 7th chords
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So you finally found someone who knows what these chords are, eh?

  1. Topics of discussion
  2. Diminished 7th chords

1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial, we resume our learning journey by discussing diminished seventh chords. So, let's have some fun.

2. Diminished 7th chords

Diminished 7th chords are obtained by taking a diminished triad and adding a double flatted 7th note of the major scale on top of it. Thus, the formula for such chords is the following one:

1 ♭3 ♭5 Double Flat7

Let's learn how to play the Cdim7 chord in various shapes, using the CAGED system. First off, the C form:

13EADGBE31214X
Cdim7 chord

Here it is played back:

Let's move on to the A form:

EADGBE14132X
Cdim7 chord

Here it is played back:

Let's move on to the G form:

6EADGBEX3X214
Cdim7 chord

Here it is played back:

Let's move on to the E form:

8EADGBE141321
Cdim7 chord

Here it is played back:

Finally, let's move on to the D form:

10EADGBE3121XX
Cdim7 chord

Here it is played back:

So when do diminished 7th chords come into play? Well, they can be played on the 7th note of a harmonic minor scale for one. They can also be played in a diatonic scale, with the root note being located between the notes that are separated by a whole step.

In other words, if a song is written in the key of C, you may encounter chords such as D♯dim7 (D♯ is located between D and E), or G♯dim7 (G is located between G and A) and so on. This is used in jazz music a lot.

That about covers it for this tutorial. Next up, we will be looking at chord inversions and what is known as slash chords. See you then.

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