IntroductionThere are a variety of diminished guitar chords. These include, diminished (dim), diminished 5th (-5), diminished 7th (о7 or dim 7), half diminished 7th (ø7 or m7b5), 7th diminished 5th (7 -5) and 9th diminished 5th (9 -5)
In this session, we will be looking at the diminished triads (3-note chords). Many guitarists play a diminished 7th chord (4-note chord) instead of a diminished chord. The choice is yours, but they are handy to know.
The diminished chord is a dissonant or unstable chord and generally needs resolution. However, if used cleverly, it can create a certain amount of interest in a piece.
- A diminished chord is a diminished triad consisting of 2 minor thirds above the root or tonic, therefore having a root, a minor third, and a diminished 5th.
- The chord formula for a diminished (dim) chord is 1 - ♭3 - ♭5
- The symbol for a diminished chord is dim, º , or m(♭5)
Example: Calculating C diminished... Cdim, Cº or Cm(♭5)
- Diminished Chords consist of the 1st, ♭3rd, and ♭5th notes of a Major Scale
- Remember that a minor third is equal to 3 half steps or 3 semitones. If we move a minor third upwards from C, we get E♭ ...(C - C# - D - E♭). If we move another minor 3rd upwards from E♭, we get G♭...E♭- E - F - G♭)
- 'C' chords, are based on the C major Scale which consists of no sharps or flats.
- The C scale reads as follows: C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C
- Chord formula for a diminished chord = 1 - ♭3 - ♭5
- Substitute the notes of the scale into the formula: 1=C, ♭3=♭E, ♭5=♭G
- C dim reads as follows: C -♭ E - ♭G
Dimimished Chord Charts
Adim - Cdim
C#dim / Dbdim - Edim
Fdim - G#dim/ Abdim