Chord voicings, specifically diminished

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Stragbass, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Stragbass


    Feb 22, 2012
    Whitehall, NY
    Hey everybody, looked through the forums for a minute, didn't find what I was looking for, if I missed it feel free to just post the link and I'll peep it. Was wondering what everyone out there plays for chord voicings on diminished chords. I've been messing with it for some time and have sort of settled on like an :

    E: 15
    A: X
    D: 14
    G: 15

    for like a G diminished chord, I know it doesn't have the 5th, but its got the diminished vibe and it fits in terms of being played smoothly through jazz tunes (I have relatively small hands so big reaches are a bit out of the question). Anyway, I guess my perspective predisposes a root position chord, but I mean I AM a bass player so I do think that way, anyway, was just hoping you guys could share some cool voicings with me… Thanks all.
  2. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    well it looks like a Edim/G because G is the minor 3rd of E and Bb is the diminish 5th of E.

    You could also see it as a Gmin with a major 6th.

    Maybe also as a Bbdim/G
  3. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    I think you need to look at the context and the voice leading. That will tell you which notes you can omit. If you're doing a solo/chord melody thing then the melody note also becomes part of the equation.
  4. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Instead of looking at fingerings, start with what IS a diminished chord? It's R, b3, b5, and bb7. In G that's G, Bb, Db, and Fb (enharmonically E). Your voicing has R, bb7, and b3 so it works as the G diminished by putting in the b3 and bb7.

    But as has been pointed out, voicing a chord, especially something with as much potential for clashing tones as a diminished chord, requires that you know what others are voicing at the same time, and how each note of the chord you play relates to the notes of the next chord.

  5. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    In general, the 5th is the least important note in any chord - at least in terms of the ear recognizing its functionality. But with diminished chords, remember, there are only three diminished 7th chords that cover all 12 roots. If you are going to use only three tones, you'll require a few more fingerings than just the standard three to cover all 12.

    For three-note voicings and sticking with G as the root, I use:

    G: 9 (bb7)
    D: 11 (b5)
    A: 10 (root)
    E: x


    G: 9 (bb7)
    D: 8 (b3)
    A: 10 (root)
    E: x

    Of course, you can voice these using only the E, A, and D strings, and you can look at the same fingerings as above as inversions of a Bbdim, Dbdim, and Fbdim - I'll leave it to you to figure out which are actually dim7 chords and which omit the bb7.