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use of diminished chords

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bass555, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. bass555


    Mar 16, 2005
    i'm a pretty good student of diatonic harmony and I have played numerous songs with dim chords (covers), but, as a writer, I simply have not had the "instinct" of where and when to apply dim chords in my songs...is it a setup thing?

    A dim chord is basically two min 3rds stacked, right?...do you fellows just play the root or do you get adventuresome and play the extended chord tones, as well

    I guess aug chords are welcome in this thread, too...

    Stupid aug chords (/Homer)
  2. small, heavy be

    small, heavy be

    Apr 25, 2005
    i'm actually dealing with the aug thing right now.
    i have a progression that goes from Bbminor to A aug to Dmaj, which is cool because it allows me to do a chromatic descent while pedaling the third on my G (for the first two).
    i kind of came into this accidentally, though, and i really don't know much past that about it.
    wish i did, though, cuz if i were more familiar with the aug. chords i think the bassline could really pick up some steam.
  3. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    A Diminished chord can have 4 possible key centers - Root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th.

    That's as much as I know.
  4. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    A Diminished chord is a minor chord with a flat 5th. Check out the song Glass Sandwich by Primus. It's based on an A diminished.
  5. Getao


    Jun 17, 2004
    Menlo Park, CA
    Diminished is more than flat fifth... that's half diminished (locrian)

    Diminished also has a double flatted seventh

    EG in Cdim, the notes are C, Eb (min 3), Gb (min 5), Bbb or A (dbl flat seven)
  6. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Fully diminished chords are wonderful things, especially the Dim7. As other have noted they are made of stacked minor 3rds, which makes them symetrical. That means a given Dim7 chord could actually be an inversion of 4 different chords. This makes them a great tool for modulating (Bach was very fond of this).

    Also they have a pair of tritone, which aside from sounding cool by themselves, have nifty ways of resolving to a variety of stable chords.
  7. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Locrian isn't a diminished 5th, it's an augmented 4th. The 5th is a perfect 5th in a locrian scale. Locrian is R , +2 , +3 , x4 , P5 , +6 , +7 (+:major , x:augmented , P:perfect)
  8. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    There is a lot in a diminished chord. First it is a symetrical chord with 3 minor thirds on top of each others: Co7 would be C,Eb,Gb and A (or Bbb). If you add an other minor third, you are back to the starting point (C). So every diminished chord could be thought as 4 chords Co7,Ebo7,Gbo7 or Ao7. The root movement will tell you what is the starting note of the diminished chord. Actually there are only 3 differents diminished chords or scales that cover all the keys: Co,C#o and Do. Then you are back to an inversion of C diminished startind on Eb.
    Here is an example of an use of this chord: you're in C Maj moving to a D min7. You can link the 2 chords by using a C#o7 between the C and D ,making a nice chromatic root movement and adding new colors to the harmony (C# and Bb). Now the fun part is that this chord (C#o7) can be seen as an incomplete A7(b9) or A7(b9)/C# which would be the dominant chord of the Dmin7, making a nice V7 to Imin feel. So there is a lot in that diminished chord.
    Hope this will help
  9. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    That's Lydian, the 4th mode of major. Locrain, which is 1, b2, b3, 4, b5, b5, b7, is the the 7th mode of major.

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