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Diminished Chords in Pop

Diminished Chords in Pop

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Published by gUiTaR DE-mystified
using diminished chords in popular music to add some extra notes to that harmonized major scale
using diminished chords in popular music to add some extra notes to that harmonized major scale

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Published by: gUiTaR DE-mystified on Jul 02, 2008
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12/03/2012

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__Diminished Chords in Pop and Rock__

1st off, what's a Diminished Chord?
a diminished chord is
a chord that consists of a root (1), b3 (flat 3), and b (flat )
those n!mbers correspond to n!mbers in the "a#or scale
(for e$ample%%%if &o! are pla&in' a C diminished chord,
that means that &o! are pla&in' the notes C, (b, and )b to'ether)
remember that there are * broad cate'ories of chords+
"a#or, "inor, Dominant, and Diminished
a diminished chord can be tho!'ht of as a "inor Chord (1, b3, )
b!t with a flatted (1, b3, b , diminished)
or &o! can think of it as a Dominant Chord with the 3rd as the root
e$ample (C- , C, (, ), .b), (dim , (, ), .b, C
b!t we'll 'et more into that in a sec%
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
now, if &o! look at the C harmoni0ed ma#or scale,
&o! see that the commonl& !sed chords in a son' in the ke& of C ma#or wo!ld be+
Major Minor Minor Major Major/Dominant Minor Diminished
1 ii iii 12 2 or 2- 3i 3ii
C D ( 4 G A B
in other words+
C ma#or, D minor, ( minor, 4 ma#or, ) ma#or or ) dominant, 5 minor, and . diminished
notice that there is a . diminished chord, b!t &o! ma& also notice that
Diminished Chords make an&thin' so!nd like &o!'re tr&in' to pla& Classical "!sic or s!mthin'%
so if &o! wanna so!nd more like .r!ce (sprin'steen that is) than .ach,
then ditch this lesson and look at 6armoni0ed "a#or 7cale with 7!bstit!tions%
b!t there are still places in Pop8Rock8e3en in Co!ntr&999 and :a00 where diminished chords are
!sed%%%
and not #!st to represent the -th chord of that ke&'s "a#or 7cale
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
here's a co!ple of pop!lar wa&s that Diminished Chords ha3e been !sed
to mo3e chromaticall& from one harmoni0ed ma#or scale chord to the ne$t %%%
;6allel!#ah/:eff .!ckle&;
)- )<dim 5min
;baffled kin' composin' hallel!#ah;
this transition is in the ke& of C, so notice, b& lookin' abo3e, that ) is the 2- (the chord),
5 is the minor (the =) and )< is%%%!h%%%!h%%%not there >p
and that's the point of this lesson,
diminished chords can be 'reat wa&s of fillin' in 'aps between
the chords of a 6armoni0ed 7cale
now as a sidenote, he act!all& !ses a Capo on the th fret, so the chord forms he's pla&in'
relate to the ) harmoni0ed ma#or scale% so it's the D//?D<dim//?(min that he's fin'erin'%
a'ain that wo!ld be 'oin' from the 2 to the <2dim to the 3i ( to the sharp diminished to the =)%
it allows the bass to walk !p chromaticall& @1 fret at a timeA%
let's do another e$ample / in standard t!nin'
;4riends in Bow places;
5 5<dim .min
;blame it all on m& roots, i showed !p in boots, and r!ined &o!r black tie affair;
(///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
./////////////////C/////////////////////////C/////////////////////////////////3////////////////
)/////////////C///////////////////////////D/////////////////////////////////*//////////////////
D//////////C////////////////////////////C/////////////////////////////////*////////////////////
5///////D////////////////////////////1//////////////////////////////////C//////////////////////
(/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
this son' is in the ke& of 5,
Major Minor Minor Major Major/Dominant Minor Diminished
1 ii iii 12 2 or 2- 3i 3ii
A B C# D E F# G#
so this wo!ld be an e$ample wo!ld be 1 //? < 1 dim //? ii
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
so, now there is C e$amples of !sin' the diminished,
to chromaticall& walk from a ma#or chord to a minor chord
within the same ke& @harmoni0ed ma#or scaleA%
here's different wa&s to pla& Diminished Chords%%%%
in all of these e$amples, the root is the lowest note of the chord%
(pattern of D) (pattern C of C) (pattern 3 of )) (pattern 1 of D) (pattern * of 5)
D D< (mi C C< Dmi ) )< 5mi D D< ( 5 5< .mi
/C////////C///////D///////////////////////////////////3///////////////////////C/////////////////////////////-/
/3////////D///////D////////////////////=//////////D//////3/////1/////////3/////*///////////////////-/
/C////////C///////D///////////////3/////-//////////D//////*/////C/////////C////////*///////=//////=///-/
/D////////1///////C////////////////////-//////////D//////3/////C/////////*/////*//////////-////////////
///////////////////C//////////3/////*///////////////C///////$/////D//////////////=///-///////-//////$/////
///////////////////D///////////////////////////////////3//(m)/*//////////////////////////////////////(t)=///-/
notice that to pla& the )< and 5< diminished chords abo3e,
it's the same shape, one &o! pla& the root with &o!r middle fin'er
and the other with &o!r th!mb,
with the one &o! !se &o!r th!mb to pla&, it's a lot like a D84< shape,
b!t &o!r th!mb is shifted !p one fret (which ma& be !ncomfortable at first)
and &o!r other fin'ers are on the D,), and . strin's,
(rather than the ), ., and hi( strin's%)

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