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Lesson 15: Half-Diminished 7th Chord Forms



In a major key, the half-diminished chords are most commonly used as the vii� chord. In a minor key it's the ii� chord. The interval construction is 1 - m3 - D5 - m7.

Another name for this chord is minor 75. Remember this because both names are used equally as often.

The term half-diminished refers to the fact that the chord contains a diminished triad but the 7th interval is not diminished.

Therefore the entire chord is thought of as only half diminished.

In a full-diminished chord the triad is diminished as is the 7th interval.



Below are 3 common forms that should provide you with a good foundation in half-diminished 7th chords.









The roots of the chords have been circled. Roots are the notes for which the chords have been named.

For example, to play a Gm75 chord, make sure that the circled note of the form is on the note G on the fretboard.

X's indicate strings should not be played. The numbers in the black dots indicate which finger to use.



Exercise #1:

Play chord form #1.

Make sure that your left hand thumb is near the center of the curve in the neck so that your fingers can come straight at the fretboard.

Play each note of the chord one at a time to make sure that each note sounds clear.

Once this is done, slide the entire chord up the fretboard one half-step.

Again, play each note of the chord one at a time to make sure that each note sounds clear.

Then move up one more fret and play the chord. Keep doing this until you run out of fretboard.

Now, move back down the fretboard by half-steps.

Repeat the above steps using form #2 and then again using form #3.



Exercise #2:

Play through all three forms for each chord in the order listed after the chord name.



Play:

Cm75 forms: 1 --> 2 --> 3

Fm75 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2

Bm75 forms: 2 --> 3 --> 1

Em75 forms: 1 --> 2 --> 3

Am75 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2

Dm75 forms: 1 --> 2 --> 3

Gm75 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2

Bm75 forms: 2 --> 3 --> 1

Em75 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2

Am75 forms: 2 --> 3 --> 1

Dm75 forms: 1 --> 2 --> 3

Gm75 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2


Exercise #3:

Play the following m75 chords. Make sure to play the chord form number specified in parenthesis. After playing through this exercise you should begin to see a pattern.

Cm75 (form 3) --> Fm75 (form 2) --> Bm75 (form 3) --> Em75 (form 2) --> Am75 (form 3) --> Dm75 (form 2) --> Gm75 (form 3) --> Bm75 (form 2) --> Em75 (form 2) --> Am75 (form 3) --> Dm75 (form 2) --> Gm75 (form 3).


Exercise #4:

Play the following m75 chords. Again, you should begin to see a pattern.

Cm75 (form 3) --> Fm75 (form 1) --> Bm75 (form 3) --> Em75 (form 1) --> Am75 (form 3) --> Dm75 (form 1) --> Gm75 (form 3) --> Bm75 (form 3) --> Em75 (form 1) --> Am75 (form 3) --> Dm75 (form 1) --> Gm75 (form 3).


Exercise #5:

Now that you have the chords under your fingers it's time to do a little brain work. Go through each of these chords and identify each note - whether it is the Tonic, the Third, the Fifth or the Seventh.


Final Note: The chord forms you have just been working on sometimes provide too many notes. For example, if you are working with a keyboard player and you are both playing big full chords, things might start to sound a little muddy. Sometimes it is better to play only two or three notes of the chord. This can help clean up the sound. You can use any combination of notes of the 3 forms.














Copyright 2001 T.A. Vieira, Jr.
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