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A Diminished chord is very unique chord.   The word diminished actually means to lower a note by a half step.  Technically speaking, one would just lower the third note and fifth note of the scale for the chord one half step.  But diminished chords in practice usually add a fourth note.

What is odd or unique when a diminished chord has all four notes?  These notes are all equidistant down the chromatic scale - using every 3rd note.  Let us look at scales below to follow this.

Scale in Key of C

Notes C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C    
Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15    

A scale in the key of C shown above are the normal notes that one might expect in a song.  Instead of calling the notes C, D, E, etc.  or 1, 2, 3 , we also could think of the sequence as the singing notes: do, re, me fa, so, la ti do.

Chromatic Scale starting with C

Notes C C# D Eb E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D    
Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15    

A chromatic scale is all of the possible musical notes - and not just the notes in the C scale.  Note that between two "whole steps" such as C to D, that there is a "half step" in between, that we could call C# (C sharp) or we could also call Db (D flat).  Note that C# and Db are the same note, and could be called by either name.  Basically, one half step down from D is the same as one half step up from C.

Example: For a C Major chord then (key of C), the notes of this chord would be the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the scale, or  C, E and G.  If we were to "diminish" the 3rd and 5th notes, then we would have:  C, Eb, Gb as the three notes of the chord.  But we usually add a fourth note to a diminished chord.  And so a C diminished chord would be played:  C, Eb, Gb, A.  Note that all of these notes are the same distance from each other on the chromatic scale, being the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th notes of the chromatic scale.

Musicord Software Note

The Musicord Software shown below for Windows, includes diminished chords.



Now Available !  Musicord Version 3 software for Windows
Shows chords and chord fingerings for
Keyboard and many stringed instruments

screen shot of musicord software ehowing E major chord

(note: actual screen size is larger in usage)

Click Here for More Musicord Information

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One person band techniques book   Book: Becoming a One Person Band (click for info)
eBook Available from Google Play, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook

If you have some instrument skills, particularly with a keyboard instrument such as piano, organ, accordion, or keyboard itself or similar, you can do multiple track recording and create you own band recording of perhaps 4 or 8 or 16 or more pieces. This book focuses on music theory on help for determining what some of those other band parts might play, such as strings, bass or other instruments.