29. Diminished Chord Patterns

Peter McNeany
March 13/2024

The first appearance of a diminished chord traces back to the 16th century. It was the result of individual melodic lines since harmony was not fully developed yet. The diminished triad built on the 7th scale degree and functioning as a dominant was the predecesor of the dominant seventh chord structure.

The Chord Scale Theory & Jazz Harmony, Pg 110.

Diminished Chord Patterns

Diminished seventh chords are most often found in a major keys as linking chords between neighboring diatonic chords, or as approach chords to diatonic chords. The most common patterns of these diminished seventh chords are:

These examples of root motion can be used to categorize the three different types of diminished chords:

  1. The ascending diminished seventh chords
  2. The descending diminished seventh chords
  3. The auxiliary diminished seventh chords have a common root with the tonic or dominant chord respectively.
Barrie Netles, Diminished Chord Patterns. Harmoy 3, Pg 27-29

See Chapter 6
Pg 110-113

Minor Third Cycle

The Minor Thirds Cycle is a Diminished cycle. Continue practicing it to develop flexibility.

You already know different scales, permutations, arpeggios, etc., play them on the circle of minor thirds in order to get mental agility and muscle memory.

Songs that use Diminished Chords

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