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#240605 - 02/19/14 08:53 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ?
Joe V Offline
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Hi all,

Many books will teach you a 'silly' amount of fingerings for all the different chords, but far fewer - maybe none that I have run across, that take a chord quality and explain the function of that chord in a variety of song contexts. Also, these books will build diatonic structures in a 'silly' amount of tonalities, and again - have very few examples regarding function.

Can you guys help me get started understanding the most common functions of the above qualities, maybe reference some good song examples, and some exercises to help me incorporate these songs into compositions and cool substitutes ?

Again - I have a LOT of books - but none do justice, IMHO, to this question. Maybe I just have the wrong books for this aspect of music.


Edited by Joe V (02/19/14 08:55 AM)

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#240609 - 02/19/14 09:05 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
Mac Offline
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Can you properly harmonize a Major scale in any key on yer guitar?

Example: Play an E Major scale in one octave using the correct chord for each step. M-m-m-M-M-m-dim7-M

If not, then it is not time to be concerned with these chords yet, for they will not make much harmonic sense.

The function of those three chords is to provide the scale-generated harmony for the notes in between the notes of the given scale.

Look up "scale harmonization" for starters.


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#240613 - 02/19/14 09:11 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
Joe V Offline
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Mac - I've got the part you described, I just can't seem to make the jump to using that stuff in songs and compositions. Maybe I'm more concrete - I'm looking for some more song examples and particular progressions that use them. Thanks again for all your support and help over the years.

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#240617 - 02/19/14 09:26 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
Mac Offline
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Examples of usage in songs, start investigating the chord changes to the great old standards, ballads, jazz standards. Realbook, etc. Tin Pan Alley songs forward.


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#240645 - 02/19/14 11:34 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
Guitarhacker Offline
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A good understanding of music theory will help you to understand them a bit more.

Also study the kinds of music that use them..... Jazz is a really good place to start.

I write a lot of country and to be honest, there generally isn't a big need in country for those chords.

You can also study this right inside Band in a Box.

Use the MELODIST function.....select Jazz and one of it's subcategories and let it generate a number of "songs". Depending on the style it is using, you will find these chords used right there in BB. Study how it is applied.


Edited by Guitarhacker (02/19/14 11:37 AM)
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#240677 - 02/19/14 03:27 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
Mac Offline
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The Band in a Box Demo songs are another place to study use of chords in progressions, too.

The Jukebox can load all the songs in one demo folder and play them, you can stop the jukebox when one loads that looks interesting and have a go at it.


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#240699 - 02/19/14 05:55 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
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...and so I begin following all those suggestions. Thanks for the encouragement and reminders.

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#240752 - 02/20/14 08:13 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
MusicStudent Offline
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Love the sound of these diminished chords. they also lay so well on the guitar neck and given that they are symetrical there is lots of cool voicings.

Charlie has a good writeup on these:

http://charlieaustinjazz.blogspot.com/2012/03/diminished-perspectives.html
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#240753 - 02/20/14 08:14 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
pghboemike Offline
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tutorial videos featuring Tim Cummiskeylooked like they may be useful for this thread




http://www.youtube.com/user/SPGGuitar251/search?query=Tim+Cummiskey
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#240782 - 02/20/14 03:53 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
raymb1 Offline
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Google II - V - I functions. Lots of info out there. Later, Ray
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#241748 - 02/27/14 01:45 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
ZeroZero Offline
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Registered: 07/15/07
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To try to answer the question, applies to your other post too Joe.

Diminished chords bring tension.

Music is about tension and release.

Release tends to be strong beat major and minor chords.

In between there is space for tension, diminished chords can fit in here, preceding the resolving chord, often preceding by a diminished a half stelp below

The augmented fifth chord, is basically a dom 7th chord with an extra bit of color, a common place for one of these is the last chord of a twelve bar blues. Try a 12 bar with a 7th chord built on the fifth of the key, then an aug 7th, you will hear a bit of extra spice and yearning to get to the root chord on bar 1 of the second chorus.

Basically all these none standard chords bring tension, they heighten the tension.
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#241749 - 02/27/14 01:49 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
ZeroZero Offline
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the minor 7 flat five is a Locrian chord, in C its all white nbotes based on the 7th - B. I think of this as a standard, unchanged modal chord. If you work it out this chord is strongly related to the dominant 7th as it shares three notes with it.


Edited by ZeroZero (02/27/14 01:50 PM)
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#243154 - 03/08/14 01:52 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
MusicStudent Offline
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Maybe you need to play and hear these chords in action. Wrap your fingers around this little ditty:

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#243183 - 03/08/14 08:04 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
Mac Offline
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Note stack for the 5th chord Am7b5 is NOT correct, actually there are quite a few discrepancies in that example, such as that A# in the Gm7, etc.

The chord diagrams look to be okay, but the notes given are not to be trusted. Charted by Kent Reed?




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#243214 - 03/09/14 09:36 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: What are the most common functions of diminished, augmented, and m7b5 chords ? [Re: Joe V]
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5472
Loc: Chicago
The source of this score goes back a long way (~20 yrs?). I suspect it may have originated in some form in a Guitar Player Magazine. I think I added the chord charts back in the day likely based on how I played the piece more then how it is actually notated.

I did some hunting this morning and was able to confirm that I did add the chords based on my playing but did not change the corresponding notation. So in fact there are two versions above, one for the guitar player and one for keyboard (no extra charge).

I just redid it after all these years and notated the way I play it on guitar. I'm always open to corrections?


So now that you have seen it and played it, lets drop in BIAB so you can hear it and understand why jazz cats love these changes.

12 Bar Minor Blues - augmented and diminished chords - BIAB 2014


Edited by jazzmandan (03/09/14 01:33 PM)
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