Diminished Chord Tricks & Tips – Expert Insights
The diminished chord has many different functions. In this lesson, we will explore some of the more advanced applications, and how you can add this to your playing right now to sound like a jazz piano pro.
‘Soften The Landing’ In Any 251 Progression
In any 251 progression, instead of landing directly to the 1 chord, we can first land on a diminished chord built from the 1.
This acts as a temporary stepping stone, introducing a rich texture and colour that then resolves beautifully to the 1 chord.
Jovino starts this class by demonstrating a few examples of this over a 251 in C Major. We then take this a step further and explore how the diminished chord can be sustained and doesn’t have to resolve to the 1 chord. This is a matter of personal taste and something that you should experiment with.
‘The Harmonic Shadow’ Of The Diminished Chord
Every diminished chord has a ‘harmonic shadow’ built a whole step above. If we put these 2 diminished chords together, we get the diminished scale.
If we then examine the makeup of the diminished scale, we can see that there are many triads ‘hiding’ within those 8 notes. These triad shapes can be accentuated and outlined to achieve more interesting melodic and harmonic possibilities.
Within the C Diminished scale, we can derive the following chords:
- Bmaj7 chord (and B major triad of course)
- B- minor triad
- Ab major triad
- Ab- minor triad
- D major triad
- D minor triad
- F major triad
- F minor triad
Jovino demonstrates how these triads can be used to create colourful runs over diminished harmonies. Also, remember that every diminished chord is related to 4 dominant chords, check out the related lesson below on "Diminished Chords Basics".