Tag Archives: Diminished

Half Diminished Chords Explained!

Notice the double Flat 7th interval – this is the only difference between a Diminished and a Half Diminished Chord.

What are Half Diminished Chords?

Half Diminished Chord are built on this harmony: R b3, b5, b7. So in the key of C major the notes would be: C Eb Gb Bb

What are Diminished Chords?

Diminished Chords are built on this harmony: R b3, b5, bb7. So in the key of C major the notes would be: C Eb Gb Bbb

When would I use Diminished and Half Diminished Chords?

Music (and life) is a series of Tension and Release. So to build tension in music is known as Dissonance. Diminished and Half Diminished chords sound very ‘Rough’, and as a result create tension, movement, and might just be the sound you are looking for.

Why Some Keys Have Sharps And Others Have Flats

Let’s look at the graph below:

Key Signatures can get tricky. Asking this question is like saying in math “why not have just a plus sign (+) instead of both a plus (+) and minus sign (-)”

Well, truth is, if a note goes up a half step it doesn’t become flat (unless its in a key signature). And saying that a key is in Bb (2 flats) isn’t the same as saying its in A# (3 sharps, and 5 double sharps). To call a single note two different titles is referred to as an Enharmonic

The key of D as 2 sharps (F# and C#), so you can’t say D has 2 flats (Gb and Db) because Bb has 2 flats (Bb and Eb)

The answer is inside the Intervallic Code:  W W H W W W H  (W stand for Whole Step, and H stands for Half Step) I made the H’s red so they stand out more.

No matter what Key Signature you start with, you must follow W W H W W W H in order to build a Major Scale. So to build C major it would be C D E F G A B (notice how it follow the Intervallic Code). The same goes for every other key such as D major, G major, Bb major, etc.

This code changes, though, when you build minor scales. Since minor scales start on the 6th note of the Key (i.e. ‘A’ in the key of ‘C’) then your Intervallic Code will also start on the 6th degree. So Instead of W W H W W W H, the new code would be W H W W H W W

Capistrano School actually has a great post on this, too.

Basic Intervals (Part 2)

Basic Intervals in music allow you to understabd chord strcutires and nthe realtive distance between notes. Why is this important? Because its everything that music revolves around – notes!

Let’s base this off of the ‘C’ Major Scale: C D E F G A B C (the intervals here are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 respectively.) Watch below! It’ll all make sense :)

To read Part 1 of Basic Intervals Click Here

How To Harmonize A Song!

To understand Harmony, you must first understand Intervals. After you write the melody, use intervals (usually within the key signature) to give it a hip feel. Harmony can be in intervals of fifths, fourths, sevenths, outside the key, inside, etc. The thing is – anything goes!

What are Intervals?

Intervals are the distances between two notes. So the distance from C to A is an interval of a sixth – because A is 6 notes away from C (C-D-E-F-G-A). So when Harmonizing a song, if the notes are C-F-A, then you can still keep those notes, but just add to them by simply building double stops, etc. off of them. So to add the notes E-A-C on top of C-F-A would sound neat – and still keep the melody!

The most well known Harmonized songs are the beginning of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl“, and the Bridge to Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam“.

How Seventh Chords In Music Work!

Let’s explain How Seventh Chords Work! All music is a series of tension and release. The tension is created by the Seventh Chord, and the release is created from the resolution of the Tonic Chord. So an example of this would be going from the E7 to A major chords.

The notes in an E7 chord are E G# B D. The notes in an A major chord are A C# E

The interval between the notes G# and D creates a Tritone. A Tritone creates movement – or TENSION!

What are Seventh Chords?

Well we all know what major triads are, but incase you don’t or you’re still confused, then watch these videos as a primer:
7th Chords Explained In full
Seventh Chords On Guitar

What’s a Tritone?

A Tritone is simply a flattened 5th interval. A good example of it is in The Simpsons theme song. That interval wants to be resolved to the Tonic Chord – so the E7 is the fifth chord of A major, making it want to go to A major!

So the G# wants to move up to the A in the A major chord. The D wants to move down to the C# in the A major chord, and there you have it! All you need are those two notes – they create the movement in the chords and ultimately RESOLUTION!

Seventh Chords On Guitar Explained!

Seventh Chords in music are important because they add a new level of harmony to your work. This new harmonic element allows you to play more styles of music, sounds, and techniques.

We all know a C major chord consists of the notes C-E-G. But with a C major 7 chord the notes are now C-E-G-B. Notice how the ‘B’ was added – this is because the B is the Seventh note of the C major scale! Alot of Jazz, Blues and more consists of these chords. Now you can enter the world of diminished, half-diminished, sevenths, minor sevenths, major sevenths, and much more!

To learn more on Seventh chords FAQ’s simply go here!

Intervals In Music Explained!

OK so I get ALOT of questions about Music Intervals.
Intervals are the distance between two points – so Music Intervals are simply the distance between to notes.

It’s simple, so don’t be discouraged I’m going to walk you through it all:

There are seven notes in Music (ABCDEFG). So the distance from A to E would be 5 intervals, because if you walk up ABCDE, then its 5 away – 12345

Let’s do another one:

The distance from C to F is 4, because F is 4 intervals away from C (CDEF or 1234)

So notice how the notes on the piano are written, now try to see how ‘F’ is four notes away from ‘C’

Got it? OK good. Now let’s assume you know what a Power Chord is. To refresh you, a Power Chord is also referred to as a ‘5’ chord. So instead of playing an ‘D Power Chord’, someone may simply refer to it as a D5.

The reason for this is simple once you understand intervals. Basically, a power chord consists of two notes – The Root and the Fifth. So a F5 power chord only has two notes in it – a ‘F’ and a ‘C’.

Let’s take a look at how these chords are played:

Power Chords

If this drawing confuses you, then be sure to check out this first video tutorial and this second video tutorial about power chords and intervals.

But there’s more! An Interval can either be Major, Minor, Perfect, Diminished, or Augmented. Let’s not get too crazy about this whole concept. We’ll just leave it at that, but understand that I can refer to an interval from A to E as a 5th (ABCDE). In addition, I can refer to A to Eb as a Flat 5th interval. But 5th intervals are also what we call ‘Perfect’. So A to E would be a perfect 5th interval, whereas A to Eb would be a diminished 5th interval.

I know you’re confused, which is why you should refer to my next post in a few days!