m7b5 (m7-5) chords

The Minor 7th flat 5th chord is an alternation of the minor seventh chord, and is also known as Half-diminished or Minor 7th minus 5th. This chord is identical to a minor seventh except that the fifth are lowered one step. By comparing Cm7 with Cm7b5 we could see that the notes change from C, Eb, G, Bb to C, Eb, Gb, Bb.

The easiest way to play these chords are by the movable shape presented in the diagrams below (Am7b5 is partly an exception, with two open strings).

Minor 7th flat 5th


  • Cm7b5 chord diagram


  • C#m7b5 chord diagram


  • Dm7b5 chord diagram


  • D#m7b5 chord diagram


  • Em7b5 chord diagram


  • Fm7b5 chord diagram


  • F#m7b5 chord diagram


  • Gm7b5 chord diagram


  • G#m7b5 chord diagram


  • Am7b5 chord diagram


  • A#m7b5 chord diagram


  • Bm7b5 chord diagram


Am7b5 could of course also be played as x 12 13 12 13 x.

Chord formula

The minor seventh flat fifth is built with the formula 1-b3-b5-b7. This includes the root (1), the minor third (b3), a lowered fifth (b5) and the minor seventh.

Chord construction

Cm7b5  x - x - C - Gb - Bb - Eb
C#m7b5  x - x - C# - G - B - E
Dm7b5  x - x - D - Ab - C - F
D#m7b5  x - x - D# - A - Db - Gb
Em7b5  x - x - E - Bb - D - G
Fm7b5  x - x - F - B - Eb - Ab
F#m7b5  x - x - F# - C - E - A
Gm7b5  x - x - G - Db - F - Bb
G#m7b5  x - x - G# - D - Gb - B
Am7b5  x - x - A - Eb - G - C
A#m7b5  x - x - A# - E - Ab - Db
Bm7b5  x - x - B - F - A - D
Guitar versions of the chord

Notes in chord

Cm7b5  C - Eb - Gb - Bb
C#m7b5  C# - E - G - B
Dm7b5 D - F - Ab - C
D#m7b5  D# - F# - A - C#
Em7b5  E - G - Bb - D
Fm7b5  F - Ab - B - Eb
F#m7b5  F# - A - C - E
Gm7b5  G - Bb - Db - F
G#m7b5  G# - B - D - F#
Am7b5  A - C - Eb - G
A#m7b5  A# - C# - E - G#
Bm7b5  B - D - F - A
The intervals are 1 – 3b – 5b – b7

Movable shape with root on sixth string

The half-diminished with the root note on the 6th string can be played as shown in the diagram below. Am7b5 is played 5X554X. To help you memorize, compare with the shapes Am7 (5X555X) and Am11 (5X553X).

7th chord barre

Example of chord progression:

Bbmaj7 - Dm/F - F#m7b5 (2X221X) - C/G - D7 - G6

Movable shape with root on fifth string

This is the same shape as presented above and might be the most recognizable of the shapes for the half-diminished chord.

7th chord moveable

Movable shape with root on fourth string

And last, a movable alternative with the root on 4th string.

7th chord moveable

How and when to use half-diminished chords

These chords are, for example, used as an in-between chord. It can be used both in its own key or in other keys which its tones partly match.

In jazz, for example, m7b5 are often used in minor harmonies as the ii chord:

Am7b5 - Dm7 - Gm7

It can substitute 7th or 9th chords, for example, and especially the V chord. An example in which Em7b5 substitute the V chord:

Gmaj7 - Bm7 - Em7 - Em7b5 - Am7

Chord progressions

Progressions including this chord type:

Am7 - Bm7b5 - E7

Am7 - Abm7b5 - G7

Dm7 - Dm7b5 - G7 - Cmaj7

C7 - Em7b5 - A7 - Dm7 - G7

Fmaj7 - Bm7b5 - Em7

Minor seventh flat fifth is often used as in between chord in blues and jazz progressions.

Back to chord types

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