Dim chords

The dim (diminished) chords are quite uncommon, but it’s still good to be familiar with this chord category. If you play a dim chord you will hear that these chords lack harmony and this is because of the structure of the notes.


A common function for these chords is to be used as a chromatic transposition chord, like a between chord - which is most common in blues and jazz. If you are interested in the theory, the dim chord consists of a flatten third and a fifth besides the root. If we compare the notes of a C major and a Cdim the notes are C - E - G (C major) and C - Eb - Gb (Cdim). A diminished chord can be written with "dim" (Cdim) or "º" (Cº).

The easiest way to learn dim chords is to memorize to shapes that are movable. Below you can see the shapes for dim and dim7 chords. The lowest note is the root (see table below for full overview).

Dim shape

  • dim chords diagram 1

Dim7 shape

  • dim chords diagram 2

Overview

All dim and dim7 chords with same movable shape listed with shapes written in numbers.

Cdim - X 3 4 5 4 X
Ddim - X 5 6 7 6 X
Edim - X 7 8 9 8 X
Fdim - 1 2 3 2 X X
Gdim - 3 4 5 4 X X
Adim - 5 6 7 6 X X
Bdim - 7 8 9 8 X X

 

Cdim7 - X X 10 11 10 11
Ddim7 - X X 0 1 0 1
Edim7 - X X 2 3 2 3
Fdim7 - X X 3 4 3 4
Gdim7 - X X 5 6 5 6
Adim7 - X X 7 8 7 8
Bdim7 - X X 8 9 8 9

The chords of C#/Db, D#/Eb, F#/Gb, G#/Ab and A#/Bb are neglected, but you can easily find the right chord shapes for these. See fretboard for more information.

Dim open chords

Cdim

  • Cdim chord diagram

Ddim

  • Ddim chord diagram

Edim

  • Edim chord diagram

Fdim

  • Fdim chord diagram

Gdim

  • Gdim chord diagram

Adim

  • Adim chord diagram

Bdim

  • Bdim chord diagram

More chords

None for the moment in this category

Comment

Concerning the open dim chord, in some cases is an alternative bass note used for making the chords easier to play. The diagram that shows Cdim is more correctly written as Cdim/A. The diagram that shows Ddim includes a C note, which is not fully correct, but is a practical solution in this case. The same is the case with the diagram that shows Edim since it includes a Db note, but once again it serves as a practical solution.

More chords

More dim chords in open positions.

A#dim / Bbdim - X 1 X 0 2 0

Chord progressions with dim chord

The typical function of a dim chord in sequences is as a passing chord. In other words you don't stay long on the dim chord.

Gm Cm D Gm Cdim Gm

Back to chord types

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