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GMC Forum _ THEORY _ How To Build Half Diminished Chords

Posted by: The Professor May 7 2013, 07:16 PM

How to Build Half Diminished Chords

In today’s theory lesson we’ll be looking at how you build m7b5 chords, as well as 8 commonly used fingerings for these chords that you can take into the practice and bring into your playing and songwriting.

The m7b5 chord comes from the Locrian mode, as it uses the 1st, b3rd, b5th and b7th notes of the Locrian mode in it’s construction.

Here is how you would build a Cm7b5 chord from the C Locrian mode.

Notice how the numbers of the C Locrian mode are used to spell the numbers of the Cm7b5 chord, 1-b3-b5-b7, as this is the interval pattern needed to build any m7b5 chord, regardless of key.

So, the m7b5 chord is built by taking the Root, b3rd, b5th and b7th of the related Lcorian Mode.

Test Your Theory Knowledge

To help get this formula under your fingers and into your theory chops, you can write out all 12 different m7b5 chords, such as C Eb Gb Bb for Cm7b5, and post them in the comments section of this thread.

I’ll be glad to check your work and help with any questions you have regarding this lesson on building m7b5 chords.

m7b5 Chord Shapes

To keep things practical as well as theoretical, here are 8 different shapes for Cm7b5 that you can take into your guitar playing.

Each of these shapes is commonly used and if you have even a few of them under your fingers will allow you to easily bring these sounds into your playing regardless of the style or musical situation.

Check out m7b5 chords from both a construction and practical application.

These chords will pop up from time to time, or a lot if you play blues, jazz or fusion, and so it’s a good idea to have a mental and physical understanding of these common chords.

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