The f diminished chord is a dark chord that adds tension to a song. It often serves as an interlude chord between two other chords.
There are a few different ways to play this chord and each is quite distinct. Decide which version works best for your songs or melodies and start playing!
Triads are an integral element of music, used in various ways. They can be played as simple single-note chords or three-note chords stacked into thirds for richer and more complex sounds. Furthermore, triads provide sonic space for other instruments and voices to inhabit.
Western music typically uses four triads: major, minor, diminished and augmented. Each type has a quality that corresponds to its scale degree; thus understanding these fundamental harmonies is essential for creating effective compositions.
The major triad is the most fundamental chord structure. It consists of the first, third and fifth notes found within one octave of any major scale. These notes can be ordered in three distinct positions: root position, first inversion and second inversion.
These three chords form the most basic major chords and can be found in most keys. If you’re looking for a straightforward chord progression that’s easily playable, these three chords make an excellent starting point.
However, some triads have an unnerving sound quality. These include diminished and augmented triads.
A diminished triad is similar to a minor triad, except the quality of the interval between the third and fifth is altered. This occurs because a diminished triad is built upon the leading tone of a key which has its own distinct sound not heard in other scale degrees.
A distinct sound signature distinguishes a diminished triad from other major triads on each scale degree. Particularly, a diminished triad sounds quite distinct compared to its counterparts on each of the seven scale degrees in major key.
A diminished triad is an effective way to make your guitar more prominent in a piece of music. It may also come in handy when playing a progression and needing some space for other instruments, which might be harder to hear with full five- or six-string chords.
The tritone is a musical interval composed of three whole tones (six semitones), or half an octave. This interval, commonly referred to as the triad, appears in many popular songs around the world.
The triad has become an essential element in many musical genres, capable of creating a wide range of sounds when combined with other elements like chords, melodies and rhythms. Utilize it creatively to craft an original sound tailored specifically to your genre of music.
One of the most essential things to remember about tritones is that they can add interest and tension to your song. This is especially helpful when trying to captivate an audience’s attention with a melodic line.
Tritones are commonly heard in rock and heavy metal music, but you can also find them elsewhere – The first interval of The Simpsons theme song is a tritone!
Another essential consideration when playing tritones is that they must usually be combined with other notes in a chord or melody. This is because their intense dissonant sound can be difficult to play alone without an accompanying chord or melody.
However, when combined with other notes in a chord or melody, they can sound very rich and add an atmosphere of depth to your song. This explains why they’re popular across so many genres of music.
Tritones are commonly employed in chord progressions, particularly those that contain tension. They’re also an effective tool to create a powerful and dominant chord that will reinforce other chords within the progression.
Tritones are typically part of non-standard scales and they’re featured in many popular songs around the world. Not only are they visually captivating, but they offer musicians an opportunity to try something different when creating music.
Major and minor scales are essential elements in music, yet they can be challenging to learn if you don’t comprehend their relationship to each other. They share a tonic note and key signature which are both relative to one another.
Major scales feature the pattern W-W-H-W, while minor scales employ half steps instead of whole ones. It is this distinction in pattern which gives minor keys their distinct sound.
There are three distinct minor scales: natural, harmonic and melodic. All three are built upon the same six notes; however, natural minors have lowered scale degrees while harmonic and melodic minors have raised degrees.
The descending version of a natural minor scale consists of half steps to G, Ab, Bb and C; Db natural and E natural are the same as in the ascending natural minor but with one lowered degree at 6th.
Melodic minor is a combination of qualities from both natural and harmonic minors. It begins with the same six notes as natural minor, but raises the seventh degree by half a step both ascending and descending. This scale is known as melodic because it follows a similar pattern with half and whole steps as natural minor, plus includes an added sharp sixth note at 3rd degree which is restored back to natural while descending.
These distinctions in scale degree construction give natural minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales their distinct aural characteristics. Furthermore, the melody minor form has an ascending pattern of W-W-W-W while its descending counterpart, known as the “melodic” form, differs.
Major and minor keys differ in that the middle note of a scale is lowered by half a step (a major third), giving chords with more weight than in major keys. Conversely, minor keys flatten out their middle notes by one quarter step, giving their chords a lighter, brighter sound.
The diminished scale is a great way to add harmonic complexity and melodic interest to your solos. Jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Michael Brecker have utilized this distinctive sound, making it an invaluable tool for honing improvisational skills.
The f diminished scale is an eight note or octatonic scale that alternates between half-steps and whole steps in a repetitive pattern. It can be played over both diminished chords (related to its root) as well as dominant chords. Furthermore, it may also be applied over what is commonly referred to as a “virtual diminished chord,” a chromatically altered version of this same f diminished scale chord.
Scale patterns are essential tools in mastering the f diminished scale. Not only do they explain the fundamental principles behind scales and how they relate to one another, but they provide you with useful fingerings for playing over various harmonies.
A common application of the f diminished scale is over a diminished 7 chord, where it may be combined with a dom-dim scale (a chromatically altered version of the f diminished scale, applied over top of a dominant chord). As illustrated in Fig. 2, this scale uses identical notes as its cousin but applies over an altered dominant chord that is one semitone above root note of f diminished.
Another popular use of the f diminished scale is in arpeggios, which often combine it with a dominant 7th scale to create melodic licks that can be played over that chord. Arpeggiating through an altered scale helps you create more complex sounds while avoiding mechanical approaches when playing over static harmony.
In our previous lesson on major and minor scales, we explored how these two types of scales can be combined to create many intriguing musical patterns. With a diminished scale, however, you can combine both minor and major thirds for even more complex compositions.