Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Diminished 7th chords, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
- Thus far the 7th chords I've shown you in detail…are the ones that occur in the diatonic scale.…As you might imagine,…if we use other scales in the diatonic to build chords,…we are able to find different, more exotic harmonies.…There is a long list of chords that stem…from non-diatonic scales,…much too long to review in this course.…I showed you some of them…when I discussed extensions earlier.…You might remember the dominant seven flat five,…which can be found in the whole tone scale.…(piano)…There is one 7th chord we can build…from a non-diatonic scale that I want to discuss…and that's the diminished 7th chord.…
(piano)…A diminished 7th chord is a four note chord…comprised of consecutive minor thirds.…We see it occur on the leading tone…of the harmonic minor scale.…Let's take an A harmonic minor scale.…(piano)…And we'll build the 7th chord,…on the 7th note, which is G sharp.…G sharp up a minor third to B,…up a minor third to D,…and then a final minor third to F.…
A G sharp diminished 7th.…(piano)…The diminished 7th chord is really an incredible chord.…
In this installment, musician Julian Velard digs into more intermediate-level music theory topics. Starting with minor scales, he shows examples of classic songs in minor keys, and then explores the modes of the diatonic scale (e.g., the mixolydian mode). Next, Julian dives into chords with 4 or more notes, covering 7th chords, chord extensions (e.g., 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths), suspended chords, diminished chords, augmented chords, and inversions. Finally, he covers key centers, modulations, pedal points, alternate bass notes, and polychords. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the techniques shown within the context of his own original songs.
- Working in minor scales
- Using Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian modes to write songs
- Extending chords
- Using 7th chords in a song
- Transposing a song
- Building different harmonies from a single melody