Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Half-diminished 7th chords, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
- The half-diminished 7th chord occurs…naturally on the 7th degree of the major scale.…It can serve multiple harmonic functions in a song.…Let's first discuss how we make…the chord and what it sounds like.…A half-diminished 7th chord is basically a minor…7th chord, except that it has a diminished 5th.…So let's take a B minor 7 chord.…If we lower the 5th, which is normally perfect,…and we make it diminished, you'll see we…have a B half-diminished 7 chord.…
We can create the B half-diminished 7th chord…from the 7th note of the C major scale.…Here's a C major scale.…The 7th note is B, and if we build up in thirds,…you'll see we have a B half-diminished 7th chord.…You could look at a half-diminished chord…as a diminished triad with a minor 7th added.…Let's stick with our B half-diminished chord.…We have a B diminished triad,…and if we go with a minor 7th…from the root, we have an A.…
Since it's tertian, it's built by stacking three thirds,…which are minor, minor, and major, respectively.…Let's look at our B half-diminished again.…
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