The Diminished 7th Arpeggio

A concept that often confused guitarists is the Diminished 7th chord/arpeggio. It’s often used in jazz, Neo-classical and even blues.

Why is it confusing?

Well, due to its nature, any note in the chord can be the tonic. This is because the chord’s composition ( 1+b3+b5+bb7) uses notes that are evenly spread throughout the musical alphabet (i.e a minor third interval).

Let’s look at a Cdim7 – C Eb Gb Bbb.

Now an Ebdim7 – Eb Gb Bbb Dbb(C)

Now a Gbdim7 – Gb Bbb Dbb Fbb(Eb)

And a Bbbdim7 (Adim7) – Bbb Dbb(C) Fbb(Eb) Abbb (Gb)

These are all the same chord! As a lead guitarist, this is awesome for using the same arpeggio shape every three frets, which is a typical Neo-classical trait.

When Should I Use A Dim7?

The dim7 is the VII (7th) Chord of the harmonic minor mode. But it also works quite nicely with tritone substitution or even as an arpeggio over dom7 Chords. It is also often used as a chromatic transition to a chord, usually a ii chord. Eg. C#dim7 could transition to a Dm. Another common use is to transition form IV to V in a blues or jazz piece. So between F and G, you could shred an F#dim7.

Still having trouble with the dim7? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help!

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *