Chord structure: The half diminished chord m7b5

Greetings and welcome to todays episode of my guitar blog.

Let´s talk about the half diminished chord:

The half dminished chord or minor 7 flat 5 chord (m7b5) is based on a diminished triad with a flat 7. A diminished triad is symmetrical in the formula root – b3 – b3 so the interval from root to the last note is no perfect fifth. It´s a flatted fifth (b5). The half diminished chord has the chord formula root – b3 – b5 – b7

In a major scale, this chord is harmonized on the 7th degree of the major scale and is related to the locrian mode. You can find it also in other scales like harmonic or melodic minor.

If you compare the half diminished chord with a diminished 7 chord you will see that the triad is the same, but the b7 seven now is a bb7.

Dominant 7 Flat 9 Chords – Altered Dominant Chords –

Dear Guitarnerds,

todays episode of my jazz blog is about the altered dominant chords Dominant 7 Flat 9 (b9). A lot of you guys asked me for help using those altered chords in jazz comping. Today I´d like to talk about the dom7(b9) as an example for altered dominant chords in jazz. I hope this exercise will help you to get an idea of the voicings, the sound and -in exercise 1 written down- how to use them in jazz chord progressions.

Feel free to contact me for further questions or either personl & skype lessons to learn more about jazz chords and how to use them.

Thank you and have a lot of fun.

Nico Pitzer – 00 49 2309 – 57 26 360


Download the Tabs and get started: Dominant 7 Flat 9 Chords


Chord Formula: 1, 3, 5, b7, b9 – Using a C7(b9) 1=C, 3=E, 5=G, b7=F, b9=Db

As always, I wrote down some chord voicings. I named them as „primary“ and „secondary“ voicings. Primary vocings are used in the most playing situations while secondary voicings are the special ones.

You´ll also find outside (using the 6th to start with root), inside (using the inner 4 strings with 5th string as the root) and chord/melody voicings (with the 4th-1st string and the 4th string as the root).

The chord function of dominant 7 flat 9 is to substitute the dominant type chords. It´s a very good way to create a lot of tension. Dom7(b9) inversions are related to the diminished chords (can be moved in minor thirds). For more informations please contact me.

In Exercise 1 you can try out some fancy chord progressions using the dom7(b9). I hope this will help you out. Have fun & remeber: Play slow and clear, use a metronom and repeat each sequence as much as you need to get it in your fingers.