Half-Diminished Chords Made Easy

Half-diminished chords (also called minor7b5) can be tricky to visualize on guitar, especially if you're new to more jazz-flavored harmonies.

But if you relate these chords to something you already know, they become much easier to handle.

There are two basic ways you can visualize half-diminished chords.

1. As a minor 7 chord with a lowered 5th - The first way to visualize half-diminished chords is to relate them to all the minor 7 chord voicings you know on guitar. Simply find the 5th in each voicing and lower it by a half step (one fret). Click here to see some common half-diminished voicings derived from minor 7 chords.

2. As a major 7 chord with a raised root - The second shortcut to visualizing half-diminished chords is to picture them as a major 7 chord with the root raised a half step. Click here to see some common half-diminished voicings derived from major 7 chords.

Hopefully one (or both) of these shortcuts to visualizing half-diminished chords will make life easier for you. Spend some time with the chord diagrams I've linked to above. Make sure you know the interval of each note in each voicing.

That's it for this week. Be sure to leave a comment below with any questions, suggestions, observations or tips of your own.


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