#1
from what i gathered at my guitar lesson there are only 4 diminished chords -E A# C# and G. Please correct me if im wrong, and explain to me how it actually is.
Quote by boreamor
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#2
Yes it`s correct. A dimished chord are only m3 (the distande between E - G) so there`s

E - G - Bb - Db
F - Ab - B - D
F# - A - C - Eb

But i don`t know for sure if diminished is two or 3 m3. If it`s two then there are indeed four. Because the other chords have all the notes another one has, so there are four different combinations.
#3
The structure of a diminished chord makes it so that there are 4 notes in a diminished chord, and if you were to change the root to another note in that chord, you would still actually be playing the same notes. Your old root would become the third or fifth, or whatever (I don't know the exact structure of a diminished chord, just the diminished theory). So in essence, yes, there is a limited number of diminished chords that actually contain entirely different notes.

i.e.: If your diminished chord is (arbitrary notes) [A, B, C, D], then is also a diminished chord in the same key. Notice the notes are the same, just in a different order.

It's hard to explain in text, but if you do a note by note breakdown of the diminished chord shape on different frets, then you would easily see it.

EDIT: using the last poster's notes:
[E - G - Bb - Db] becomes [G - Bb - Db - E] if you make G the root.
Last edited by bnull24 at Feb 24, 2009,
#4
Diminished chords are all made up of minor thirds. For example:
C, Eb, Gb, A, C

Notice how C to Eb is a minor 3rd and so is Eb to Gb. Gb to A is really an augmented second but it is enharmonic to a Bbb which is a minor third, and A to C is a minor third.

Because of this, if you start on any of the notes in this chord then you will get the same notes. And if you start on all the 12 notes you will only get four chords with different notes in them.

However, at this point there could still be 12 diminished chords because each chord could have a different root, but this is the really interesting part about diminished chords.

Technically, diminished chords are rootless because they can't be inverted. On paper you can invert them, for example take our first chord:
C Eb Gb A C
Try and invert it:
Eb Gb A C Eb

Great, you've created the second inversion of the chord, haven't you? You have on paper, but if you play those two chords your ear won't hear a root in either of them, so changing the lowest note makes no difference to the chord structure.

Because of this there are only four different diminished chords. Hopefully, this post helped and/or was understandable.
#5
ahh thankyou very very much, all those posts have helped. I actually think i understand it now thanks again
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#6
NOOOO!! They are all good posts with the right idea except they seem to miss that the initial post is slightly wrong. There are...
  • TWELVE distinct Diminished chords (triads)
  • THREE distinct Diminished 7th chords
  • FOUR distinct Augmented chords


The octave is made up of 12 semitones.
A minor 3rd = 3 semitones
A Major 3rd = 4 semitones

A diminished traid (two minor thirds) does not split the full octave evenly. As a result there are 12 distinct diminished chords.

A diminished seventh chord does break the full octave into even steps.

A diminished seventh chord starts on the root goes up 3 semitones to the minor third up 3 more semitones to the diminished fifth and up 3 more semitones to the diminished 7th. From there it is three semitones back to the root. It does split the 12 semitones evenly. But each diminished 7th chord uses 4 of the 12 tones. So three chords will cover all 12 tones.
[B]Diminished 7th Chord[/B] (breaks octave into four equal steps)
| [B]C[/B]  | Db | D  | [B]Eb[/B] | E  | F  | [B]Gb[/B] | G  | Ab |[B] Bbb[/B]| Bb | B  |[B] C[/B]  |
  [B]1              b3             b5             bb7            8[/B]     
  ↑__minor 3rd___↑__minor 3rd___↑__minor 3rd___↑__minor 3rd___↑ 

You can start on any of the four notes and still get
the same four notes and consequently the same chord.


[B]Diminished Chord (Triad)[/B] (does not break octave into four equal steps)
| [B]C[/B]  | Db | D  | [B]Eb[/B] | E  | F  | [B]Gb[/B] | G  | Ab | Bbb| Bb | B  | [B]C[/B]  |
  [B]1              b3             b5                            8[/B]
  ↑__minor 3rd___↑__minor 3rd___↑______Aug 4th / Dim 5th______↑

You can NOT start on any of the three notes and end up with the 
same three notes and so each chord is unique.

The Diminished Seventh chord breaks the 12 semitone range into 4 equal parts.
12/4 = 3

There are THREE distinct diminished seventh chords.
  • Cº7, Ebº7, and Gbº7, or Aº7 all use the same four notes namely C Eb Bb A(Bbb)
  • C#º7, Eº7, Gº7 and A#º7 all use the same four notes
  • Dº7, Fº7, G#º7, and Bº7 all use the same four notes


Looking at AUGMENTED chords then we see a similar effect. An augmented chord is constructed by stacking Major 3rds. A Major third is four semitones which means that the 12 semitone range is split evenly again which results in many of the chords having the same notes...
[B]Augmented Chord (Triad)[/B] (breaks octave into three equal steps)
| [B]C[/B]  | C# | D  | D# | [B]E[/B]  | F  | F# | G  | [B]G#[/B] | A  | A# | B  | [B]C[/B]  |
  [B]1                   3                   #5                  8[/B]     
  ↑____Major 3rd______↑____Major 3rd______↑____Major 3rd______↑ 

You can start on any of the three notes and you get the same three notes 
making up the same chord each time.
So and Augmented chord starts on the root goes up a Major third to the 3rd then up another Major third to the augmented fifth. That gives you an augmented triad. Note though that from the augmented fifth it is a major third back to the root.

An Augmented Triad breaks the 12 semitone range into three equal steps of a Major 3rd.
12 / 3 = 4.

There are FOUR distinct augmented chords.
  • C+, E+, and G#+ All use the same three notes
  • Db+, F+, and A+ All use the same three notes
  • D+, F#+, A#+ All use the same four notes
  • Eb+, G+, B+ All use the same four notes


So when your teacher told you E A# C# and G were the only four diminished chords he either made a mistake and was meant to say that they are the only four augmented chords, or he said augmented and you got it mixed up when you wrote your post.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Feb 24, 2009,
#7
Quote by 20Tigers
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Thank you!
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
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#8
20Tigers, thanks for your help. Itll take me a few days to get my head round all that, im not great on theory but i got the basics. Thankyou very much
Quote by boreamor
Ah very good point. Charlie__flynn, you've out smarted me


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#9
the 4 diminished chords that you posted, TS, are all the same chord(just in case you didn't gather that).
#10
20Tigers:
Thanks for pointing out my mistake, I just kinda wrote what I knew about diminished chords without questioning the number of note in the the OP.
#11
Quote by Declan87
the 4 diminished chords that you posted, TS, are all the same chord(just in case you didn't gather that).


yeah i got that, but it just seemed confusing in the lesson and i didnt get how there could only be four, or in actual case one chord (just with different roots but all same notes). still thanks for the help guys
Quote by boreamor
Ah very good point. Charlie__flynn, you've out smarted me


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