It hasn't been accepted as a lesson yet, so the thread will have to do. Both altered dominant chords and diminished chords are in there.

Altered chords and diminished chords are in there, but in a nutshell, altered chords are chords with different voicings added. Dominant 7ths are most commonly altered with b5, #5, b9, or #9.

Diminished chords are chords with a diminished 5th in place of a perfect 5th. There is the diminished triad, a half diminished chord, and a fully diminished 7th chord.
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Diminished chords are flatted 5's, so intervallically, it'd be 1 b3 b5
And an altered (if I remember correctly) is a sharpened or flatted 5th and 9th, and maybe some other intervals as well. I don't remember exactly though, sorry man.

Hope that helped a little bit

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Just to add to what these guys are saying, often times a diminished triad (for example, the vii* chord) can be used in place of a V7 chord. Think of the vii* as a dominant V without the root. There are two reason the movement from a V7 to I is so strong:

1) because of the root motion down a fifth

2) and more importantly, because of the resolution of the tritone that is present in the dominant seventh chord (made up of chord tones 3 and b7 resolving to the 1 and 3 of the I major chord).

The vii* chord is basically the 3, 5, and b7 of the V7 chord, but there is just no root of the V chord, so the tritone between 3 and b7 is still present, only in the vii* chord it is now seen as chord tone 1 and b5. This tritone can still resolve to the 1 and 3 of the I major chord, giving the vii* a dominant role in chord progressions. And of course, this also means that it can be used "deceptively", as in a "deceptive cadence", where you would normally go from a dominant chord to some chord other than I. For example, you would normally go from V7 to, say, the vi minor chord in a deceptive cadence. Now try the same thing, only going from a vii* chord to the vi minor chord. Same function, but a variation on the sound because now your root is going down a step instead of up a step (vii to vi instead of V to vi).

Just a little info for you if you decide to start using diminished chords in your progressions.
Last edited by PSM at Sep 4, 2008,
You have to look at a chord as....a hole. And really you're just looking into the hole and building stairs. If you climb the stairs in a diminished sense, then you're essentially forming a diminished chord.
Last edited by Shackman10 at Sep 4, 2008,
Great info dudes but please could someone explain these chords connection with the melodic minor modes?
Quote by s7706
Great info dudes but please could someone explain these chords connection with the melodic minor modes?

An altered dominant chord would commonly be asscociated with the seventh degree (mode) of the Melodic Minor which is called the Super Locrian or Altered Scale.

Dominant 7#11 or Dominant 9#11 chords would be associated with the fourth degree (mode) of the Melodic Minor which is known as the Lydian Dominant or "Overtone Scale".

These ones don't relate to the Melodic Minor, but still relate to Altered and Diminished chords.

The Whole Tone Scale can be used over a Dominant 7b5 chord or Augmented triad amongst others.

The Diminished W-H Scale would be used over a diminished seventh chord.

That's just a post on what relates to what tbh. There's a lot to talk about tho.
Last edited by mdc at Sep 5, 2008,