# Diminished Seventh Chords (Dim7) - Drop 2 and Drop 3 Voicings

#### What's a diminished seventh chord

Diminished seventh chords (dim7) are made up of a root (1), a minor third (b3), a diminished fifth (b5) and a diminished seventh (bb7). Therefore, they are built with a diminished triad (1-b3-b5) and a diminished seventh interval (bb7). In other words, you simply have to stack four minor thirds (three semitones) to build diminished 7th chords.

Dim7 chords are symmetrical, they are based on an equal division of the octave into four minor third intervals. That means there are four different diminished chords in one position. For example, C diminished 7th chord contains these four notes : C, Eb, Gb and A. Each note is separated by three semitones (minor thirds). Because a dim7 chord is made up of four minor third intervals, so there are three other diminished seventh chords in the Cdim7 chord : Ebdim7, Ebdim7 and Adim7.

 C dim7 C Eb Gb A Eb dim7 Eb Gb A C Gb dim7 Gb A C Eb A dim7 A C Eb Gb

#### Chord substitutions

Diminished 7th chord are often used to replace (chord substitution technique) dominant seventh flat ninth chords (7b9). Example in a C major II-V-I progression :

Dm7 | G7 | CM7 becomes Dm7 | Bdim7 | CM7  |  Because of the symmetry of the diminished 7th chord there are three other possibilities Dm7 | Ddim7 | CM7 | or Dm7 | Fdim7 | CM7 or Dm7 | Abdim7 | CM7.

You can even try to replace the dominant 7th chord in a common I | VI | II | V turnaround sequence. Example in the key of C major : CM7 | A7 | Dm7 | G7 | becomes CM7 | Dbdim7 | Dm7 | Bdim7 |. Feel free to explore all the possible progressions using the symmetry technique.

## Drop 2 diminished 7th chord voicings

#### What are drop 2 chords

Drop 2 chords are the most popular chord voicings used in jazz guitar. They are built by dropping the second highest note of a four-notes closed chord to the bass. Diminished seventh close chord formula is 1-b3-b5-bb7 that gives the following drop 2 chord formula b5-1-b3-bb7.

#### What's an inverted voicing ?

It means that the notes of a chord are inverted. The root of an inverted chord is not in the bass. As you can see in the guitar diagrams above, there can be a third, a fifth or a seventh in the bass.

Here is a chart that contains four drop 2 diminished 7th voicings. You can see a root chord voicing with three inverted voicings. The root chord has its root (R) in the bass and the inverted chords have the b3, b5 and b7 in the bass. This is the principle of the inversion, the chord tones are played in a different order.

 Root chord 1 b5 bb7 b3 1st inversion (minor third in the bass) b3 bb7 R b5 2nd inversion (diminished fifth in the bass) b5 R b3 bb7 3rd inversion (diminished seventh in the bass) bb7 b3 b5 R

#### Drop 2 Diminished 7 chord shapes

That's what drop 2 diminished 7 voicings look like on the whole guitar neck. Each chord is represented by a different color.

Lowest notes on the 4th string

Lowest notes on the 5th string

Lowest notes on the 6th string

Root position

1st inversion

2nd inversion

3rd inversion

## Drop 3 diminished 7th voicings

#### What's a drop 3 voicing

Now that drop 2 dim7 voicings are no longer a secret for you, here are four drop 3 diminished 7th voicings with their eight related shapes to play on the guitar. You are probably wondering what's the difference between a drop 2 and a drop 3 voicing. As it is explained above, drop 2 voicings are made by dropping the second highest note of a four-notes closed chord to the bass. It is the same principle for drop 3 voicings, but this time it is the third highest note that is dropped to the bass giving these 4 chord voicings.

 Root position (drop 3) R bb7 b3 b5 1st inversion (minor third in the bass) b3 R b5 bb7 2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) b5 b3 bb7 R 3rd inversion (seventh in the bass) bb7 b5 R b3

Here are some rules about drop 3 chords :

• The lowest notes are always on the 5th of 6 strings (there are no drop 3 chord shapes with bass on the 4th string).
• There is a string skip in every shape.

#### Drop 3 diminished 7 chord shapes

Lowest notes on the 5th string

Lowest notes on the 6th string

## Diminished scales

#### What scales to play over diminished seventh chords

There are three main scales to play over dim7 chords.

#### The whole-half diminished scale

This is a an eight note scale that consists of a repeating pattern of whole steps and half steps. It's a symmetrical scale.

 C whole half diminished scale C D Eb F Gb Ab A B Formula 1 9 (2) b3 11 (4) b5 #5 13 (6) 7 Intervals W H W H W H W H

#### The half whole diminished scale

This is a an eight note scale too, that consists of a repeating pattern of halfs steps and whole steps. It is a symmetrical scale and the opposite of the previous diminished scale.

 C half whole diminished scale C Db Eb E F# G A Bb Formula 1 b9 #9 3 #11 or b5 5 13 (6) b7 Intervals H W H W H W H W

#### Super Locrian bb7 scale

This is the seventh mode of the harmonic minor scale.

 B super locrian bb7 mode B C D Eb F G Ab Formula 1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 bb7 Intervals W W H W W H W+H
• ### 49 Essential Jazz Lines

This downloadable eBook in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
• ### 25 pentatonic licks

This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
• ### 20 II-V-I jazz guitar licks

This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 20 II-V-I jazz guitar lines with tabs and audio files both in major and minor keys
• ### 5 Jazz blues arpeggio studies

A printable PDF eBook with tabs and standard notation containing five jazz blues guitar studies. Learn how to use arpeggios over a jazz blues progression.
• ### 50 II-V-I voicings

Jazz guitar comping. How to play II-V-I chord progressions on guitar with drop 2, drop 3 chords, rootless and inverted voicings. This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with analysis, tabs & standard notation.
• ### 11 blues jazz studies

This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chords, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
• ### Mastering the altered scale

This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
• ### 40 Blues Dominant patterns

This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis and scale charts.
• ### 25 soul jazz guitar licks

You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks with tabs and standard notation in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson.These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
• ### 25 dominant diminished licks

This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
• ### 25 minor jazz guitar licks

This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.
• ### 5 Tritone substitution licks

The tritone substitution is explained through 5 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links and backing track links. Printable PDF eBook

Last edited: 27/05/2018