Guitar Chord Progression #16

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my last update. Apologies!

Anyway, here we have a progression that makes use of the diminished chord a semitone up from the IV chord (in this case, the IV chord is Amaj7). Take a look and listen first and hear how the diminished 7th chord interacts with the chords either side of it…

E major open chord

E major open chord

A major 7 (Amaj7) open chord

A major 7 (Amaj7) open chord

B flat diminished 7 (Bbdim7) open chord

B flat diminished 7 (Bbdim7) open chord

E major open chord

E major open chord

B 9 suspended 4 (B9sus4) movable chord

B 9 suspended 4 (B9sus4) movable chord

This is actually quite a typical movement used in a lot of pop songwriting. The use of the diminished chord destabalises the progression following the Amaj7 IV chord, which acts as a safe “resting point” away from the E major tonic chord.

This instability is resolved simply by moving back to the tonic.

I just find it more interesting to sometimes use these slightly more tense chords in progressions that would otherwise feel “safe” and “middle of the road”. Of course, sometimes a straightahead E major / Amaj7 (I / IV) yo-yo is effective enough (especially if you want to keep the backing chords simple for some lead improv).

Diminished chords have a fascinating role in music, and I’ll most likely be using them in different contexts in future posts.

Experiment with different combinations…

e.g. Amaj7 | B9sus4/B7 | E major | Bbdim7

 

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