Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the lesson: Intro to Music Theory Part 10- The Major Scale

Much of life begins and ends around the major scale. Let’s learn about it.

Hello, I really appreciated this lesson, for the first time I’ve “REALLY” understood a simple way to know what sharps and flats exist in each scale (as the circle of fifths I haven’t really understood to date).

My question is around the “Dim” 7th chord, it was stated that the chord is a “minor” but also a diminished.

So does this mean, if I play a the 7th chord in any chord progression as a “minor” chord that I could technically get away with that (as a shortcut) as I don’t know how to play diminished chords?

I just got a little confused about it being a diminished chord (which I already understood) but then the teacher threw in “it’s a minor” and I wondered what was meant by that :slight_smile:?

Hope you can help me understand this theory a little better.


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Hello Adam,

In my limited understanding, you “flatten” the 3rd and 5th that you use with root to form a major chord to arrive at a diminished. For example, Cmajor chord is formed from C(root), E(3rd i.e. a whole-whole from C) and G(5th i.e. a half-whole from E). Cminor is when you flatten 3rd, which would then be C(root), D#, G. Cdiminshed is when you flatten 3rd and 5th, which then would be C, D#, F#. So Cdim has a minor tone to it, maybe that is what your teacher referred to.



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Ok, hang tight my explanation might be confusing. A major triad is built out of a major third, and then a minor third. A minor triad is a minor third and then a major third. A diminished triad is a minor third and then another minor third. For grins, an augmented triad is a major third and then another major third. A major third is four half steps, or two whole steps. A minor third is three half steps, or 1.5 whole steps. Hope that’s not too confusing


2 good answers above from jmon and dragon for describing what a diminished chord is. To answer your question about using a minor. I would not suggest using a minor chord in place of the diminished chord. It doesn’t sound right. In the key of G the 7 chord is (typically) an F# dim. If you don’t know an F# dim, a good substitute would be a D7 chord. In fact, if you skip the root of the D7, the notes are the same as an F# dim (F#, A, C). To make this a more generic thing, play the 5 chord with a 7 (which is a common progression) and you are kind of playing a 7 chord that is diminished. In the key of G, your 5 chord is a D, make it a 7 and you have a D7 (a nice substitute for a F#dim). In the key of C, your 5 chord is a G, make it a 7 and you have G7 (which is a nice substitute for a Bdim).

If that doesn’t make sense, lemme know and I’ll try again.

@Mike_R , I guess then now I understand why we use the 7th chord (D7 in a Gmajor song) in playing songs. Good to know!

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Sharps = Good Deeds Are Excellent But Few
Flats = Frank Brown Eats Apple Dumplings Greedily
If a song has two sharps in the key signature it is In the key of D If a song has three flats in the key signature it is In the key of E. An easy way to remember! C has nothing in the key signature.

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Very helpful, thank you for the pattern to learn notes in a scale

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