Modulation Through Diminished Chords [Easy Explanation]

Author: Tommaso Zillio

The diminished 7th chord is one of the most useful chords in music. Since it is symmetric, it can be used to do things that no other chords can do quite as well.

(If you don’t know what it means that the dim 7th chord is ‘symmetric, don’t worry: we are going to see all this together in the video below)

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One of the thing that the diminished chord does wonderfully well, is to help us changing keys. i.e. modulating. And not only that, but modulations done with the help of diminished chords sounds (if properly executed) very smooth and natural.

In fact, I’m sure you’ve heard many of them already. The feeling is that in a chord progression you get an unexpected chord that, despite being surprising, simply seems to ‘fit’ the chord progression… and before you know it, you are in a different key.

In this video we see together how to do just that: we take a simple chord progression as an example, and we connect it through 8 different (and distant) keys. Once you see it done, then it’s super simple to use this trick in your songs.

Of course, there are many other ways to change key that do not use diminished chords at all. If you are interested in how to change key fluidly, then here’s some more examples using different technique.

It goes without saying that to really profit from these examples, you want to play all of them on your guitar:


About the Author

Tommaso Zillio is a prog rock guitarist and teacher with a passion for Music Theory applied to Guitar. To know more do not forget to subscribe to his youtube channel.

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