How to play

How to play the Ddim7 chord on guitar

Unlock the eerie sound of Ddim7, used in hits like "Lucifer" by The Alan Parsons Project.

The Ddim7 chord

The Ddim7 chord, pronounced D diminished seventh, is a haunting and dissonant chord that adds a sense of tension and mystery to music. Formed by playing a D, F, Ab, and Cb together, this chord is often used in jazz, classical, and film scores to create an unsettling atmosphere. Its unique sound can be heard in songs like "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Ddim7 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Ddim7 chord

The most common way to play the Ddim7 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 10th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Ddim7 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 10th fret, barring all six strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 11th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 12th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 12th fret of the 4th (D) string.

To strum this chord, use your pick or thumb to play all six strings in a downward motion, starting from the low E string and moving towards the high E string.

How to play an easy Ddim7 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Ddim7 chord, try playing it as an open chord instead:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Strum only the top four strings.

How to play a Ddim7 bar chord

The Ddim7 chord is most commonly played as an open chord, but learning the barre chord version can be useful for playing songs in different keys or creating a fuller sound.

Here's how to play a Ddim7 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 10th fret, covering all six strings (barre).
  2. Place your middle finger on the 11th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 12th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 12th fret of the 1st (high E) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from the low E string to the high E string.

Common Ddim7 chord progressions

The Ddim7 chord is often used as a passing chord to add tension and a sense of movement in chord progressions, creating a mysterious and unsettled emotional feel. Some common chord progressions featuring Ddim7 include:

  • ii dim7 - V7 - I (Ddim7 - A7 - Dmaj7)
  • I - ii dim7 - iii - VI (Dmaj7 - Ddim7 - Em7 - Bm7b5) Used in "Misty" and "I'll Remember April"
  • I - vi - ii dim7 - V7 (Dmaj7 - Bm7 - Ddim7 - A7)
  • I - IV - vii dim7 - iii (Dmaj7 - Gmaj7 - C#dim7 - F#m7b5)
  • I - ii dim7 - I/iii - IV (Dmaj7 - Ddim7 - F#m7/C# - Gmaj7)

Drills to master the Ddim7 chord

To master the Ddim7 chord, try playing it in different rhythmic patterns. Start with whole notes, then progress to half notes, quarter notes, and even eighth notes. This drill helps build muscle memory and improves your timing.

Another effective drill is to practice transitioning between Ddim7 and other chords commonly used in the same key, such as Dm7, G7, and Cmaj7. Focus on smooth transitions and maintaining a consistent tempo. Regularly incorporating these transitions into your practice routine will enhance your overall playing fluency.

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Songs that feature the Ddim7 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Ddim7 chord.

  1. All of Me by John Legend (Am, C, Dm, Ddim7, F, Fm, G)
  2. Misty by Erroll Garner (Ebmaj7, Ddim7, Dm7, G7, Cm7, F7, Bbmaj7, Am7b5, D7)
  3. Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra (Am7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, F7, Bm7b5, E7, A7, D7, Gm7, C7, Fmaj7, Bdim7, E7#5, Am7b5, D7b9)
  4. Georgia on My Mind by Ray Charles (F, Ddim7, C/E, A7/E, Dm, Am7b5, D7, Gm, Bbm, F/A, Gm7, C7)
  5. The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra (Emaj7, C#m7, F#7, B7, Bm7, E7, A6, C#7, C#m7, F#7, Emaj7, A6/C#, Edim7, A7, Dmaj7, Bm7, E7#5)
  6. Satin Doll by Duke Ellington (Dm7, G7, Em7, A7, Am7, D7, Abm7, Db7, C6, D7, G7, C6, Fdim7, C/G)
  7. God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday (Gm7, Ddim7, Dm7, G7b9, C7, F7, Bb7, Eb7, Abm7, Db7)
  8. Cry Me a River by Julie London (Am, E7/G#, F#m7b5, B7, Bm7, Ddim7, E7, C#m7, F#7)
  9. Moonlight in Vermont by Frank Sinatra (Gmaj7, Bbdim7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Cm7, F7, Bbmaj7, Ebm7, Ab7, Am7, D7, Bm7, E7, Am7, F#7, Bm7, E7, Am7, D7)
  10. Lush Life by Billy Strayhorn (Db6/9, Ebm7, Ab7, Dm7b5, G7b9, C7sus, C7, Cm7, F7, Bbm7, Eb7, Abmaj7, Ddim7, G7alt, C7sus)

How a guitar teacher can help

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