How to play

How to play the Edim chord on guitar

Unlock the secrets of Edim, featured in hits like "Hotel California" and "Creep."

The Edim chord

The Edim chord, pronounced "E diminished," is a triad consisting of the notes E, G, and B♭. This chord has a tense, unresolved sound due to its diminished fifth interval. Edim is often used in classical music and jazz to create tension and add a sense of instability. It can also be found in popular songs like "Michelle" by The Beatles and "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin.

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

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Finger placement for Edim chord

The most common way to play the Edim chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 7th fret.

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

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings on the 7th fret, forming a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 8th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 8th 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 lowest (thickest) string.

How to play an easy Edim chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Edim chord, try this open chord fingering:

  • Place your first finger on the first fret of the D string
  • Place your second finger on the first fret of the G string
  • Strum only the D, G, and B strings, avoiding the top three strings

How to play a Edim bar chord

I do not have enough confidence to describe how to play an Edim barre chord on guitar. Most Edim guitar chord diagrams show open chord fingerings rather than barre chord shapes, so I will refrain from providing instructions to avoid potentially misleading learners with inaccurate information.

Common Edim chord progressions

The Edim chord, with its dissonant and unstable sound, is often used in chord progressions to create tension and evoke a sense of unease or mystery. Here are some common Edim chord progressions:

  • i - iv - Edim - V (Am - Dm - Edim - E) Used in "I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
  • i - Edim - i - V7 (Am - Edim - Am - E7)
  • Edim - V7 - i (Edim - E7 - Am)
  • i - Edim - iv - V (Am - Edim - Dm - E)
  • Edim - V7/VI - vi (Edim - F#7 - F#m)

Drills to master the Edim chord

To master the Edim guitar chord, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, focusing on clarity and tone. Strum the notes together slowly at first, gradually increasing your speed until you can transition to the chord smoothly.

Another effective drill is to practice switching between Edim and other common chords like E major or E minor. This will help you develop muscle memory and improve your ability to change chords quickly and accurately during songs.

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Songs that feature the Edim chord

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

  1. Love on the Brain by Rihanna (Dm7, Edim7, Fm7, Bbmaj7)
  2. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (A, E, G#m7, C#m7, F#m, B7, Edim)
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen (Gm, Bb, Eb, F, Cm, Ab, Dm, Edim)
  4. Prelude in C Minor by Frédéric Chopin (C, Cm, G, Edim, Dm, G7)
  5. Rocket Man by Elton John (Gm, Bb, F, Edim, Bb7, Eb)
  6. Life on Mars? by David Bowie (F, Dm, Gm7, C7, Bb, Edim, A7)
  7. Black Coffee by Ella Fitzgerald (Fm7, Bb7, Eb, Edim, Bbm7, Eb7, Ab)
  8. Lush Life by Billy Strayhorn (Db, Bbm7, Ebm7, Ab7, Dm7b5, G7b9, Cm7, F7, Edim, Fm7, Bb7)
  9. I Loves You, Porgy by George Gershwin (Dm, Edim, C#dim, Dm7, G7)
  10. Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael (G, Bm7, Bb7, Am7, D7, Gm7, C7, F, Fm6, Edim, Em7, A7, Am7, D7)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

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