How to play

How to play the Fm7b5 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this jazzy chord, featured in songs like "Michelle" by The Beatles.

The Fm7b5 chord

The Fm7b5 chord, pronounced F half-diminished, is a unique and versatile chord that adds a haunting and mysterious flavor to music. It's commonly found in jazz, neo-soul, and R&B genres, often used as a passing chord to create smooth transitions. The Fm7b5 is built with the notes F, A♭, C♭, and E♭, giving it a tense and unresolved sound that captivates listeners.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Fm7b5 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Fm7b5 chord

The most common way to play the Fm7b5 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 1st fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Fm7b5 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of all six strings, forming a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum this chord, place your fingers in the correct positions and strum all six strings together in a downward motion.

How to play an easy Fm7b5 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Fm7b5 chord, try this:

  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 these two strings together.

This simplified version requires less hand strength and coordination.

How to play a Fm7b5 bar chord

Playing the Fm7b5 chord as a barre chord allows you to easily change to other nearby chords and play the chord in any key up the fretboard.

Here's how to play an Fm7b5 barre chord:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings at the 1st fret.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum all six strings downwards.

Common Fm7b5 chord progressions

The Fm7b5 chord, also known as F minor 7 flat 5 or F half-diminished, is often used in chord progressions to create a sense of tension, ambiguity, or a smooth transition between other chords. These progressions can evoke feelings of melancholy, sophistication, or a jazz-influenced sound. Here are some common Fm7b5 chord progressions:

  • ii7b5 - V7 - i (Fm7b5 - G7 - Cm)
  • ii7b5 - V7 - I (Fm7b5 - G7 - C)
  • iv - iv7b5 - iii7b5 - VI7 (Fm - Fm7b5 - Em7b5 - A7)
  • ii7b5 - V7 - i7 - IV7 (Fm7b5 - G7 - Cm7 - F7) Used in "All the Things You Are"
  • i7b5 - VII7 - VI7 - V7 (Fm7b5 - Eb7 - Db7 - C7) Used in "Autumn Leaves"

Drills to master the Fm7b5 chord

To master the Fm7b5 chord, try playing it as an arpeggio. Pluck each note individually in ascending and descending order: F, Ab, Cb, Eb, Cb, Ab, F. This drill helps your fingers memorize the shape and improves dexterity.

Another effective drill is to practice transitioning between Fm7b5 and related chords like Db7 or Bbm7. Play each chord for a measure, focusing on smooth transitions. This exercise enhances muscle memory and prepares you for real-world playing situations.

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Songs that feature the Fm7b5 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Fm7b5 chord.

  1. All the Things You Are by Jerome Kern (Fm7, Bbm7, Eb7, Abmaj7, Dbmaj7, G7, Cmaj7, Fm7, Bbm7, Eb7, Abmaj7, Dm7b5, G7, Cmaj7, Fm7b5, Bbm7, Eb7, Abmaj7)
  2. Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra (Am7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, F7, Bm7b5, E7, Am7, Dm7, G7, Em7, A7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, Fm7b5, Bb7, Em7, A7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7)
  3. Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma (Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Bm7b5, E7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, E7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Fm7b5, E7)
  4. My Funny Valentine by Richard Rodgers (Cm7, Fm7, Bb7, Ebmaj7, Abmaj7, Dm7b5, G7, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7, Ebmaj7, Abmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cm7)
  5. Round Midnight by Thelonious Monk (Ebm7, Fm7b5, Bb7, Ebm7, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7, Ebm7, Bb7, Ebm7)
  6. Misty by Erroll Garner (Ebmaj7, Ebm7, Fm7, Bb7, G7, Cm7, Fm7b5, Bb7, Ebmaj7, C7, Fm7, Bb7, Ebmaj7)
  7. Stella by Starlight by Victor Young (Bbmaj7, Gm7, Cm7, F7, Dm7b5, G7, Cm7, F7, Bbmaj7, Eb7, Am7b5, D7, Gm7, Dm7b5, G7, Cm7, F7, Bbmaj7)
  8. Body and Soul by Johnny Green (Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, Cm7, F7, Bbmaj7, Bbm7, Eb7, Abmaj7, Am7b5, D7, Gmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7)
  9. What Is This Thing Called Love by Cole Porter (Cmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, Fm7b5, Bb7, Ebmaj7, Dm7b5, G7)
  10. Satin Doll by Duke Ellington (Cmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, Am7, Dm7, Fm7b5, Bb7, Ebmaj7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, F#m7b5, B7, Emaj7)

How a guitar teacher can help

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