How to play

How to play the Gm7b5 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this essential jazz chord, used in hits like "Sunny".

The Gm7b5 chord

The Gm7b5 chord, pronounced "G minor seven flat five" or "G half-diminished," is a versatile chord with a distinctive somber sound. It's composed of the notes G, Bb, Db, and F, and is often used in jazz, neo-soul, and R&B music to add depth and complexity to chord progressions. The Gm7b5 can also be found in popular songs like "Creep" by Radiohead.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Gm7b5 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Gm7b5 chord

The standard way to play the Gm7b5 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 3rd fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Gm7b5 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st (E) string through the 5th (A) string, forming a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 4th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 4th fret of the 2nd (B) string.

Strum all six strings together in a downward motion, starting from the low E string, to play the Gm7b5 chord. Make sure to apply adequate pressure with your index finger to properly fret all the notes in the barre.

How to play an easy Gm7b5 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Gm7b5 chord, try this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st (E) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  4. Strum only these three strings.

How to play a Gm7b5 bar chord

Playing the Gm7b5 chord as a barre chord can be a great way to add variety to your chord progressions and make transitions between chords easier.

Here's how to play a Gm7b5 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th (A), 4th (D), 3rd (G), 2nd (B), and 1st (E) strings, creating a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 5th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down.

Common Gm7b5 chord progressions

The Gm7b5 chord, also known as a half-diminished seventh chord, adds a haunting and melancholic flavor to chord progressions. It often serves as a transitional chord, creating a sense of tension and resolution. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the Gm7b5 chord:

  • i - iv - VII - III7 (Cm - Fm - Bb - D7) - Used in "Creep" by Radiohead
  • i - VII - VIm7b5 - V7 (Am - G - F#m7b5 - E7)
  • Im7 - IVm7 - im7b5 - V7b9 (Dm7 - Gm7 - Dm7b5 - A7b9)
  • Im7b5 - V7b9 - Im7 (Bm7b5 - E7b9 - Am7)
  • ii - V7 - IIIm7b5 - VI7 (Dm - G7 - Em7b5 - A7)

Drills to master the Gm7b5 chord

To master the Gm7b5 chord, try playing it in different positions up and down the fretboard. Start with the root note on the 6th string, then move to the 5th, 4th, and 3rd strings. This will help you familiarize yourself with the chord shape and sound in various contexts.

Another effective drill is to practice transitioning smoothly between Gm7b5 and other closely related chords, such as Cm7, Dm7b5, and F7. Focus on minimizing any pause or hesitation during the transitions, as this will be crucial when playing the chord in actual musical situations.

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Songs that feature the Gm7b5 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Gm7b5 chord:

  1. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, C/G, D/F#, Fmaj7, Am7, Dsus4, D, Gm7b5)
  2. Just the Two of Us by Grover Washington Jr. (Cm7, Gm7b5, Dm7b5, Cm7)
  3. Killing Me Softly with His Song by Roberta Flack (Em7, Am7, D7, Gm7b5, C7)
  4. Moondance by Van Morrison (Am7, Bm7, Gm7b5, Am7)
  5. Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma (Am7, D7, Gm7b5, C7)
  6. Misty by Erroll Garner (Ebm7, Bbm7, Gm7b5, C7b9)
  7. All the Things You Are by Jerome Kern (Fm7, Bbm7, Gm7b5, C7)
  8. God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday (Cm7, Gm7b5, Cm7, F7)
  9. Song for My Father by Horace Silver (Fm7, Gm7b5, Cm7, Dm7b5)
  10. In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington (Dm7, G7, Gm7b5, A7b9)

How a guitar teacher can help

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