Let’s continue the review of chords that we know about, by looking at the half diminished. As you know, half diminished means minor seventh with a flattened fifth.
There are essentially 2 types: one with the natural ninth and one with the flattened ninth. Let’s do the natural ninth first, since that’s the one that I prefer. So if we take our first inversion voicing for C minor7 with a flattened fifth, then that’s the chord we get. The scale that goes with it is E flat melodic minor rooted on C. Now if we do the third inversion - same thing - we take the third inversion, we flatten the fifth but leave the ninth alone.
Then that’s the half diminished with the natural ninth. We have this rooted voicing which I like.
That’s a little bit low, a little bit muddy. I think I would definitely use it for D, and I ‘d definitely go up to A - perhaps B flat - probably not much higher than that. In terms of our rooted voicing (chord), we take C7 and we flatten the third to give us C minor7 and we flatten the fifth to give us half diminished. If you want to put in the natural ninth you could. Let’s do the half diminished now with the flattened ninth. We take our first inversion and we flatten the fifth and we flatten the ninth. Then the scale that goes with it is D flat major
rooted on C which, of course, is the same scale as we have just had but with a flattened ninth.
Similarly, if we do the same thing: take our minor third inversion, flatten the fifth, flatten the ninth. D flat major rooted on C
So that’s the upper voiced chord.
Obviously if we take our rooted voicing, that doesn’t include the ninth and so we can use the
D flat major scale for that with the same voicing.
In terms of the rooted chord, it’s going to be the same: the seventh, flatten the third, flatten the fifth, and if you want to include the flattened ninth you can do. It doesn’t sound very good.
Now we look at diminished: tone, semitone, tone, semitone, tone, semitone.
Minor thirds piled on top of each other.
That’s the rooted voicing, first inversion, second inversion, third inversion - back again. Any of those are considered equivalent. Again, you probably want a higher voicing than that if you’re going to use that. The one that we prefer is the one that has a major seventh in it.
So it’s got diminished at the bottom and a major seventh at the top. Then the inversion of those. That’s probably one we would use because it’s in the middle of the piano.
Similarly with that one. And similarly with that one. I don’t know if this has a name. I’m just going to call it the major seventh version of the diminished voicing. Actually I will - although I said this was a review - I will give you one new chord. That is - I think it’s a Bill Evans voicing for the diminished - you take that same idea of a major seventh voicing but you stick the major seventh at the bottom - so you have this minor second crunch. So if you want it - C major7, but you flatten the third and you flatten the fifth. That gives you your diminished.
I’ll call that the “Evans voicing”. Remember if you’re rooting the chord, the seventh becomes a sixth and over the top we put the diminished scale (chord). So that’s diminished. Now we move over to the seventh with a sharpened fifth. If we take the seventh and we sharpen the fifth we get that. If we take our ninth it doesn’t include the fifth, but if we put a fifth in and we sharpen the fifth, then that’s the voicing that we’d use. As you know the scale is the whole tone scale. If we take the thirteenth, then the thirteenth becomes the sharpened fifth. We’re going to put in the ninth to thicken it out a bit.
In terms of the rooted voicing, we just take our seventh chord and we sharpen the fifth.
Finally, the altered scale: diminished to start off with and finishing with whole tone, which has in it - it’s a seventh - it has in it the flattened fifth, the sharpened fifth, the flattened ninth, the sharpened ninth. If we take our - since it’s a seventh chord - if we take our ninth shape, but we want an ordinary third and the sharpened ninth with that, we get that chord.
That is F sharp7 13 reinterpreted. We can thicken it up by sticking in the sharp 5.
And we can stick in a flat 5 as well.
Now if we do the same thing to the - let’s think now - we’re going to do this (to the) thirteenth, but we want it altered. We’re going to put in a sharpened fifth and we’re going to put in a sharpened ninth. We get that chord. So it’s a sort of thirteenth chord but it’s an upper version of it. That’s the lower version of it. That’s it thin, thicker, thicker still.
Then this one: it’s got the minor and the major third in it - or the third and the sharpened ninth to be more specific. Then we come to Ray’s chord. We have one with a flattened ninth and a flattened fifth and one with a sharpened ninth and a sharpened fifth. We often get to those from a sus chord. So we take a sus chord and we resolve it with a flat 5 and a flat 9 or take the sus chord and resolve it with a sharp 5 and a sharp 9. With the exception of that Bill Evans chord which is new, we have met everything else before. So now let’s look at something new.