Blues Guitar Institute

Play Video

Do you need to know how to play the diminished 7th chord?

Lesson ID: TB168

In this lesson, we’ll demystify diminished chords by breaking them down to their basic elements and put them to use in a cool, bluesy way.

Chord theory sounds scary to a lot of blues pickers but having a grasp on the basics of chord construction can pay huge dividends no matter what your skill level.

I really enjoy getting inside a chord and knowing how it’s constructed, what it leads to and stuff like that. It helps me get inside the music and I suppose it helps me build a war chest of sounds to call upon when the right situation arises. I think of the diminished 7th chord in that way. It’s not a chord quality I use in every blues tune, but it’s an interesting sound to have at my disposal.

Trouble is, just the name is a bit offputting…diminished.


I get major and minor but this is just too much, Ammiright?

In this lesson, we’ll work to squash the diminished dread and help you put this chord into your playing as fast and painless as possible.

You’ll learn:

  • The chord formula for the diminished 7th chord
  • A cool technique to use the diminished 7th chord in a blues progression
  • How to play a sweet, bluesy example using the dim7 chord

Other Related Lessons

When you are ready, there are two ways I can help you:

Back Porch Blues Course:  A proven system to fingerpicking the blues.  This step-by-step course guides you through building fundamental fingerpicking skills.  Plus, you’ll learn three levels of a delta blues style performance study to put your new skills into action.

Become a myBGI Member: Membership comes with access to Back Porch Blues plus over 70 step-by-step courses.  Get proven results with one of myBGI’s structured Roadmaps.

Subscribe to Tuesday Blues​

Join 14,000 Tuesday Blues subscribers for weekly lessons.  You’ll get strategies, tips and tutorials to help you play better blues guitar.

    Hey, Before You Go...


    Unlock the fretboard so you can play great blues guitar.