Diminished and augmented chords sound can be characterized as very dissonant. They are not used very much in modern music, due to their unpleasant sound. But no discussion about chords would be complete without talking about them.

Diminished Chord Family

The diminished chord families are similar to the minor chord families, in that they both have a 1 and b3. But what makes the diminished different is that the 5 is also flattened.

Chord Type Abbreviation Scale Degrees
Diminished dim 1,b3,b5
Diminished 7th dim7 1,b3,b5,b7
Diminished 6th dim6 1,b3,b5,6
Diminished 9th dim9 1,b3,b5,7,9
Diminished 11 dim11 1,b3,b5,7,9,11
Diminished 13th dim13 1,b3,b5,7,9,11,13
Diminished Add 9 dim add9 1,b3,b5,9
Diminished Add 11 dim add11 1,b3,b5,11

Augmnet Chord Family

The augmented chord families have similar properties to the major chords with the exception that the 5 is sharped.

Chord Type Abbreviation Scale Degrees
Augmented aug or # 1,3,#5
Augmented 7th aug7 or #7 1,3,#5,b7
Augmented 6th aug6 or #6 1,3,#5,6
Augmented 9th aug9 or #9 1,3,#5,7,9
Augmented 11 aug11 or #11 1,3,#5,7,9,11
Augmented 13th aug13 #13 1,3,#5,7,9,11,13
Augmented Add 9 aug add9 or #add9 1,3,#5,9
Diminished Add 11 aug add11 or #add11 1,3,#5,11


Chords Part 5, Dominant 7th Chord Formulas

by Jay Kornahrens on March 6, 2013

The dominant 7th chord family is essential part of the major chord family. The only difference is that 7th is flat. The chord has a dissonant sound to it, but played within the right chord progression can sound very good.

Dominant 7th Chord Family

Chord Type Abbreviation Scale Degrees
Dominant 7th 7 1,3,5,b7
Dominant 7 6 6 7 1,3,5,6,b7
Dominant 7 9 7 9 1,3,5,b7,9
Dominant 7 11th 7 11 1,3,5,b7,9,11
Dominant 7 13th 7 13 1,3,5,b7,9,11,13
Dominant 7 Add 11 7add11 1,3,5,b7,11


Chords Part 4: Suspended Chord Formulas

March 6, 2013

A suspended chord is a chord when you do not play the third degree, and you replace it with either the second or fourth degree. In the major and minor chords, the third is what gives the chord it’s distinction. If the third is natural to the key it is a major chord. If it […]

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Chords Part 3 Minor Chord Extentions

March 6, 2013

The minor chord can have a melancholy sound. Extending a minor chord can bring new life to the sadness, adding a variety of different sounds to your arsenal. Below is a table with most of the minor chord extensions. (Lower case b designates flatting the note). Minor Chord Family Chord Type Abbreviation Scale Degrees Minor […]

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Chords Part 2, Major Chord Extentions

February 27, 2013

Extending chords is a very common practice. Extending a chord can produce some very dynamic sounds, and can take an ordinary chord progression and turn into something very magical. If you have been playing music for any amount of time, you have undoubtedly ran into some confusing looking chords.  I have come with a system that will […]

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Chords Part 1

February 26, 2013

I remember when I first started playing guitar. I started learning and memorizing different chords. I kept track of the number of chords I learned, and would actually brag about how many chords I knew. The more exotic the chord the more pride I felt. But I just memorized how to play the chords. I had no […]

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Why Learn Music Theory?

August 4, 2012

As a musician, you have joined the most competitive field of employment on the planet. Musicians are everywhere. No matter what instrument you play, there are literally millions of people that play the same instrument. What does that have to do with music theory? I have been playing music for well over 20 years. I have […]

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The two types of Music Theory.

August 3, 2012

Most musicians do not know that there are two types of music theory. Even the most well schooled virtuosos, would want to keep music theory as a single subject. But the truth is the theory behind music has two very distinct parts. The first part of music theory is the one that most people think […]

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Music Theory Lesson 1: The Major Key Part 1

August 2, 2012

All of western music is built upon the major scale, or the major key.This is the essential place to start learning music theory. In music there are 12 notes or tones, that repeat over and over. The notes followed by #, are called sharp. The notes followed by b, are called flat. The notes not […]

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Music Theory Lesson 2: The Major Scale Part 2

August 1, 2012

At this point, you may be asking yourself, what exactly is the major key, and what is the significance of learning about it? Right now, the only way to answer those questions, is to say, the more you learn about music theory, the more you will learn what a major key is, and how significant […]

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