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Half diminished (also known as minor seventh flat five) chords are a familiar structure to most jazz guitarists and occur in many, if not most, standards.  Even beginning-level players usually know a couple of half diminished voicings to plug in when needed.  However, because this sound isn’t as common as major, minor, dominant, and even fully diminished chords, jazz guitarists are often not as well-versed with half diminished as with the other sounds.

Many players who can otherwise improvise and comp comfortably and effortlessly through a tune might stumble when a half diminished chord comes up.  It’s understandable that we aren’t as familiar with concepts that we don’t use as frequently.

This class will focus, in detail, on the often ignored, but beautiful and ethereal-sounding half diminished chord.  First, we will find chord voicings and arpeggios all over the neck with exercises and suggestions for improving fluency.  Then, we will investigate many different uses of the half diminished sound so that it can be implemented over just about any of the commonly played harmonies in jazz.

This class will help you become more comfortable soloing and comping on half diminished chords, and it will also give you new ideas for using half diminished chords and arpeggios superimposed over other harmonies to create new and exciting sonorities.

The Half Diminished Sound covers:

  • Basic structure and sound of the chord
  • All voicings on the guitar of the half diminished/minor seventh flat five chord
  • Half diminished arpeggio fingerings, both along individual strings and across the strings by position
  • Exercises for gaining fluency with the chords and arpeggios all over the neck
  • Explanation of different techniques for adding color tones to half diminished chords, with numerous examples
  • Thorough exploration of using half diminished sounds to represent harmonies from the major and melodic minor scales, both as chords and as arpeggios, with multiple example of each • use of half diminished chords to create harmonized melodic minor scales
  • Finding the four half diminished chords contained in the diminished scale and using them as chords and arpeggios to create fresh sounds on diminished chords • single note solo etude demonstrating material from the class on the chord changes to “Upper Manhattan Medical Group”
  • Chordal etude using a harmonized melody utilizing the concepts from the class, also using the chord changes to “UMMG”
  • Running time: 95 minutes
  • Includes 22 pages of written examples and exercises • All musical examples from the video are provided in music notation, tablature, and chord grid form.
  • Each example performance in the video is titled and numbered for easy navigation.
  • MP3 backing tracks for written examples, as well as full-length tracks for improvisation practice

Class Content

The Half Diminished Sound
The Half Diminished Sound 01:35:00

Course Reviews

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  1. Profile photo of ali baqar

    Great Course

    5

    This is an excellent course which is systematically organised.

    The price is cheap compared to the information contained within.

    The most useful part for me was when certain colour tones can be added/replaced to the exisiting half-diminished chord to give a beautiful sound.

    This course is certainly one to have in your arsenal.

    ~ Ali Baqar (July 1, 2018)

  2. Profile photo of Antonio Alvim

    5

    Tom Lippincot is a great teacher, performer, with unparalleled modern sound and mastery of every nuances of his instrument. Each of his lessons is thorough, completely exhausting the subject in each and every lesson he presents to us. Up to now, I have learned from eleven of his classes, and counting. This lesson is no exception to that. I fully recommend it.
    Tom Lippincot seems to me the new Ted Greene.

    ~ Antonio Alvim (September 18, 2016)

  3. Profile photo of J. Andrew

    5

    Tom’s classes are extremely well put together! The course materials are clear and thorough. I highly recommend any of his courses!!!

    ~ Jay Heaverlo (August 2, 2016)

  4. Profile photo of Pedro Munoz

    5

    I’ve bought six or seven of Tom’s classes so far and all of them are no less than fantastic, and I’m not going over the top here: Tom might be the best teacher I’ve had, clear, thorough and dedicated. This class is no exception, with the addition that the topic in discussion has been rarely, if ever, treated with such depth. I bet the majority of us can find fresh ideas here. And the guy is a monster player too.

    ~ pedro munoz (July 16, 2016)

  5. Profile photo of James S.

    5

    Yet another unbelievable class from Tom. His knowledge and ability to clearly articulate the theory, practicality, and creativity in each subject is unparalleled.

    ~ james seaberry (June 20, 2016)

  6. Profile photo of Sorin Romanescu

    5

    Tom Lippincott came up with another useful class for both students and teachers as well. I’ve purchased almost all his classes and every time I’m impressed with his easiness and clarity in approaching complex topics. He always provides useful and practical info in a simple and logic manner. Thanx again, Tom!

    All the best!
    Sorin from Romania

    ~ Sorin Romanescu (May 16, 2016)

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