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Break Free from "Normal" Chords 16

Before I came across this shape I always found diminished chords a bit "clunky" and awkward.


With a bit of practice this shape is easy to play and is ideal for strumming or picking and has the advantage of leaving your little finger free.

The secret of mastering this chord is to damp the two strings that aren't wanted.

To achieve this your second finger that is getting the note on the bottom string should be at just the right angle to touch the 5th string and damp it off.

Your first finger then does a similar thing with the top string - just try not to get a note on the 1st string by bending the finger slightly so you're touching but not pressing.

Like all new techniques this may seen awkward at first but once you get it you will find it becomes automatic and easy.

On the first soundfile I have used the shape in a blues style turnaround running down from G# diminished to E.
Firstly as arpeggios then strummed - see the first tab.

The Tab

The second soundfile has the shape rooted on B to play a Django Reinhardt style lead arpeggio using the spare little finger to get an extra note - I have put the fingering under the tab.

Basically you just hold down a B diminished chord — the shape shown above but at fret 7, pick through it then add your little finger on the 2nd string and pull off back to the first finger.

The Tab