Resolving diminished chords or arpeggios to a minor chord in minor keys

More Detailed Diminished
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
So far, we’ve covered some of the basics of the diminished chord and arpeggio construction and resolution. We’ve stressed the importance of resolving the diminished idea (tension and release), as it is considered unstable or dissonant in Western music and requires resolution to stability.

This month, we’ll discuss another common resolution: to the minor chord. We know that a diminished chord or arpeggio naturally resolves up a half step to a major chord because that’s its role in a major key. In a minor key, the diminished chord or arpeggio is the two (ii°) chord, and is a whole step (two frets) above the tonic. Therefore, the natural resolution in a minor key is down a whole step to a minor chord or ii°-i. There are some very common examples of this in all styles of music. This month, I’ll illustrate common approaches to resolving the diminished idea in a minor key and to a minor chord.

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Remember to thoroughly acquaint yourself with the previous lessons on diminished in this series. Using the diminished idea is one of the easiest ways to add color to your playing as well as to get and keep the listeners’ attention. It’s also great for creating seamless lines that are chock-full of melodic and harmonic continuity, and as a bridge from one key to another. Thanks for logging on and tuning in. See you next month here in Lethal Guitar.

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