Today’s featured chord is a minor 7 flat 5. It’s quite a widely-spaced shape, and can be tricky to play. However, if you’ve got big hands and want another way of playing this common chord, give it a try …
Minor 7 Flat 5
This is a chord I use quite often, especially in minor 2 5 1 progressions. (Click here for more info on 2 5 1 progressions.)
As you can see, it’s a bit of a stretch, and for this reason works better further up the neck. There are easier ways of playing a m7flat5 chord!
However, if you’ve got quite big hands, you can just about get away with playing this shape at the 5th fret for a 2 5 1 in C minor (quite a common key in jazz).
We’ll cover a bit of theory, then I’ll show you a nice minor 2 5 1 progression that you can use to try out this chord.
Note: If you don’t want to learn the theory, don’t worry. Just dive straight in to the chord progression at the end to hear how the chord sounds!
You can play this chord with a full barre. This repeats the minor 3rd in the chord, and may be useful if you are voice leading on either the top or bottom string.
Minor 7 Flat 5 Chords
Here’s a quick recap on what minor 7 flat 5 chords are.
Basically, they’re the same as a minor 7th chord, but with a flattened fifth.
Whereas a Dm7 chord would contain the following notes …
D, F, A, C
… a Dm7b5 chord would contain these notes:
D, F, Ab, C.
Where Are Minor 7 flat 5 Chords Used?
In minor chord progressions, the 7 flat 5 chord is usually the ‘2’ chord of a progression. This is because it is formed from notes in the harmonic minor scale (see below).
C Harmonic Minor Scale:
C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, B(#), C
Note that despite the key signature of C minor having 3 flats (Eb, Ab, Bb), in harmonic minor scales the 7th note is raised.
Minor 7 flat 5 Chord Progression Example
Try out the minor 7 flat 5 chord in the example progression below. The progression is a minor 2 5 1 in the key of F minor.
I hope that you have enjoyed learning about this minor 7 flat 5 shape. Check out more of our Guitar Chords Of The Week and improve your chord knowledge.
You can learn more about chord theory here: Guitar Chord Theory.