child playing piano keys

How to Figure Out Any Diminished Chord In Seconds

How to Find a Diminished Chord in Seconds

  • Harry Morris
    Posted at 09:37h, 15 September

    Hi Scott. Regarding “dim” chords. I find it easier to think of a major chord and lowering the 2nd and 3rd notes 1/2 step. I can usually play music the first time and don’t have to stop a count notes.

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 10:24h, 16 September

      Hi Harry,

      That’s a great visual way to figure them out as well. Maybe I’ll do a vid showing the visual relationships of all the chords…? Not a bad idea.

      • Harry Morris
        Posted at 17:02h, 17 September

        Yes! A good idea. I spent many hours trying to figure these things out and put “post-ums” on the wall over the piano to explain where the fingers go. After a while i didn’t have to look at the notes any more. Now, I’m only plagued by dealing with “slash/chords”. I know what they are. But, I need to hear what they sound like. I need to see how to play them. I need to relate them to a specifice piece of music.

        • Scott Houston
          Posted at 15:18h, 18 September

          OK, I already have that request in the hopper Harry. thx

        • Scott Houston
          Posted at 15:37h, 18 September

          Also Harry – I wanted to make sure you had seen this post on Slash Chords I already did…

          • Harry Morris
            Posted at 11:30h, 19 September

            Yes, I saw that. It caused me to have the question I’m asking. I need to hear and see the slash/chord played on the piano as you play a piece of music. That vid, a year ago, only shows you playing a slash/chord with two hands, both left and right. Here’s one good example, say an Am/G#, Am/G, Am/F#, all in the same measure. I can play that using my left hand “pinky” only, but I can’t do that with a C/G slash/chord. Your book, “Favorites & Holiday Songs Fake Book”, the song, “Tears In Heaven”, p 156, would be a good example to play. The first 3 measures have 3-slash/chords in them. The song is filled with slash/chords.

          • Scott Houston
            Posted at 10:32h, 22 September

            OK – I’ll see what I can do …

  • maria
    Posted at 13:54h, 15 September

    Thank you ! This is very helpful.

    Posted at 14:12h, 15 September

    great information. you explain these piano playing
    problems very clearly. love your books and ideas.
    i have played piano many years, but i have learned some great piano solving problems because you explain them
    clear and simple. i would love your ideas on chord printed
    progressions. the proper chord progression makes anyone
    sound more like a pro. thank you, art pepin

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 10:22h, 16 September

      Thanks! Duly noted…

  • Ted Srednicki
    Posted at 15:18h, 15 September

    Hi i have come across them in some songs i have been playing and its hard to find them in my chord book thanks for the tiip

  • Raheem Shabaka
    Posted at 15:54h, 15 September

    Great!!! Brief, to the point, AND IMMEDIATELY USEFUL!!!

  • Sandra Walterhouse
    Posted at 10:54h, 16 September

    This was so helpful! I was able to go straight to the piano and figure these out. Video’s are so very helpful Scott! Thanks again.

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 15:04h, 18 September

      You’re so welcome!

  • Dman52
    Posted at 20:02h, 16 September

    Hi Scott, I started learning /teaching myself how to play from a book “How to play piano in ten easy lessons” I can do like Fur Elise melody fine,I kinda know the bass clef,just coordinating the two together. I learned the first part of “Who’s cryin’ now”. “Imagine” and some others. I come across half sized notes, could use some help with tempo,how to figure it, I want to learn some jazz for when/if I go to my 35th or 40th HS reunion,I’m working on “When I was your man” by Bruno Mars. I also noticed when you recorded the “Play piano in a flash” video ad(?) you did “Amazing Grace”;”C” chord 2x,”F” chord 1x,”C” 3x,”G” 1x.on my Yamaha keyboard it shows it as “C” held,”F” for a 1 count,”C” for a long count,”G7″ with the melody “G”. Just a FYI, otherwise…keep it up.

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 15:09h, 18 September

      Regarding the Amazing Grace chord progression, I could probably play 10 choruses of Amazing Grace and never play the same progression twice. That’s the beauty of playing in this style. Nothing cast in stone …

      I teach 3 or 4 different progressions ending with a very hip modern version in the 1-on-1 DVD for Amazing Grace. If you are interested in that particular tune I guarantee you would be very happy with that one. You can find it here:

  • George E Wells
    Posted at 04:34h, 18 September

    Scott — Thank you for your free lessons.
    At age 80, I’m still learning and you seem to
    have all of the short cuts.
    Do you have any shortcuts for fingering melodies
    of different songs??? All of my chords are in my
    left hand. That’s fine. Sometimes I struggle to find
    good fingering for my right hand melodies.
    Thanks again for your kindness, Scott.

    • Scott Houston
      Posted at 15:25h, 18 September

      Thanks for the nice words George…

      Regarding fingering, it all gets down to playing what feels the most comfortable to you. I know that sounds like a cop out answer but it is the absolute truth.

      Usually the one skill that will really help you get more dexterity for playing melody lines is getting comfortable sweeping your middle finger over your thumb going “downhill” and sweeping your thumb under your middle finger going “uphill” as you do when you are playing a lot of scales. It’s too much to get into here, but I’ll try to get that topic on a future vid. We also cover it pretty extensively throughout the online method as we are working through tune after tune and I suggest ways I would probably finger the melodies.

  • Carol Evered
    Posted at 13:45h, 17 November

    Hi Scott,
    Have you or would you please do a video on Augmented Chords?

    Also, thank your for your great suggestions on how to make pretty sounding endings for songs. Do you have any suggestions for how to do intros as well?

    Thank you, Scott!!