G Flat Diminished Triad: The Complete Guide ๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽน

By Jade Bultitude
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In this article, you’ll learn how to construct the G flat diminished triad as well as how to play it on piano and guitar.

We’ve also included sections on inversions for those that want a deeper understanding. Lastly, listen to some examples of popular songs that featured this triad.

Root, 3rd and 5th

The G flat dim triad is formed of the 1st, flat 3rd and flat 5th of the G flat major scale.

  • Gb – root note
  • Bbb – Minor 3rd above the root
  • Dbb – diminished 5th above the root

Here is the triad written on the stave in the treble and bass clef.

G flat dim triad, treble clef
G flat dim triad bass clef

Before you read on make sure that you have a basic understanding of intervals. Intervals are vital for understanding how triads are built. Check out our guide to major, minor and perfect intervals for more on this.

Gb diminished Triad on Piano

Below you can see how to play this triad on the keyboard or piano. This pattern of notes could also be played starting on any G flat note.

However, the order of the notes must be the same:

  • G flat – lowest note
  • B double flat – middle note
  • D double flat – highest note

This is called ‘root position’.

G flat dim triad root position piano diagram

Gb diminished Triad on Guitar

There are two simple positions that you can use to play a G flat dim triad on guitar. Both positions can also be slide up or down the neck to play different diminished triads.

G flat diminished chord root position guitar chart

1st Inversion

A 1st inversion is where we take a triad but we start on the second note, which in this case is B double flat. We still keep the D double flat above, but then the G flat (or root) become the highest note.

This way of rearranging a triad gives us a different sound as the relative pitches of the three notes has changed.

  • Bbb – min 3rd (lowest note)
  • Dbb – dim 5th (middle note)
  • Gb – root (highest note)
G flat dim triad 1st inversion

1st inversion on Piano

On the piano we can play the 1st inversion of a Gb dim triad by starting on an Bbb. They play the Dbb above and the Gb above this.

G flat diminished chord 1st inversion piano diagram

1st Inversion of Guitar

Below are the most common shapes for playing a G flat dim chord in the 1st inversion. Remember that we can only use certain shapes are the pitches of the three notes are important.

G flat diminished chord 1st inversion guitar chart

2nd Inversion

A 2nd inversion is where we take a triad but we start on the third note, which in this case is D double flat. We still keep the G flat above this as we did from the 1st inversion. Then the B double flat becomes the highest note in the chord.

  • Dbb – dim 5th (lowest note)
  • Gb – root (middle note)
  • Bbb – min 3rd (highest note)

We could construct a 2nd inversion starting on any Dbb note in any octave. The only thing that must stay the same is that the we use the Gb above and the Bbb above that.

Gb diminished triad 2nd inversion

2nd inversion on Piano

On the piano we can play the 2nd inversion of a Gb diminished chord by starting on a Dbb. They play the Gb above and the Bbb above this.

G flat diminished chord 2nd inversion piano diagram

2nd Inversion of Guitar

Below are the most common shapes for playing a Gb diminished triad in the 2nd inversion. Remember that we can only use certain shapes are the pitches of the three notes are important.

G flat dim triad 2nd inversion guitar chart

What different types of triad are there?

There are several different types of triads that we can create for the major scale:

  • Major Triad– This is formed with the 1st, 3rd (major 3rd) and 5th (perfect fifth) of the major scale. The G flat Major triad is Gb, Bb and Db.
  • Minor Triad– This is the same as the major triad, except instead of a major 3rd we have a minor 3rd. The G flat Minor triad is therefore Gb, Bbb, Db.
  • Diminished Triad – To create the diminished triad start with the 1st (Gb), then minor 3rd (Bbb) then a diminished 5th (Dbb). A Diminished 5th interval is a half-step (semitone) smaller than a perfect 5th.
  • Augmented Triads– This triad starts with the 1st degree of the scale (Gb), followed by major 3rd (Bb) and augmented 5th (D). An augmented 5th interval is a half-step (semitone) larger than a perfect 5th.

Keys that Include Gb Dim Triad

You might be asking – what key do you find G flat diminished chords in? Well, as you can see below, F# Dim is the second chord in the key of E minor. F# Dim is enharmonically equivalent to G flat minor.

chords in e minor

It is also the 7th chord in the key of G Major. (Again F#Dim is enharmonically equivalent to GbDim)

chords in g major

Famous Songs That Use Diminished Chords

When played in isolation, diminished chords have a distinctly dissonant sound. But this chords come into their own when seen as part of a chord progression. In the right progression, diminished chords at so much character and interest to a song.

Here’s 4 popular examples of diminished chords in action.

‘don’t Look Back in Anger’ – Oasis

The song is in C major and the bridge section moves from a G (the fifth chord in the key) and an Amin (the 6th chord in the key).

don't look back in anger, oasis, music and chords

To make this transition more interesting, Noel Gallagher starts on G major then moves to G diminished before moving to the Amin. This provides some tension (the G dim) and release (the A Minor) give the bridge a more satisfying feel.

‘Bennie And The Jets’ – Elton John

In ‘Bennie and the Jets’ Elton John used a G diminished chord to move between the tonic chord (G) and the 2nd chord (Amin)

Bennie and the jets- Elton John, music and chords

This gives a smooth transition that is more interesting that simply staying on the G major before moving to the A minor chord.

‘Bridge Over Troubled water’ – Simon & Garfunkel

In the chorus of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, Simone and Garfunkel use a F#dim/A to give a sweet resolution to the tonic chord of Eb major.

bridge over troubled water music and chords

‘This love’ – Maroon 5

The hook to this song has clever used a Ddim7 chord which then resolves to the G/D chord.

maroon 5 this love music and chords

The funky addition notes added to the chords give a stepping movement that adds to the catchiness!

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AUTHOR
Jade is a flute player and music educator with a passion for educating the next generation of musicians. She is a Masters Graduate from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Jade has been helping people learn music theory for more than 10 years from pre school children all the way to degree level studies.