The C diminished chord (C dim or C°) contains the notes C, Eb and Gb. It is produced by taking the 1st, flat 3rd and flat 5th notes of the C Major scale.

A diminished often appears as C dim or C°.

The diminished chord played by itself has a dissonant sound. This is largely due to the existence of the tritone interval, which is otherwise known as the devil’s interval. The C diminished chord contains a tritone between the notes C and Gb.

Even though the C diminished chord sounds dissonant on its own, it can sound beautiful when played in the right context. Pairing the C diminished chord with the D flat Major chord, for example, creates a sense of tension and release, which works well. A good exercise is to switch between the C diminished chord and the Db Major chord and hear for yourself how this sounds

10 Ways To Play The C Diminished Chord

If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for C diminished, here they are.

C Diminished Chord 10 Shapes

Some Quick C Diminished Chord Theory

  • The C diminished chord contains the notes C, Eb and Gb.
  • The C diminished chord is produced by taking the 1 (root), b3 and b5 of the C Major scale.
  • The C diminished chord (just like all diminished chords) contains the following intervals (starting from the root note): minor 3rd, minor 3rd, tritone (which leads back to the root note).
  • C diminished resolves naturally to the Db chord.
  • C diminished can be written as C dim or C°.
  • The C locrian scale can be used when soloing over the C diminished chord.

Further Reading

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