I'm struggling with Gdim. The way I play it is:

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I use my third finger to mute the second string but I'm not sure of the open D string. I think the chord sounds OK, but am I really playing a Gdim?

I googled Gdim and my version does not show up among the suggestions. (Tried posting to r/guitar but my post was instakilled by a modbot, yay reddit)

2 Answers 2


The note D is not part of a Gdim chord. You should play the notes G-Bb-Db. One way to do this would be this slightly modified version of your suggestion (from low E to high e): 3-X-X-3-2-3

Depending on the type of guitar you have, you could fret the low G (third fret low E string) either with your thumb or with your second finger. Since Gdim is a triad, you could as well just play the top three strings if you don't need the root in the bass.


That's not a Gdim, because it's missing a Bb and there's no D in Gdim. I wouldn't call that a simplistic Gdim or any kind of Gdim at all. A diminished G chord has a minor third (Bb note) and a diminished fifth (Db). Yours doesn't have a third at all, and it has a perfect fifth as well as a diminished fifth or sharp 11th, so it doesn't do the job of a dim chord, the thing people mean when they write a Gdim or G° chord symbol. If you want a name for your chord, you could call it "G omit3 #11".

  • 2
    I think the name is rather G5#11. Cool sounding chord! But indeed this is not Gdim. Jul 28, 2020 at 17:08
  • @user1079505 Yeah, omit3 is called "5" too nowadays, but I don't recall seeing that written with any extra tensions. "G5" means a G power chord. How would you say "G omit3 #5" with that "5" nomenclature? ;) How about G7omit3? Would that be G5 7 or what. The whole "5" business is a half-working kludge over the existing kludge of a naming system. Jul 28, 2020 at 17:11
  • G omit3 #5 would be just two notes, giving many possible interpretation possibilities. Eb? Cm?... Jul 28, 2020 at 17:13
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    Also, the fact the third is missing doesn't rule it out completely as a Gdim substitute. Incomplete chord voicings are often used on guitar and other instruments. Primarily it's the presence of perfect fifth in a diminished chord which makes it not so diminished. Jul 28, 2020 at 17:15
  • I like the name G5#11, and I agree it's a cool sounding chord. Not a substituted for the diminished fifth, I see that now. Jul 28, 2020 at 18:04

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