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I am interested to know where the Eb diminished 7 in the first 4 bars of jazz standard I Wanna Be Around come from? My guess was that it relates as being a sort of tritone substitution for the V of the D-7, which is A7. Does this make sense?

My next question is how would you approach it when playing over the intro changes? We are nicely in C and then the Ebdim7 pops up. I have been playing a Diminished arpeggio but it feel s but boring!

I was also considering that Ebdim7 is the same diminished system as F7b9 which could be viewed as a Csus13b5#9 which TBH doesn't make much sense as a usable chord but maybe it could be used to played a mixolydian or altered scale? Another option is that B7b9 is also part of Eb diminished scale and of course can be seen as the VII of C major.

Perhaps I am over thinking this! Any thought? Thanks in advance!

  • Ebdim has another name - C dim... – Tim Feb 2 at 19:31
  • Good point, so basically it is just changing from C maj to Cm? Would that alter your approach to the Dm7 chord that comes after then? – Babaluma Feb 2 at 19:37
  • Not Cm. Co. So many semitone moves to get to Dm. Can't not work. – Tim Feb 2 at 20:30
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The first few bars are sometimes chorded as:

Cmaj7, C6, Cmaj7, Cdim, Dm7...

sometimes as:

Cmaj7, C6, Em7, Ebdim, Dm7...

Either way, we usually see an Eb bass note for at least the second half of the fourth chord.

I'm not sure we can explain it as a substitution for A7, dominant of D, as the tritone C# - G is not present. Maybe we have to accept 'passing dim7 chord' as its own category.

What I'd play over it is the original melody, unless I was very sure I had something better!

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    Agree! Passing dim is correct. – Albrecht Hügli Feb 2 at 23:25
  • I've had a similar issue with (Em7-Eo-Am7-D7). There's no way that diminished chord is a substitute for E7! – user45266 Feb 4 at 23:32
  • Em7-Eo-Am7-D7 works best when the Eo is rooted on Bb. – Laurence Payne Feb 4 at 23:42
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The main progressions in jazz are I ii V I jazz cadence and the I vi ii V7 progression.

There are 3 variations of the 1625 pattern where the iv is substituted: I (V7) ii V7 the 2 diminished chords I#dim7 and iiidim7:

In C major:

C am dm G7 will become:

C A7 dm G7

C C#dim7 dm G7

C Ebdim7 dm G7

So Eb dim7 may be considered as a substitution (variation) of am, but it is not exactly the tritonus substitution as this would be eb,g,a,db for a,c#,eb,g

Eb dim7 is actually a chromatic VIIdim7 to dm.

Source: Lesson 2, Swiss Jazz School (Berkley Jazz College)

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