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Ebm7b5 Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of Ebm7b5 in Root Position

    Eb M7b5 Chord Root Position Piano Diagram

    The Ebm7b5 chord, also known as a half-diminished chord, is a minor dominant seventh chord with a flat 5th built on the Eb major scale. This chord consists of the root note Eb, the minor third Gb, the diminished fifth Bbb (A), and the minor seventh Db.


    Structure of Ebm7b5


    Eb, Gb, Bbb, Db


    R, m3, d5, m7


    Ebm7b5 Chord Inversions


    The Ebm7b5 chord has a total of 3 inversions:

    Root Position: Eb Gb Bbb Db
    1st Inversion: Gb Bbb Db Eb
    2nd Inversion: Bbb Db Eb Gb
    3rd Inversion: Db Eb Gb Bbb

     Piano Keyboard Diagrams


    Ebm7b5 Chord Equivalencies

    When you invert a half-diminished chord to its first inversion, it becomes equivalent to a minor 6th chord built on its minor 3rd.

    Let’s take the Ebm7b5 chord which consists of the notes Eb, Gb, Bbb, Db: its first inversion is Gb, Bbb, Db, Eb, which is actually a Gb minor 6th chord.

    1st Inversion of Ebm7b5 = Gbm6

    Understanding the equivalencies of chords can be beneficial when playing or composing music. It can also help in analyzing and understanding the harmonic structure of a piece of music.

    Music Theory and Harmony of Ebm7b5


    Ebm7b5 is considered a half-diminished chord, which means it has a diminished fifth and a minor seventh interval. This chord can be used as a substitute for other chords, such as a dominant seventh chord or a minor chord.

    In jazz and other styles of music, Ebm7b5 is often used as a passing chord or as part of a ii-V-I progression. It can add tension and interest to a musical passage, and can also be used as a starting point for improvisation.

    Before examining the most common use of this chord, let’s learn how to build it.


    Building the Ebm7b5 Chord: Different Approaches

    Starting from the Eb Major Scale:

    To form a minor 7b5 chord, you would typically include the root note, minor third, diminished fifth, and minor seventh from a minor scale.

    However, when teaching this concept, it can be more effective to demonstrate its construction using a major scale. This is because a major scale better illustrates the relationship between intervals and their respective qualities.

    So let’s take the Eb major scale:


    Eb Major Diatonic Scale

    Eb Major Scale


    Eb Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th - Keyless Notation

    Eb Major scale – Keyless Notation


    To create an Ebm7b5 chord, apply the formula R, m3, d5, m7 in the following manner:

    1. Begin with the Root note, Eb.
    2. Select the third interval, which is G. Then, subtract a half step to obtain the minor 3rd, Gb.
    3. Select the 5th interval, which is Bb then lower it by half step to get the diminished 5th, Bbb (A).
    4. Pick the 7th interval D, then lower it by a half step to get the minor 7th, Db.

    By following this simple formula, you can create a minor 7b5 chord from any major scale.


    by Combining Intervals:

    One method to create an Ebm7b5 chord is by combining specific intervals – a minor 3rd, another minor 3rd, and a major 3rd.

    m3 + m3 + 3 = m7b5 Chords

    For example, to build an Ebm7b5 chord:

    • we start with the root note Eb.
    • We then add a minor 3rd interval, which is three half-steps up from the root, to get Gb.
    • Next, we add another minor 3rd interval, which is three half-steps up from Gb, to get A (Bbb).
    • Finally, we add a major 3rd interval, which is four half-steps up from Bbb, to get Db.

    Together, these intervals form the Ebm7b5 chord.


    How to Use Ebm7b5 in a Chord Progression


    The Ebm7b5 chord is frequently used in ii-V-I progressions, where it functions as the ii chord. However, due to its versatile nature, it can also be used in various other musical contexts, such as:

    • on natural minor and Major keys
    • as a substitute for dominant 7th chords
    • as a substitute for minor chords

    Most common uses of Ebm7b5

    The Ebm7b5 chord appears on the second scale degree (II) in the Db natural minor scale and on the seventh scale degree (VII) in the Fb major scale. They are both theoretical keys so we will refer to their enharmonic equivalent keys, C# minor and E major.


    Minor Scales i ii III iv v VI VII
    Db = C# C# min7 D#m7b5 = Ebm7b5 E Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 A Maj7 B7
    • Supertonic chord in C# minor as D#m7b5


    Major Scales I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Fb = E E Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 A Maj7 B7 C# min7 D#m7b5 = Ebm7b5
    • Leading tone chord in E Major as D#m7b5


    Ebm7b5 as a Substitute for Dominant 7th Chords

    Minor 7th flat 5th chords can replace dominant 7th chords when they share some of the same notes. A general rule of thumb when it comes to chord substitutions is that if the substitute chord contains at least the 3rd and 7th notes of the original chord, it’s often a viable option for substitution.

    F7 ⇔ Ebm7b5

    B7 ⇔ Ebm7b5

    In this case, the Ebm7b5 chord (Eb, Gb, Bbb, Db) can serve as a substitute for F7 (F, A, C, Eb) and B7 (B, D#, F#, A) due to their shared notes. Specifically, Ebm7b5 shares the 7th and 3rd notes of F7 (which are Eb and A, respectively), as well as the 3rd and 7th notes of B7 (which are D# and A).

    Rootless dominant 9th Chord Substitution

    It’s worth noting that the substitution of B7 with Ebm7b5 can also be viewed as a rootless dominant 9th chord substitution. This is because Ebm7b5 contains the same essential notes as the B9 chord except the root note.

    B9 = B (D#, F#, A, C#)

    Ebm7b5 = Eb, Gb, Bbb, Db


    Ebm7b5 as a Substitute for minor Chords

    (Check D#m7b5 as a Substitute for minor Chords)

    To replace a minor chord with an m7b5, build the m7b5 by taking the note three semitones lower than the original minor chord. So, in the case of a Gb minor chord, the m7b5 chord would be built three half-steps lower than the root note Gb.

    On the ii Degree

    ii V I
    Gb min7 Cb7 Fb Maj7
    Ebm7b5 Cb7 Fb Maj7

    You can apply this substitution to a ii V I progression that has a Gb minor chord on the ii degree by replacing it with an Ebm7b5 chord.

    On the IV Degree

    I IV iv I
    I IV iv I
    Db Maj7 Gb Maj7 Gb min7 Db Maj7
    Db Maj7 Gb Maj7 Ebm7b5 Db Maj7


    Ebm7b5 as Supertonic Chord in Db minor

    Check D#m7b5 in C# minor


    Ebm7b5 as Leading Tone Chord in Fb Major

    Check D#m7b5 in E Major


    Ebm7b5 as Substitute for F7

    Ebm7b5 shares the 7th and 3rd notes of F7 so it’s possible to use a Ebm7b5 in place of an F7 on the V degree. This is a common substitution used in jazz music and can add some interesting harmonic color to a progression.

    I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Bb Maj7 C min7 D min7 Eb Maj7 F7 Ebm7b5 G min7 Am7b5


    ii V I
    ii V I
    C min7 Ebm7b5 | F7 Bb Maj7


    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    Bb Maj7 Eb Maj7 C min7 F7 | Ebm7b5 D min7 G min7 C min7 F7

    You can play the Ebm7b5 chord by itself, or use it in combination with an F7 chord, either before or after the Ebm7b5. This will allow you to explore the different tonal colors and tensions that each progression creates, and help you develop a stronger sense of how these chords can be used effectively in your musical compositions or improvisations.


    Ebm7b5 as Substitute for B7

    Check D#m7b5 as Substitute for B7


    Alternative Ebm7b5 Nomenclature

    • Ebø
    • Eb∅
    • Mib ø
    • Ebm7b5
    • Ebm7°5
    • Ebm7b5
    • Ebm7/b5
    • Ebm7(-5)
    • Ebm7(b5)
    • Eb 1/2dim
    • Eb 1/2dim7
    • Ebm7 Flat 5
    • Eb minor 7th b5
    • Eb half-diminished
    • Eb minor seventh flat fifth



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