Why are some chords in the minor scale unusable ?

For example, my guitar book has the chords for the key of E minor for the harmonic minor scale listed as Em, F# dim, G aug, Am, B, C, D# dim.

I can work with the minor chords and the major ones pretty easily but I have a problem with the diminished chords and the one augmented chord.  I’m having a hard time finding a use for F# dim and G augmented.  

Any help would be appreciated.

6 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Don't worry about finding uses for chords. Just play what you know. If you're trying to compose and none of the chords you play seem to fit, then try some other ones.

  • 4 weeks ago

    I'd say that chords aren' t “in” a scale, they're made from a scale. Those chords are listed because they can be made from the notes in that scale.

    You're not meant to try to find “a use” for them, but you need to know how to play them and to be aware that they can be used in a given key.

    Diminished and augmented chords aren't that uncommon even in rock/pop music. I don’t have an instrument here to check but if I remember right there's an augmented chord in Buddy Holly's Raining in My Heart. Some of The Beatles songs used augmented or diminished chords.

  • snafu
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Classical music would find a use for the more esoteric chords.  It depends on what you want to do musically. Popular/contemporary music to add a bit of tonal variation beyond the standard chords, why not experiment to make things interesting?

  • 4 weeks ago

    And also you can learn a lot by watching other guitar players and you'll see them playing chords you don't know, and basically I asked them what chords they were, and how to play them, and I learned a lot of music on guitar !

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Basically - you do not have enough Theory education and/or guitar technique yet.  Lessons would help a TON.  So would a good Theory class (I taught theory for decades, and have multiple degrees in it.)  You can try to slug this out on your own - but it will be difficult and frustrating.  Most YooToob things are of little help - they are talking AT you, not back and forth WITH you.  Congrats on wanting to LEARN - but this is not the Bunny Slope.

    All the chords you can generate from any scale are USEABLE - just not by YOU, yet. That is where education and experience are crucial.

    I think I told you before - but I like your screen name - my son ( now 40 . . ) was seriously into Voltron, then grew out of it an gave away his stuff.  Now his wife spends $$$ trying to buy back stuff for him . . .  All 4 of us are career musicians and music educators.

  • martin
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    It's going to be hard with chords like that, but once you get them figured out, you will see that complicated sounding chords are really the same as some simple chords with just maybe a note or half-note difference.  Success is the greatest motivator.  Have patience with yourself.

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