Jazz Chord Help Needed

I’d appreciate any suggestions. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to finger a Half-Diminished chord with root on the 6th string (1b3b5b7). Although I have small fingers, there is just no room no matter how I try to manipulate them. And the problem only gets worse going down the neck as it narrows. 5th and 1st strings muted; so just playing four strings. Thanks

There are many.
I like the drop 3 voicing with the root on the 6th string

Thank you for responding, but maybe I wasn’t clear. I understand the choices, but don’t know how to actually finger the chord with the root on 6th string and muted 5th and 1st strings (the first option in black on the top schematic). It looks simple, but I cannot determine what fingers to use to make the chord.

In the root position I would use fingers:
Index finger - R
Naughty (middle) finger - ♭7
Ring Finger - ♭3
Pinkie -♭5

I wouldn’t, personally, bother with first inversion

Second inversion is quite stretchy, but I would use:
Naughty finger - ♭5
Ring Finger - Root
Index finger -♭3
Pinkie - ♭7

3rd Inversion:
Ring Finger - ♭7
Pinkie - ♭3
Index finger -♭5
Naughty finger - Root



Hi @dblinden , I don’t think anybody has answered your specific question. As a caveat, I have never tried to play this chord before now, but I could manage to play it using these fingers

string note finger
6      R    middle
5      x
4      b7   ring
3      b3   pinky
2      b5   index
1      x     

Actually, playing around a little, it might be easier with thumb-middle-ring-index. Good luck!

So, of all the possible options, John’s suggestion is the one that came closest to success before I first wrote in. However, only if I’m at the 2nd or 3rd fret. Anywhere further down is impossible due to lack of room and the distance from the fret on the 6th string causes buzzing. Using the thumb would be ideal, but I have short fingers and can only mute the 6th string, not play it and that gets worse further down the neck. As an aside, I’d like to see a photo of several options suggested by Majik. I’m not sure the human hand can work the way he indicates.

This just may be a problem without a solution. Came about when trying to harmonize down the neck with roots on the 6th string only using 7 chords. (M-m-m-M-Dom-m-Dim)

It may be just a matter of micro adjustments and practice. I can play it up to about fret 7 or 8 before running out of room. Actually, that’s all you need, since once you get past fret 5, you can always drop back and play the 5th-string root version, for example Cm7b5: x3434x (which is a lot easier, imo).

Also, don’t give up on the thumb-over technique. I have small hands, too, and could not play it cleanly for a long time. I just kept playing it anyway (sounding like I was palm muting it, although I wasn’t) and now I can generally play thumb-over ok.

Thanks John - As for actual playing, I agree that the chord is much more accessible on other strings making this a mute [pun] point. If I practice four hours daily getting my thumb to fret the 6th string, I should be able to accomplish this before my 105th birthday. It just gets frustrating trying to form some chord grips and never manage to make it sound clean - forget about getting it done with any tempo.