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Use of half diminished chords in popular music

Diminished chords are inherently very strong due to the presence of tritones in them and therefore not the best-sounding chords in contemporary pop music. However, we often do see the use of half-diminished chords as passing chords in modern pop songs which can create an interesting tonality. When using the diminished chords as passing chords, we use the slightly modified version of the diminished triad, which is called the half-diminished or minor 7 flat 5 chord. The notes in these chords are 1 b3 b5 b7.

The idea is to use the half-diminished as a passing chord between two adjacent diatonic chords to create a chromatic line. For example in the key of F, we could play F and Gm, the I and ii chords in the key, using F# half diminished as a passing chord between them. In pop music, we most often see the use of diminished chords between two adjacent chords but feel free to experiment in other ways to see what sound you can come up with.

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