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plavoie
10-11-2005, 08:52 PM
Hi,

I wonder if anybody wouldn't mind sharing how they practice the diminished scale. I can't seem to find a comfortable pattern and I am nowhere near being able to use that scale in an improvisational setting.

As of now, I am practicing m7b5 arpeggios and I am having a hard time because of the b5. Is there a good place to start???

thanks,

Pat

Los Boleros
10-11-2005, 09:32 PM
Hi,

I wonder if anybody wouldn't mind sharing how they practice the diminished scale. I can't seem to find a comfortable pattern and I am nowhere near being able to use that scale in an improvisational setting.

As of now, I am practicing m7b5 arpeggios and I am having a hard time because of the b5. Is there a good place to start???

thanks,

PatWhile I do practice the entire eight note Dim scales, I find that in a musical content, I never use more than six notes in a row, and hardly ever, more than four in a row. Since there are eight notes, I can chose which ones I want to use, but if I use the whole eight note scale, it never seems to sound good.

Here's a nice diminished scale lick what I would use in a Am-E7 progression.


|--------------------------------------
|--------------------------------------
|--4--5--7--8--7--5--4----------------
|-------------------------7--6--------
|--------------------------------------
|---------------------------------------

Dan_Bostrom
10-12-2005, 10:08 AM
Hi,

I wonder if anybody wouldn't mind sharing how they practice the diminished scale. I can't seem to find a comfortable pattern and I am nowhere near being able to use that scale in an improvisational setting.

As of now, I am practicing m7b5 arpeggios and I am having a hard time because of the b5. Is there a good place to start???

thanks,

Pat

Hi plavoie!

Try this pattern (descending):

1)----8-6-5---------------------------------
2)----------8-7-5---------------------------
3)----------------8-6-5---------------------
4)----------------------8-7-5---------------
5)----------------------------9-7-6---------
6)----------------------------------9-8-6(-5)

Try it the other way around also (ascending)

(Hope I got it right now?)

This is an A half-whole diminished scale (or C, or Eb, or Gb, since a diminished scale repeats itself every 3 frets...), it could also be a Bb whole-half diminished scale (or Db, or E, or G...). You can easy move the pattern up or down the neck in 3-frets intervals.

The latter, whole-half dim scale, works over Bb (or Db or E or G) diminished chords.
The former, half-whole diminished scale, actually works well over dominant chords (e.g. A7, A7b9, A7#9, etc...).

A good thing to do is to draw a scale on a fretboard picture (or use a scale chart) and visualize its notes. That way you will see all sorts of patterns coming up!

(Sorry for making this look like a math lesson)
This is the most convenient pattern I have come up with regarding the diminished scale.
Any thoughts on this?

Best wishes,
Dan Bostrom

MattW
10-12-2005, 01:07 PM
...if I use the whole eight note scale, it never seems to sound good.

I know exactly what you mean, it's like being hit on the face with a Tuna that has 'Diminished!' tatooed on its side.

plavoie
10-12-2005, 03:02 PM
I know exactly what you mean, it's like being hit on the face with a Tuna that has 'Diminished!' tatooed on its side.

Well said!

thanks Dan and LB for your tips, can't wait to get home and see how that works out.

Pat

Poparad
10-12-2005, 07:07 PM
As of now, I am practicing m7b5 arpeggios and I am having a hard time because of the b5. Is there a good place to start???


The diminished scale is typically used for fully diminished 7th chords (i.e. Cdim7). Cm7b5 is a half diminished 7th chord. Here's the difference:


Cm7b5 - C Eb Gb Bb

Cdim7 - C Eb Gb Bbb (A)

plavoie
10-12-2005, 10:21 PM
Thanks poparad, but I already knew that dim = bb7, it's just that m7b5 arpeggio is already giving me trouble, so I figure that if I'm used to dealing with m3 intervals (whether H-W or W-H) in a dim scale format it would be easier to juggle with m7b5. At the same time, it would give an extra scale to play with while improving my fretboard knowledge.

To me the m7b5 arpeggio sounds really good and I have fun playing with it. I feel it forces me to get away from ionian (major scale/arpeggio) which gets old really fast. In the long run, I'd like to be able to master the tonal arcs principle and I feel this one of the necessary steps....

Rambling as usual,

thanks guys,

Pat

Dan_Bostrom
10-13-2005, 12:16 AM
Yo, people!

It seems people are thinking we shouldnīt / couldnīt use the full scale? I took that as a challenge, and came up with a little tune where I only use the E half-whole diminished scale over this progression:

| E7 | E7b9 | E7#9 | E7b9 |

And here is the result. I called it "Diminished World". Enjoy!

Best wishes,
Dan

Poparad
10-13-2005, 01:54 AM
Thanks poparad, but I already knew that dim = bb7, it's just that m7b5 arpeggio is already giving me trouble, so I figure that if I'm used to dealing with m3 intervals (whether H-W or W-H) in a dim scale format it would be easier to juggle with m7b5. At the same time, it would give an extra scale to play with while improving my fretboard knowledge.

To me the m7b5 arpeggio sounds really good and I have fun playing with it. I feel it forces me to get away from ionian (major scale/arpeggio) which gets old really fast. In the long run, I'd like to be able to master the tonal arcs principle and I feel this one of the necessary steps....

Rambling as usual,

thanks guys,

Pat


Well, the problem is that there are no m7b5 chords in the diminished scale. Here's the C diminished scale:

C D Eb F Gb G# A B C

Cm7b5 is spelled "C Eb Gb Bb" and there isn't a Bb in the scale.

You might be able to imply that the second degree, D, could have a Dm7b5 chord built from it, but the fact that there is also an F# and A (3rd and 5th) the scale will make it sound like an altered D7 chord, and not a Dm7b5 chord.

The scale that typically goes with m7b5 is locrian, and if you're interested in getting the m7b5 sound under your fingers, try using that scale with it.

DemonSorcerer
11-08-2005, 02:42 PM
Yo, people!

It seems people are thinking we shouldnīt / couldnīt use the full scale? I took that as a challenge, and came up with a little tune where I only use the E half-whole diminished scale over this progression:

| E7 | E7b9 | E7#9 | E7b9 |

And here is the result. I called it "Diminished World". Enjoy!

Best wishes,
Dan

*lifts an eyebrow and stares*

Nice solo, Mr. Bostrom...really tense sounding, harmonically talking...loved it really...made me think about Stephan Forte of Adagio with a lil' pinch of Allan Holdsworth...seems that the Norsemen are a force to be aware of...keep up the good playing and the good work.

David

Dan_Bostrom
11-08-2005, 05:51 PM
*lifts an eyebrow and stares*

Nice solo, Mr. Bostrom...really tense sounding, harmonically talking...loved it really...made me think about Stephan Forte of Adagio with a lil' pinch of Allan Holdsworth...seems that the Norsemen are a force to be aware of...keep up the good playing and the good work.

David
Wow, thanks!
And of course you could hear that Allan Holdsworth is one of my main influences. Not that I want to copy him, but he inspires me a lot... I hadnīt heard of Stephan Forte before, so I just listened to a soundclip. Obviously I had missed something... Great. Thanks for the feedback!

"Norsemen"? :confused:
Whatīs that?

All the best,
Dan

DemonSorcerer
11-09-2005, 02:48 PM
Wow, thanks!
"Norsemen"? :confused:
Whatīs that?

All the best,
Dan

Heh, heh, heh!! ;) quite funny...

Norsemen are the people that live in the Nordic part of Europe...by Norsemen, History experts mean the vikings and all the warrior, nomadic tribes that lived in Sweden, Norway and Scandinavia...

Cheers!!

David

Dan_Bostrom
11-09-2005, 08:33 PM
Heh, heh, heh!! ;) quite funny...

Norsemen are the people that live in the Nordic part of Europe...by Norsemen, History experts mean the vikings and all the warrior, nomadic tribes that lived in Sweden, Norway and Scandinavia...

Cheers!!

David
Oh...
I thought you were being naughty: neither XXX nor semen...
:D

Have you tried out the diminished scale with the backing track on my website? (link below. Click "music", choose "Diminished world backing" with option "hi-fi", since you have to be registered to download MP3 version...)
And - are you also a fan of Allan Holdsworth?

All the best,
Dan

DemonSorcerer
11-10-2005, 03:25 PM
are you also a fan of Allan Holdsworth?

Yep, i love Allan Holdsworth and several of the better fusion guitarists out there...like Shawn Lane, Brett Garsed and TJ Helmerich, Frank Gambale, etc...but my favs are Brett Garsed and Shawn Lane!!

David

widdly widdly
11-11-2005, 01:33 AM
There are lots of arpeggios in the diminshed scale. For example, A half-whole diminished scale contains an Amin7, Cmin7, D#min7 and an F#min7. It also contains the dominant sounds on A7, C7, D#7 and an F#7 or major triads on the same notes. You can find some cool licks if you play use these arpeggios and triads. I think there was an article here about it.
________
LovelyWendie99 (http://www.lovelywendie99.com/)

forgottenking2
11-11-2005, 09:01 PM
I practice the diminished scale ('cause it's part of the scale syllabus) but I don't use often when improvising. I find the 7th mode of the harmonic minor does a fine job at taking that slot. (IMO anyways)

UKRuss
11-11-2005, 10:00 PM
Well the post did say "using" as well so not one to miss an opportunity:

Thanks for the backing track Dan, tasty take of yours too!

I threw in a little tapping here and there but gave it the diminished flavour I think.

I enjoyed this, hope you do to although I'm sure you meant more in a Jazz context Pat...sorry.

Russ

Dan_Bostrom
11-11-2005, 11:16 PM
Well the post did say "using" as well so not one to miss an opportunity:

Thanks for the backing track Dan, tasty take of yours too!

I threw in a little tapping here and there but gave it the diminished flavour I think.

I enjoyed this, hope you do to although I'm sure you meant more in a Jazz context Pat...sorry.

Russ

Yo, Russ!
Great take!!!
The energy was there. And very good attacking of the notes. Just the kind of soloing I wanted to hear. And a very naughty sound, too!

Iīm not sure I posted the backing here?
But if anyone wishes to use it in a strictly thread (or shred?), Iīd be more than glad! Something to pick up on, Russ?

All the best,
Dan

UKRuss
11-12-2005, 09:29 AM
Could be your first Strictly Dan?

Strictly Diminished!

Your backing track from your soundclick address was spot on, just use that and a nice explanation of the scale and how to apply, pop it in the strictly forum for approval.:D

plavoie
11-18-2005, 06:08 PM
Hi guys,

Thanks for all the advice and replies to my original post. This thread really grew since the last time I checked! I'm still working on this and I feel I will get to what I wanted in the first place, i.e. better knowledge of intervals and additional tool for improv.

I noticed that HW and HW are really only two dim arpeggions that are superposed either a half step or full step away from the root. Hence, you'll always get the dim arpeggio (1, b3, b5, bb7 (6)) whether it's HW or WH. The difference will be whether the superimposed dim arpeggio will start on b2 or 2. This allows you to take the pattern you're comfortable with and move it one half tone to move from HW to WH. There are probably other relationships that I haven't figured out yet ;)

Hence, WH will give you 2,4,b6 and 7. HW will be a dom7b9, i.e. b9, 3, 5, b7.
This means that I could play each note that is one step higher (in the case of WH) of the dim arpeggio to get the corresponding scale. For HW it is half a step lower. I'm still debating if those are good terms to think of, i.e. if it is an efficient way to represent dim scales and think about them when practicing

Working on this is good for identifying intervals on the fretboard (m6=M3). m6 and m2 are especially tough on me at this point!

I'm still trying to develop fingerings, especially when not playing the scale from the sixth string (E) to the first (e).

Just thought I would share how I'm coming along!

Cheers,

Patrick

jazz_snob
11-29-2005, 08:11 AM
Ah the diminished scale. Best (and overdone) rock application: Yngwie.

Learn dim7 arpeggios, then fill in the other notes that go between the notes in the arpeggio. The arpeggios are great because you can move them in minor 3rds because Cdim=Adim=Eb dim= Gb dim. So really there are only 3 diminished scales (in theory).

This blew me away when my music teacher said it---think of the diminished scale as 2 minor tetrachords a tritone apart:

C D Eb F <- minor tetrachord (just the first 4 notes of C minor scale)
F# G# A B <- F# minor tetrachord because F# is tritone away from C

Now its more like 1) a scale you know and 2) only 4 notes long (sort of).

Again, I'd say start w/ the arpeggio then fill in the other scale notes. And as others have pointed out earlier Cdim7 is NOT Cmin7b5. Cmin7b5 is just locrian of Db major (so you can play Db major over it) which is a far cry easier than a C diminished scale.

Dan_Bostrom
11-29-2005, 04:22 PM
Now its more like 1) a scale you know and 2) only 4 notes long (sort of).

Hi, jazz_snob!
Well, I tried to expand our understanding of the diminished scale. Check out my posts here, and in the "strictly diminished" thread.
My point was that we have not yet explored the richness of the dim.scale. So, although you claim that the dim.scale is just "4 notes long (sort of)", I (mildly) disagree. The dim.scale has a unique sound of its own, and is well worth our attention.

;)
All the best,
Dan.

jazz_snob
11-29-2005, 06:09 PM
YOu are correct; there is a wealth of ideas in the dim scale, eventhough its only a a series of alternating M2-m2. Lots of good intervallic ideas within it: like playing perfect 4ths, or tritones, or 7ths thru the scale or in minor 3rds.

I was trying to make the fingering easy to 'see' on the fingerboard.

In all instances for all scales you should always have a familiar chord grip that goes with the scale shape (maybe 1 or 2 exceptions I can think of). The scale tones should lay almost entirely under your fingers when you make the chord shape. Example: open position C chord and open position C major scale---fits like a glove.

1. learn the chord grips
2. learn the arpeggios
3. fill in the other scale tones between notes in the arpeggio
done.

plavoie
12-01-2005, 07:53 PM
Hi,

Found an interesting link on the dim scale:

http://www.guitartricks.com/printlesson.php?input=8796

Cheers,

Pat

jade_bodhi
12-01-2005, 10:36 PM
It seems people are thinking we shouldnīt / couldnīt use the full scale? I took that as a challenge, and came up with a little tune where I only use the E half-whole diminished scale over this progression:

| E7 | E7b9 | E7#9 | E7b9 |

And here is the result. I called it "Diminished World". Enjoy!

That is awesome!

Dan_Bostrom
12-02-2005, 06:47 PM
That is awesome!
Thanks!
You can find the same song and its backing track in the thread "Strictly Diminished". There you also find other players take on the dim.scale. ;)
All the best,
Dan

jade_bodhi
12-02-2005, 10:13 PM
I listened to Dan's composition, "Diminished World," and Russ's take on it, too. My hat's off to you, gentlemen. You are fine players.

What strikes me is that both solos evoke a feeling of unresolve. It's as if the solos are ever rising, or put another way, as if the tension created in the solo never gets resolved. Is that because of the nature of the diminished chords? What is it about diminished chords that makes the solo unable to resolve. And if you could resolve it, where would it resolve to?

I'm interested in your response both in technical terms and in aesthetic terms, although my technical knowledge of theory is limited, which for all I know may be obvious in the question itself.

Thank you.

JB

UKRuss
12-03-2005, 07:21 AM
Hi JB.

Personally I think they do resolve in the sense that there is a root note in there but that the intervals are perhaps an unusual sound to the ear.

Someone said in another thread using the whole scale is a bit like being slapped in the face with a tuna with diminshed written on the side!:D

That for me is the sense of unresolution you feel i think, the diminished sound.

I'm sure Dan will say more, he probably has a better understanding than me I must say.

Dan_Bostrom
12-03-2005, 11:26 AM
...

What strikes me is that both solos evoke a feeling of unresolve. It's as if the solos are ever rising, or put another way, as if the tension created in the solo never gets resolved. Is that because of the nature of the diminished chords? What is it about diminished chords that makes the solo unable to resolve. And if you could resolve it, where would it resolve to?

I'm interested in your response both in technical terms and in aesthetic terms, although my technical knowledge of theory is limited, which for all I know may be obvious in the question itself.




Personally I think they do resolve in the sense that there is a root note in there but that the intervals are perhaps an unusual sound to the ear.


I agree with UKRuss here. The root does it for us. Theoretically we could also use the dominant 7th, as that note is with us all the way in all chords, but itīs there to create tension. The major third could normally be a "resting note", but is disturbed by the #9 (= #2) - and that equals a minor third...

So the root is the only note that seems to give our ears some rest... :cool:

But, as we say in the thread "Strictly Diminished", What one plays with confidence tends to make the listener "converted" and familiar with the sound. Itīs like listening to oriental music. If you do it for at least 20 minutes, you get a bit familiar with it.

You asked "Is that because of the nature of the diminished chords?"
Well there are no diminished chords in there... :) The whole point was to show that we could use the dim.scale for dominant chords, not only diminished chords. So the difficulty in resolving is there already, in the dominant chords. But otherwise you describe it well. The scale has notes that are too close to the notes we usually rest on. The scale formula (for the half-whole dim.scale) is:
1-b2-#2-3-#4-5-6-b7

All the best,
Dan Bostrom

Apple-Joe
12-03-2005, 09:05 PM
This thread was a very interesting read. I am new to the diminished scale and have plans about experimenting it.

I listened to both of the recorded attempts by Dan and UKRuss respectively. I'll listen to them over and over again, I can assure you, as I start learning the scale myself. I know the basics of the theory behind it, but I have more or less never practiced it. Thanks for inspiration!

Dan_Bostrom
12-04-2005, 09:05 PM
Thanks for inspiration!
Youīre most welcome!
Dan

paintwarrior
12-14-2005, 10:24 PM
the diminished scale is also good because you can repeat and lick a minor third above or below and it will sound just as goodas the original

delaney
03-21-2006, 05:55 PM
o:k if you want it simple here it is well untill i actualy get this down, when you look at your frett board from a playing perspective take your finger and place it on A bottom E For example. Now think of a ladder moving towards the body of the guitar. On every string you will move up 1 frett from the previous in a ladder style, when you get to the B string you have to move up two frets ofcourse to compensate for the tunning. If you played just this instruction you will hear a diminished sound. Now if you add the minor third interval on every string and keep the ladder shape you will have the simplest form of a dim arpp. so A-C nxt string Eb-Gb nxt string A-c and so so.You can then move this shape anywere you like. If you start it on the a string its the same. The great thing aswell is you can use this ladder teknique for whole tone scales backwards and forwards. For a better description go to swing page gypsy jazz. Err type in club django on your google then select U:K swing page go to playing and get great arpps and tricks from the master of dimss arpps and slip 5ths django reindhardt, yes sorry to say i am a django nut. people talk alot about there solos not having enough melodic content and lacking in emotion well listen to django and learn his techniques you will find a non scale based understanding of improvisation. Most metal guitarists "shredders" have replaced good melodic improvs with speed and wow factor. A balance is always the right way forward. I started playing guitar a year and a half ago i study at a jazz college in west sussex i am struggling massively with the bombardment of theory and practical but have got to the point were i can improvise reasonably well but wouldnt mind a thing or two on super arrps if anyone reads this rubbish. I cant recomend enough romans jazz manouche dvd for this type of theory.

UKRuss
03-21-2006, 07:24 PM
Sounds cool.

It would be great if you could also study a little bit of paragraph construction too;)

gave me a headache going through that essay!:D

delaney
03-22-2006, 04:04 PM
Yeh sorry about that. English annd gramma isnt my razon detre, but music is so errr rock on!!...:confused:

P.s will try harder next time.