How to use the Diminished Scale Pt 1


In this guitar lesson I am going over a scale that is widely used in the jazz and fusion circles and creates quite a distinctive sound. Actually…it is not a single scale, but two. The two scales are very similar and in my opinion this is something that can create some confusion.

These two diminished scales are built by alternating whole steps and half steps. The interval that starts the scale determines its name.

The Whole step/ Half-step alternates whole steps and half steps starting from a Whole Step

Example: C whole step/half step: C, D, D#, F, F#, G#, A, B

The Half-step/Whole step alternates whole steps and half steps starting from a Half Step

Example: C half step/whole step: C, Db, Eb, E, F#, G, A, Bb

The most common usage of these scales:

whole step/half step works on diminished chords g C whole/half on Cdim7 )

half step/whole step works on Dominant 7th altered chords (eg C half/whole on C7#9 )

To get some example phrases listen and transcribe great players like Michael Breker, Mike Stern, Scott Henderson, John Scofield among others.

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