How to use the Diminished Scale Pt 1

30 Jul


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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Gianni

Gianni Chiarello has gained a reputation as an extremely versatile musician, having professional credits as a guitarist, bassist, arranger and producer. His music is a preconception-free mix of Jazz, Funk, Blues, R&B and contemporary elements, influenced by . Born in Italy, in his forming years he performed with some of his country's finest musicians working towards developing different styles, from rock to pop, funk and jazz. In 1999 he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, on a scholarship program, where he graduated with a Degree "Magna cum laude" in Professional Music, studying under the direction of Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, Brett Willmott and Dave Samuels, also playing in the Boston area and along the States' east coast as a freelance musician. Alongside studio work, he has been performing with, and leading as Musical Director, numerous bands and orchestras, comping for celebrities from the sixties like The Platters, The Coasters, Bobby Arvon, The Diamonds, Vegas – Broadway entertainers like Tony Tillman, Kenny James, Hal Fraiser, Lorna Luft, Ben Vereen, Susan Anton and Roy Walker. Furthermore his work entailed musical theatre style production reviews, encompassing shows such as “Smokey Joe’s Café”, “We Will Rock You”, “Starlight Express”, “Grease” and “Rent”. After relocating to the UK in 2005, has performed, amongst others with Robbie McIntosh (John Mayer, Paul Mccartney) Jeremy Stacey (Tom Jones, Sheryl Crow), Jason Rebello (Sting, Jeff Beck), Iain Ballamy and many others. His latest instructional eBooks can now be purchased online: “Contemporary solo guitar” (2008) and “Contemporary blues soloing” (2009) “Contemporary Blues Chords and Comping” (2011)

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