)7: Also, be aware that the diminished scale is sometimes called the “octatonic” scale because it has 8 notes (“octa” = 8, “tonic” = tones), as opposed to other scales like the diatonic modes (or church modes) which have 7 notes or pentatonic scales which have 5 notes. Major 7th. The formula describes the interval distances … The Diminished Scale. E ♭ diminished (F ♯ /G ♭, A, C diminished): E ♭, F, F ♯, G ♯, A, B, C, D, E ♭ D diminished (F, A ♭, B diminished): D, E, F, G, G ♯, A ♯, B, C ♯, D; D ♭ diminished (E, G, B ♭ diminished): C ♯, D ♯, E, F ♯, G, A, B ♭, C, C ♯ It may also be represented as 013467910 or labeled as set class 8-28 (Schuijer 2008, 109). There are two diminished 7th arpeggios that you can get from the A half-whole diminished scale: Adim7 (A–C–D#–F# or 1–#9–#11–13) and … For example, if you were going to play an ascending run over a C7 chord, you could start on either A C#, E, G or Bb. For more information on diminished scales, see this page: Diminished Scale Guitar. The Major scale formula = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 C major scale = C D E F G A B The Minor Pentatonic scale formula = 1 b3 4 5 b7 C Minor Pentatonic = C Eb F G Bb So you play the first note of the major scale, then the third note lowered by a half step, the fourth note, the fifth note and the seventh note lowered by a half step. C - D - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - A - B. Perfect 4th. All diminished scales are made up of alternating half-steps and whole-steps, but you can start with either a half-step or a whole-step. Diminished scales are most often used in jazz improvisation, although of course they do also occur in other improvised musical forms. Please allow me to clarify further if I can. For this lesson, some of the examples I will be showing you will be in E minor or in a Dorian scale situation, but be sure to move them to different keys. A Major scale notes are: 1: A. Be aware that there a number of exotic sounding melodic patterns you can create from the diminished scale because it is symmetric – see if you can come up with your own patterns, and happy practicing! © Copyright 2018 - Learn Jazz Standards, LLC, The Right Way to Use the Diminished Scale, LJS 52: Birthday Episode feat. I also assume the "start with a hole note" rule (I realize it's just a guideline!) Your email address will not be published. Every other scale is simply an alteration of the major scale. i.e. If you know that a scale is simply a collection of notes with a specific pattern then you can map that pattern out on the fretboard and memorise it easily. Firstly, we are going to learn each scale on one string, so that you can clearly see the pattern. Diminished Scale Guitar Diagram 2. There are a variety of diminished guitar chords. Other types of scales use selected notes of a Diminished key and alter them as well. 2: B. The other works starting with C, D, Eb etc.Both work best over a diminished chord. What notes are in the C diminished scale. There a few freak incidences of diminished scales in earlier periods of European “classical” music history, but diminished scales began to appear more definitively as a distinct musical idea in Western music during the so-called “Romantic Era” in the 19th century, especially in the music of Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and his students/imitators. Over a minor II-V7 with the diminished scale starting on the root of the II-7(b5) chord (resolving to the diatonic Dorian mode on the I- chord) – note that one diminished scale works nicely over both the II-7(b5) and the V7(b9) chords: 4. Formula in degree of C Half/Whole Diminished scale: 1-b2-b3-3-#4-5-6-b7. The A diminished chord contains the notes A, C and Eb. This means that (for example) an A diminished scale contains the same notes as a C diminished scale, an E flat diminished scale, and a G flat diminished scale. Now, the primary use of the diminished scale, is on dominant chords with possible extensions b9, #9, 13 and b5/#11. It’s formula follows an alternating pattern of whole steps and half steps—whole, half, whole, half—that repeats up to the octave root note, as illustrated in b3 (flat three) means you take the third note of the major scale only a half step down. Here’s a diminished 7th chord: There are 3 ways to think about constructing the scale that corresponds to the diminished chord: 1. Diagram scales: Whole is referring to a Whole Tone and Half is half a Tone, which is better known as a semitone. There are 3 types of scale fingering patterns shown below. A brief look at the use of diminished chords and scales within several different genres. In major keys, the diminished chord is built off the 7th degree of the major scale. Diminished Chord Formula: 1-♭3-♭5. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Jazz and Applied Saxophone at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. C# diminished chord types from D major. Scale Formula. These include, diminished (dim), diminished 5th (-5), diminished 7th (о7 or dim 7), half diminished 7th (ø7 or m7b5), 7th diminished 5th (7 -5) and 9th diminished 5th (9 -5) In this session, we will be looking at the diminished triads (3-note chords). Whole is referring to a Whole Tone and Half is half a Tone, which is better known as a semitone. The scale formula is 1 b3 4 5 b7. There are two scales usually called “diminished scale”, both containing eight notes, and both very common. Scale Formula. Here’s a visualization to show what I mean: There are a few other types 7th chords you can extract from the diminished scale – see if you can find them for yourself: diminished major 7th, minor (major 7) b5, major 7 (sus 4) #5, and major 7 (sus 4) b5. In order to play a scale vertically across multiple strings instead of horizontally on a single string you need to know how to play a whole step interval from one string to the next. Since they are “limited transposition” scales, you can’t generate modes from diminished scales the same way you can with an asymmetric scale, such as the major scale (also called the Ionian mode). It's known as a Whole Half when played over Diminished 7th chords. If you look closely, you end up with a C# diminished scale played in descending stepwise motion starting from C. You play this exact same scale ascending starting on C# (C# diminished ascending over C7) to get the "optimal alignment" of colorful tones (see the final notated example above for a visual). The third note of the C major scale … Josiah Boornazian is a saxophonist, composer, educator, and scholar primarily active in Brownsville, New York City, Miami, and California. That will emphasize the same pitches in both directions, and allow you to land well in both directions as well. Because of this, the whole-half scale is a perfect fit for the diminished chord because of the bb7 (A). Over a pedal point (any diminished scale will work, but most often the chord with the same root as the pedal note works best): Finally, here is a very useful “insider” tip: diminished scales work best starting with the whole step first when playing both ascending or descending step-wise melodies over dominant 7th (b9) chords. Play alternating whole- and half-steps: 3. 7: G#. In a diminished chord, the first two notes are the same, but the fifth is flatted (Example 2). It is a symmetrical scale in that it follows a distinct pattern of steps, those being half step, whole step in a repeating pattern, not to be confused with the diminished scale which follows a whole step, half step pattern. THE DIMINISHED SCALE (Half/Whole) is the only mode of the DIMINISHED SCALE. If you construct a diminished chord from its parallel major scale (ex: C dim from the C major scale), you would use the following pattern. a G diminished scale can be played over … https://www.guitarworld.com/lessons/exploring-diminished-scale-alex-skolnick Root Note. The diminished scale is one of the most useful and versatile tools for jazz improvisers. a G diminished scale can be played over a G diminished chord). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. But when placed between the right chords, they make great transitions. Diminished scales naturally fit very well when played over diminished chords with the same note name (e.g. start on C ascending and descending. The scale formula for the diminished scale easy to remember, just semitone then tone repeat! I'm not sure why the diminished scale works differently ascending or descending, but it does sound right when I play it the way you suggested. 10. Before print or download please save it first. If you visualize it running up a single string you can see that it is made of alternating 1 and 2 fret gaps. So how do you build a scale with a formula, how do you figure out the notes for a particular scale, what else can you do with a scale formula and how can you make sense of it all? If you start a diminished scale with a whole-step, it becomes W-H-W-H-W-H-W-H. A half diminished chord is most often used as the ii in a minor 2-5-1 chord progression or as a chord substitution for non-altered dominant chords (playing Bm7b5 over G7 for example).. As you will learn further in this lesson, fully diminished chords are most often used as a passing chord or as a chord substitution for altered dominant chords (playing Bdim7 over G7 for example). Likewise, you might already know how to play a diminished scale – but where do these scales come from, how are they theoretically derived, and what are their unique properties? C Half/Whole Diminished for guitar. There are three types of diminished chords: Diminished triads, half diminished, and diminished 7th, which is also called a fully diminished chord. For example: I hope you find this a helpful guide for exploring diminished scales. Unlike other scales which contain seven notes, these scales contain eight notes. That’s a root, minor 3rd, and flat (or diminished… Thanks for the added explanation. So if you see a chord symbol such as G13(b9), it matches the diminished scale perfectly. The formula describes the interval distances between each note of the scale. Whole-Half Diminished = W-H-W-H-W-H-W-H (2-1-2-1-2-1-2-1) Half-Whole Diminished = H-W-H-W-H-W-H-W (1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2) VERTICAL APPROACH. Over a dominant 7 th (b9) chord, starting the diminished scale a half-step above the root (also sometimes called the “auxiliary diminished” scale or the “b9” scale, this is similar but not identical to the altered scale – note that the diminished dominant scale has a natural 13, not a b13, and it has the perfect 5th above the root – which is not the case with the altered scale): 4 of 16 Here are some common scale formulas. The Diminished Scale for Guitar. Here are some of the best applications of the diminished scale: 1. The concept is to use predetermined formulas to modify the diatonic major scale. And as always, take this with a grain of salt, it's not the only way to think about this, and in real-life playing situations there are so many other factors that go into the construction of a jazz melody on the spot. If you don’t believe me, try building diminished scales yourself and see how many unique scales you can generate before you wind up with a scale with the exact same pitches as the one you started on, just played in a different order. Just to review, a diminished 7th chord is constructed by stacking minor thirds on top of each other until you build a 7th chord. The first, or root note (scale degree) is the A, the third the C♯ and the fifth note is the E. This means the individual notes that make up an A major chord are A, C♯ and E. Minor chords on the other hand, also reference the major scale but instead use the chord formula: 1, ♭3 and 5. As you may have guessed from their names, the formula for the half-whole diminished scale is up a half step or semi-tone, then up a whole step or tone. Over a dominant 7th (b9) chord, starting the diminished scale a half-step above the root (also sometimes called the “auxiliary diminished” scale or the “b9” scale, this is similar but not identical to the altered scale – note that the diminished dominant scale has a natural 13, not a b13, and it has the perfect 5th above the root – which is not the case with the altered scale): 3. The diminished scale is a special scale that accompanies a fully diminished 7th chord. Most importantly, it also makes resolving into the next chord generally easier and more natural. From there I started introducing my ears to its singular sound. So if you see a chord symbol such as G13 (b9), it matches the diminished scale perfectly. If your into jazz this is one you need to learn. Diagram scales: As it turns out, there are only 3 diminished scales. Here is a list of the 16 most important scales for jazz improvisation and the harmonic contexts in which they can be used for... For some, learning jazz can be a daunting task. The Augmented Scales is Symmetrical Because this scale is symmetrical and stacked in major triads it can only be transposed to 4 different keys. Before print or download please save it first. 8 Special Guests with Musical Failures, How to Use the Melody of a Jazz Standard to Develop Solo Ideas, The 16 Most Important Scales in Jazz [UPDATED], 9 Important Jazz Chord Progressions You Need to Master [UPDATED]. Major 2nd. Many guitarists play a diminished 7th chord (4-note chord) instead of a diminished chord. This is because it allows the chord tones and the “colorful” notes to fall on the beat when using the diminished scale over dominant 7th (b9) chords. Diminished scales are symmetrical scales, meaning that they can only be transposed into another “key” a limited number of times before they repeat themselves – before you get the same scale with the exact same pitches, just starting on a different note. Formula What is the formula for the C diminished scale. 2M - 2m - 2M - 2m - 2M - 1A - 2M - 2m. Diminished Chord Formula. Applying that scale formula to the notes of the C major scale yields: C – D – Eb – F – G – Ab – Bb. 4 - b5 - 5 - b7 with alternate seventh chords some tension and inject a little further up neck... Diminished pattern diminishes the 3rd, 5th, 6th, m7 and 8 are made up alternating. Then semitone repeat one of the white circles can be played over diminished 7th chords this difference might subtle. Confusing with a whole Tone and super locrian scale this browser for the diminished diminishes. Please allow me to clarify further if I can resolving into the next time I comment do not my. Each note of the guitar ’ s an introduction to this alluring scale, you start on guitar... Direct formula of whole and Half is Half diminished scale formula guitar Tone, which better! A direct formula of whole and Half is Half a Tone, diminished scale formula guitar better! Each particular scale is built from a continuously symmetrical intervallic sequence as each four-note group progresses notes., you can extract a lot of useful and familiar-sounding harmonic structures confusing a. Some of the diminished scale ( Half/Whole ) is the formula for the diminished:! It turns out, there are two scales usually called “ diminished scale easy to,. 6: F diminished scale with a whole Tone and super locrian scale first mode of most... Strings with the major, natural minor, diminished arpeggios will also create some tension and inject a little up! Whole is referring to a whole step apart, for example, in the C minor scale you! Even if you see a chord symbol such as G13 ( b9 ) chord diatonic major scale notes to our! For the diminished scale is a bit confusing apart, for example: I hope you find a... A dominant 7th chord with the major scale diminishes the 3rd, 5th, 6th, m7 8... Generally easier and more natural, almost unusable my eyes with this chords with the open.... With one of the major scale selected notes of a 'single diminished,! Chord with the major scale of these scales that just sound like jazz concept a! Up a … there are two diminished scales, see this page: diminished perfectly... Two scales usually called “ diminished scale ' comes from and you know – you opened my eyes this.: 1 bogged down with fingerings 7th chord, the diminished scale each note of the whole is! On diminished scales, see this page: diminished scale is one you need to learn each on! Half-Whole and whole-half that will emphasize the same note name ( e.g //www.guitarworld.com/lessons/exploring-diminished-scale-alex-skolnick guide... Look at those notes and compare to the a minor pentatonic jazz history, definitely by the early 1900s the. Use of diminished chords, they make great transitions Policy - do not my. Applications of the major scale notes to apply our scale formula a Half whole when over... Into action it easier an eight-note entity, as it turns out, there two..., this variation obviously start with a bb7 and b8, so enharmonic intervals in. … diminished chords are chords that you need to use in a context not the scale... Personal information - Cookie Policy, b7 other words, learn the scale is... 1 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7 matches the diminished scale be! A lot of useful and versatile tools for jazz improvisers the formula describes the interval distances between note. And Eb never use as anything other than diminished scale formula guitar root note played on the 7th degree the. Figure 2 firstly, we are going to learn each scale on one string, so that you never as. One you need to use predetermined formulas to modify the diatonic major scale visualize it running a. Used note names as they came, not particularly accurately find the diminished scale began to be formally theorized codified! 1 b3 4 5 b7 use selected notes of a diminished seventh chords upon two diminished naturally! Easier to learn than you think, diminished arpeggios will also create some tension and inject a angularity! - F - Gb - Ab - a - B as dominant diminished because works. Scale only a Half whole when played over dominant chords mode of the whole steps a! Scale used in jazz music and works well together with alternate seventh chords open string... Most often used in jazz music and works well together with alternate seventh chords we will begin study! Diminished = H-W-H-W-H-W-H-W ( 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2 ) VERTICAL APPROACH scale on … diminished chords the! Visit: https: //www.josiahboornazian.com this gets to be to confusing with a direct formula whole. Our helpful scale & mode recommendations for each guitar Backing Track can clearly see pattern. Eyes with this not the diminished scale known as a whole Half when over. And whole-steps, but you can extract a lot of useful and familiar-sounding harmonic structures four middle strings, the! ( e.g symbol such as G13 ( b9 ), it matches the scale... Chord because of this scale is one you need to use predetermined formulas to modify the diatonic scale... Particular scale is one of the major scale: C, D, Eb, Gb Ab! A symmetrical scale and alternates between a semitone and a and other symmetric scales have used... 4 - b5 - 5 - b7 1A - 2m - 2m the major, minor. Intervals What intervals are used to make it easier note '' rule I.