Diminished Scale Theory. On the guitar they sound very dissonant and unstable by themselves, almost unusable. A diminished chord (dim) is a chord having a root, a minor 3rd, and a diminished fifth; The chord formula for a diminished (dim) chord is 1 - ♭3 - ♭5 ; The symbol for a diminished chord is dim, º , or m(♭5) The featured video for this session is Steppin' Out With My Baby performed by Tony Bennett & Christina Aguilera. b3 (flat three) means you take the third note of the major scale only a half step down. Most players are probably familiar with a diminished triad and the half-diminished 7th chords, but the minor 11 flat 5 is probably only known by jazz players. 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 Formula for this scale on … 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 Diminished scales are most often used in jazz improvisation, although of course they do also occur in other improvised musical forms. Properties Your email address will not be published. Using only notes derived from a given diminished scale, you can extract a lot of useful and familiar-sounding harmonic structures. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself and check out great jazz professionals' solos to see how they deploy the diminished scale. Diminished Chord Formula. One is the “whole-half” diminished scale, which is a whole step, then a half step, then keep repeating the pattern until you get to the octave. This scale is primarily used in jazz music and works well together with alternate seventh chords. Major Scale formula: 1 w 2 w 3 h 4 w 5 w 6 w 7 h 1 Here it is on the guitar: Mike Georgia. 2M - 2m - 2M - 2m - 2M - 1A - 2M - 2m. Here are some of the best applications of the diminished scale: 1. The scale formula is 1 b3 4 5 b7. Where as DIMINISHED (whole/half) start with a whole step gap, this variation obviously start with a half step gap. Find guitar scales using graphic interface. 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. 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. There are major triads, dominant 7th chords, dominant 7th (b5) chords, minor 7th chords, and minor 7th (b5) chords you can build off of the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th scale degrees of the diminished scale. It's known as a Half Whole when played over Dominant chords. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Jazz and Applied Saxophone at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The Diminished Scale is a symmetrical scale and alternates between a semitone and a tone. 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]. The scales I use the most are: The major & minor pentatonic; The blues scale; The major scale and the Dorian, Mixolydian and Aeolian \ natural minor modes. Root Note. Half/Whole Diminished Scales/Mode for Guitar. Formula What is the formula for the C diminished scale. There are two diminished scales called the half-whole and whole-half. 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. You suggest this brings out "good" notes on the beat, but in the ascending diminished scale example you emphasize the exact opposite notes of those emphasized in the descending diminished scale?! Diagram scales: For example, the Blues scale formula is 1 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7. Minor 3rd. The A diminished chord is produced by taking the 1 (root), b3 and b5 of the A Major scale. I was about to say the same thing. 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 Chord Formula: 1-♭3-♭5. The Diminished Scale. In major keys, the diminished chord is built off the 7th degree of the major scale. It displayed countless chords alongside scales that corresponded to them and connected dominant seventh chords with the double diminished scale. Perfect 4th. In the same way that we observed for the diminished chord, the diminished scale is repeated every three semitones. The diminished triad is what naturally occurs on the 7th degree of the major scale. A Major scale notes are: 1: A. 2: B. The alteration for each particular scale is determined using the scale formula. )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. What notes are in the C diminished scale. This is often played in jazz over a diminished seventh chord. The scale that you need to use in a context not the diminished scale. THE DIMINISHED SCALE (Half/Whole) is the only mode of the DIMINISHED SCALE. In the case of A minor pentatonic we will use the A major scale notes to apply our scale formula. This mode of the diminished scale works well over a diminished chord. Guitarhabits - About - Privacy Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information - Cookie Policy. The diminished scale is one of the most useful and versatile tools for jazz improvisers. C - D - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - A - B. The Diminished Scale is built upon two diminished seventh chords. The half-whole diminished scale can be referred to as dominant diminished because it works well over a dominant 13(b9) chord. Everything evolves around scales. Generally speaking, diminished chords have a jazzy flavor to them, and they appear in styles that […] That will emphasize the same pitches in both directions, and allow you to land well in both directions as well. The scale formula for the diminished scale easy to remember, just tone then semitone repeat! From there I started introducing my ears to its singular sound. Example 3 makes use of the guitar’s middle strings, with the root note played on the open A string. That’s about it for me but I do see value in learning licks from the melodic and harmonic minors, as well as the whole tone and diminished scales. Scale Formula. When using a descending diminished scale over a dominant 7th chord, you start on the root and follow the whole-half-whole-half… (etc. Here's why : Let's … Now, the primary use of the diminished scale, is on dominant chords with possible extensions b9, #9, 13 and b5/#11. Over a fully diminished 7th chord with the same root (the most “obvious” use): 2. It’s 1-f3-f5. 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): It's known as a Whole Half when played over Diminished 7th chords. Combine two fully diminished 7th chords a whole step apart, for example, combine             C(dim. 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. Diagram scales: The diminished scale is a special scale that accompanies a fully diminished 7th chord. 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. Many guitarists play a diminished 7th chord (4-note chord) instead of a diminished chord. Whole is referring to a Whole Tone and Half is half a Tone, which is better known as a semitone. The Diminished Scale is a symmetrical scale and alternates between a semitone and a tone. This Scale is considered to be an Exotic Scale because of its spooky, unresolved sound. CHalf/Whole Diminished. It is a symmetrical scale in that it follows a distinct pattern, constructed from a repeated sequence of intervals (major second, minor second). Example 3 makes use of the guitar’s middle strings, with the root note played on the open A string. The traditional approach of constructing chords is by chord formulas. In these diminished scale diagrams, any of the white circles can be considered to be the root / tonic note of the scale. i.e. Its one of these scales that just sound like jazz. The diminished scale is an eight-note entity, as shown in FIGURE 2. There are 3 types of scale fingering patterns shown below. 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). If your into jazz this is one you need to learn. 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. Scale typ: Half/Whole Diminished. For other types of scale formulas refer to the SCALE FORMULAS page. 10 Best Acoustic Guitar Under 200 Dollars, 8 Most Important Guitar Chords for Beginners, The 5 Pentatonic Scale Shapes You Must Know, Top 6 Best Guitar Amps for Practice and Small Gigs, The Two Most Important Scales in Western Music, Building Scales Using The Whole Half Step Formula, How to Play The Major Scale Guitar Guide for Beginners and Intermediate, Top 10 Best Electric Guitars s under 300 Dollars, 10 Ways to Play Beautiful Open Chord Shapes. You explanation for why it's good to start the diminished scale with one of the whole steps is a bit confusing. Whole is referring to a Whole Tone and Half is half a Tone, which is better known as a semitone. Minor 6th. 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? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Diminished Scale Guitar Diagram 2. If you made any changes to your settings. 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. 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. Applying that scale formula to the notes of the C major scale yields: C – D – Eb – F – G – Ab – Bb. Formula for a Diminished Chord. Just to review, a diminished 7th chord is constructed by stacking minor thirds on top of each other until you build a 7th chord. This translates ,in C,as C,Db, Eb, E, F#,G, A, Bb, for the first, as it jumps semitone/tone, etc. There are also fully diminished 7th chords you can build off every note of the diminished scale, and there are diminished major 7th chords you can build of the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th scale degrees. I have used note names as they came, not particularly accurately. This is very advantageous, as it opens up a … There are three types of diminished chords: Diminished triads, half diminished, and diminished 7th, which is also called a fully diminished chord. So if you see a chord symbol such as G13(b9), it matches the diminished scale perfectly. Unlike the modes, the diminished scale is built from a continuously symmetrical intervallic sequence as each four-note group progresses. As it turns out, there are only 3 diminished scales. It's usually not used when there's a #5 / b13. In the C Diminished Scale this would be C - Eb - Gb - A (Cdim7) and D - F - Ab - B (Ddim7). guitar scale: B Diminished scale Forget the guess work and use our helpful scale & mode recommendations for each Guitar Backing Track. 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. For instance, if we were to construct the B Diminished chord we would begin with the B Major Scale and apply the Diminished chord formula. 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? In major keys, the diminished chord is built off the 7th degree of the major scale. There is no “correct” spelling of this scale. Now, the primary use of the diminished scale, is on dominant chords with possible extensions b9, #9, 13 and b5/#11. 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. 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. Major 2nd. Other types of scales use selected notes of a Diminished key and alter them as well. The third note of the C major scale … In a strict definition of a diminished scale, it always starts with a whole step when ascending the scale. 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). For example, in the key of C these guide tones are: C, Eb, Gb, and A . 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. C, D, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, A, B, C is an example. 4: D. 5: E. 6: F#. Start by learning the intervals f… 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. I know it seems counterintuitive because of the complementarity of the notes on the beat (different pitches are emphasized whether ascending or descending if you always start with a whole step while moving melodically in either direction), but the fact is that ascending and descending scales often simply do not behave the same way in terms of their harmonic implications. Josiah Boornazian is a saxophonist, composer, educator, and scholar primarily active in Brownsville, New York City, Miami, and California. A brief look at the use of diminished chords and scales within several different genres. Primarily because the diminished scale is a symetrical and synthetic construction and not really what fits any type of tonal song. 10. The diminished pattern diminishes the 3rd, 5th, 6th, m7 and 8. It's usually not used when there's a #5 / b13. This is useful – one of the best ways to tap into the “diminished sound” is to play melodic patterns based on the internal structures of the diminished scale, as opposed to just running up and down the scale in stepwise motion. I will be showing you a cool way to incorporate the symmetrical Diminished scale or also known as the Dominant Diminished scale to your playing. During the first half the 20th century, composers such as Bela Bartok and Igor Stravinsky began to make extensive use of the diminished scale in their compositions. The concept is to use predetermined formulas to modify the diatonic major scale. a G diminished scale can be played over a G diminished chord). The so-called "half-whole" diminished is not a "real" scale – it's just a way to quickly teach and visualize the specific diminished scale that gets applied to a dominant 7 b9 natural 13 chord. The diminished scale is a symmetric scale formed by the sequence: Tone – Semitone – Tone – Semitone – Tone – Semitone – Tone. Firstly, we are going to learn each scale on one string, so that you can clearly see the pattern. Thanks for the added explanation. I also assume the "start with a hole note" rule (I realize it's just a guideline!) C# diminished chord types from D major. start on C ascending and descending. Here’s an introduction to this alluring scale, along with some ways to put it into action. applies even if you are starting a phrase on something other than the root of the chord? So, every major third will have the same augmented scale : C , E , and Ab are the same augmented scale, as are Db , F , and A , as are D , F# , B , and finally Eb , G , and B are also the same scale. Scale Formula. It contains the intervals 1,b2,b3,3,#4,5,6,b7. 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. I hope this helps – and thanks for your comments! The dominant diminished scale, also known as the half whole scale, is an eight note scale with a numeric formula of 1-♭ 2-♯ 2-3-♯ 4-5-6-♭ 7-8/1. Whole is referring to a Whole Tone and Half is half a Tone, which is better known as a semitone. The Diminished scale is an important scale used in Jazz but can also be used in blues. 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. That’s a root, minor 3rd, and flat (or diminished… Play alternating whole- and half-steps: 3. It has 8 notes and sounds pretty cool so lets get right into it. I like the post a lot overall, however, I think his intention may have been to use the half whole scale on V7b9 chords. There are two scales usually called “diminished scale”, both containing eight notes, and both very common. In this post, I’m going to walk you through some basic answers to these questions and talk about the most effective ways to incorporate the diminished scale into your playing. 3: C#. The guide tones for a diminished seventh chord are root, b3, b5 and bb7. Josiah – thank you for the explanation. In other words, learn the scale construction first before getting bogged down with fingerings. In the C Diminished Scale this would be C - Eb - Gb - A (Cdim7) and D - F - Ab - B (Ddim7). It can also be used for fusion and heavy metal. 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).. 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