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Diminished Scales – More Improvising Tools

The diminished scales are a good source for improvising over diminished chords and altered dominant chords. You don’t have to be into Jazz to use these scales. Diminshed and altered chords are in every style music.

There are two of these scales but they are actually the same scale you just start one note up or down from the original.

Chromatic Scale

The Chromatic scale notes are spaced every 1/2 tone or every fret apart. A 12 note scale.

Whole Tone

The whole tone scale notes are spaced every whole tone or 2 frets apart. A 6 note scale

The Diminished Scales

The diminished scale combines these two variation by making two scales with spacings of one whole tone then one half tone.

The diminished whole starts with a whole note, the diminished half, yes you got it starts with a half tone

Other than starting on a different note these scales are identical although a little confusing until you get the sound of it implanted into your brain

This is an 8 note scale

Here’s the table from the whole tone page to make it easier to visualize these scales

Chromatic

C

C♯

D

D♯

E

F

F♯

G

G♯

A

A♯

B

C

Whole Tone

C

D

E

F♯

G♯

A♯

C

Whole Tone 2

C♯

D♯

E♯

G

A

B

C♯

Diminished Whole

C

D

E♭

F

F♯

G♯

A

B

C

Diminished Half

C

C♯

D♯

E

F♯

G

A

B♭

C

Please note E♯ is the same as F, D♯ and E♭ are the same, and A♯ and B♭ are the same

When you are writing in these scales all note writing rules are not used like in the major and minor scales

Diminished Whole Scale – Chords

Diminished Whole

C

D

E♭

F

F♯

G♯

A

B

C

Scale degree

Root

2/9

♭3/+9

4/11

♭5

♯5

13

7

root

These scales can be used on dim7th chords starting at the root.

When using this chord on altered dominant chords you start 1/2 step up. For a B7♭5 you would use the C diminished scale

This is a way of using the whole diminished scale instead of the half diminished scale.

Both scales are the same except the whole dim. starts with a whole tone and the half dim. scale starts with a half tone, confusing isn’t it

You could use the half diminished and start on the root it’s up to you. It’s still alternating whole steps and half steps for both scales.

B7♭5 chords

Here is what the notes would be for an altered B7 chord using the C dominant Scale

Diminished Whole

C

D

E♭

F

F♯

G♯

A

B

Scale degree

♭9

♯9

3

♭5

5

6

♭7

root

It contains a flatted 5th,9th and 7th and a raised 9th

Here is the C diminished scale played against a B7♭5 chord

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

C diminished played against a B7 flat five chord

Diminished 7th Arpeggio

I used to think this was the diminished scale, this was pre internet era and info wasn’t that easy to come by.

Most books were written for college professors or students (if you could find one) and not for someone to learn on their own like most musicians do.

It’s made from minor 3rds stacked together C to E♭, E♭ to F♯, F♯ to A and A to C.

The Minor Third Scale or Diminished 7th Arpeggio

You will probably recognize this. I first heard it on the Blues Magoo’s version of Tobacco Road. Yes that was the bands name

It wasn’t played against a diminished chord either, every non altered dominant 7th chord has a diminished chord in it starting on the 3rd of the chord

The C diminished arpeggio could be used on the A♭7th chord

Heres a few A♭7th chords first

Here is what it sounds like played against an A♭7th chord

Try different chords like C7, F7, or Cdim7.

The C diminished chord has 4 names one for each note in it and it repeats itself every minor 3rd or 3 frets

The ° symbol stands for diminished or flatted in music

The C diminshed chord names are C°7, E♭°7, F♯°7 and A°7.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

C diminished 7th arpeggio played against an A7th chord

The hardest part of learning guitar scales is where to start? How many times do I have to play the same scale? Which scales to learn first?

Getting organized is the key to it all

I found a software program that helps you learn any of the major scales, modes and other scales.

It’s amazing how a computer and some software can make learning these scales so much easier than when I learned them. Some I didn’t learn till years later because it was such a pain and if you didn’t use them a lot you would forget them.

If you are willing to take a little time each day and use it you will learn all the scales everywhere on the fretboard

Try it for Free

You can try a free trial version here Guitar Scales Method Trial

Right or Left Handers

It’s simple software with a full length fretboard for right or left handed players

Take your time and follow each step. You’ll learn music basics, chords and much more.

If you apply yourself you will know the guitar neck and scales in a fairly short time

Been Playing for Awhile?

Even if you have been playing awhile you can benefit from this product, you will be surprised how much you don’t know as well as you think you do

I wish this was around when I was learning guitar

Once again here is the link to this software that will save you hours of practice by organizing these scale for you to learn.

Guitar Scales Method Trial

P.S. You are Never done learning guitar, there is always something new to learn. It’s a lifestyle enjoy it

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