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Diminished scale - I think this book has it wrong...
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jconstant
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:31 pm    Post subject: Diminished scale - I think this book has it wrong... Reply with quote

I have the Robben Ford Blues and Beyond book that goes with the Blues and Beyond instructional DVD (this isn't the booklet that comes with the DVD but rather, is a more complete version of that booklet). Anyway, there's a section on the diminished scale, particularly, how Robben uses G diminished over a G7 chord. And the scale it shows is:

G Ab Bb B C# D E F G

So as you can see that first interval is a half step, not a whole step. I would therefore think of this as an Ab diminished scale just starting on G (or some might call it the G dominant diminished scale, which I believe is the other mode of the scale). Point is, I've learned that the traditional diminished scale starts with a whole step interval, not a half (the 1/2 step interval would be the other mode I mentioned).

So if I'm right and this book is wrong then really what's happening here is he's just applying the 'play the diminished scale 1/2 step above the root' idea (Ab diminished over G7).

Am I making sense here? Is this book wrong or is it me?
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frank0936
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject: Diminished scale Reply with quote

That has always been a bit confusing to me as well. I just looked it up in "Theory for the Contemporary Guitarist" and it lists two different diminished scales - one starting with a half step and one starting with a whole step.
Frank
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AlChuck
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has to do with the symmetric nature of the diminished scale...

The most common use of a diminished scale in jazz is over the altered dominant 7-flat 9 chord (e.g., G7b9). If you play the diminished scale with a half-step as the first interval starting on the root of this chord, there you are. So it's natural and reasonable if you're a jazz player to think of the half-whole diminished scale from the root rather than the whole-half diminished scale starting on the last tone of the scale...
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frank0936
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:29 pm    Post subject: diminished usage Reply with quote

Thanks. That does help. I need to sit down and diagram it out now so I can really wrap my head around it.
Frank
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jconstant
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: diminished usage Reply with quote

frank0936 wrote:
Thanks. That does help. I need to sit down and diagram it out now so I can really wrap my head around it.
Frank


Hey Frank, I posed the same question over on TGP and there was quite a discussion that came out of it. Check it out: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=668259
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frank0936
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:49 am    Post subject: Thanks again Reply with quote

I need a lot of help with this!
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Funkifized
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:07 pm    Post subject: Diminished scale Reply with quote

You're right about this. It's the Ab diminished scale. However, if you look at it from the G, you still have a G diminished chord in there, so it's sometimes considered G diminished scale. Confusing? Yes. Just think of it as the symmetrical diminished scale (whole/half) starting a half-step higher than the root.

G Ab Bb B C# D E F

This works over G7, but it doesn't work over Ab7. This scale works over Abdim, but not likely over Gdim, as the diminished scale tends to sound good with Maj7 in it. Overall, though, it depends what sounds good to you.
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lemonjefferson
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Diminished scale - I think this book has it wrong... Reply with quote

I tend to use the half step whole step scale on the 4th bar of a 12bar blues going to IV chord - it implys a I7b9 chord and a bit of tension and release (the release being the C9 - IV chord on the 5th bar of a G blues in this example).

As Robben says - you need to play around with the scale and come up with a few of your own licks using the scale.


jconstant wrote:
I have the Robben Ford Blues and Beyond book that goes with the Blues and Beyond instructional DVD (this isn't the booklet that comes with the DVD but rather, is a more complete version of that booklet). Anyway, there's a section on the diminished scale, particularly, how Robben uses G diminished over a G7 chord. And the scale it shows is:

G Ab Bb B C# D E F G

So as you can see that first interval is a half step, not a whole step. I would therefore think of this as an Ab diminished scale just starting on G (or some might call it the G dominant diminished scale, which I believe is the other mode of the scale). Point is, I've learned that the traditional diminished scale starts with a whole step interval, not a half (the 1/2 step interval would be the other mode I mentioned).

So if I'm right and this book is wrong then really what's happening here is he's just applying the 'play the diminished scale 1/2 step above the root' idea (Ab diminished over G7).

Am I making sense here? Is this book wrong or is it me?
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kirk95
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Key to using this is symmetry....

Play H/W on Dom7b913 that is the basic chord scale relationship. But the fun begins when you leverage your melodic ideas in this scale symmetrically - this lets you cycle in and out of the harmony - as long your phrase/cycle resolves back to the key/chord you end on.

Example:
Play a major triad - up a whole step and then up a half step and then keep going...

Play a major triad and cycle in minor 3rds up or down.
Play a major triad and cycle in tritones up or down.

Same cycles with dim triads... H/W, minor 3rds and tritones.

Same cycles with any line you come up with in H/W scale.

Same cycles with any melodic motif (any scale) same cycles.

This works great over any static modal vamp and over the blues too.

The key to using this is the RESOLUTION - it has to resolve musically back to the chord you end the line on.

And remember because of symmetry there are only 3 of these scales.

Check these patterns:

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jconstant
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips, Captain!
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tboulette
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kirk95 wrote:
Key to using this is symmetry....

Play H/W on Dom7b913 that is the basic chord scale relationship. But the fun begins when you leverage your melodic ideas in this scale symmetrically - this lets you cycle in and out of the harmony - as long your phrase/cycle resolves back to the key/chord you end on.

Example:
Play a major triad - up a whole step and then up a half step and then keep going...

Play a major triad and cycle in minor 3rds up or down.
Play a major triad and cycle in tritones up or down.

Same cycles with dim triads... H/W, minor 3rds and tritones.

Same cycles with any line you come up with in H/W scale.

Same cycles with any melodic motif (any scale) same cycles.

This works great over any static modal vamp and over the blues too.

The key to using this is the RESOLUTION - it has to resolve musically back to the chord you end the line on.

And remember because of symmetry there are only 3 of these scales.

Check these patterns:


I realize I'm reviving an old thread here, but as I've had a hard time coming up with lines I like in the half-whole diminished scale, I'd love to see the patterns you mention. It seems the link is broken -- if you still have this available, can you repost?

One think I'll add about nomenclature: As kirk95 alludes to, the reason for a "half-whole diminished scale" AND a "whole-half diminished scale" is one of function. Some of the utility of these names depends on the way one thinks about available tones or scales for a given chord, but for those of us who think in terms of chord-scales (scales that imply a particular chord, such as G7b913), it tends to be important to relate the scale to the root of the chord. Thus, we would say that the correct scale for the G7b913 chord is G half-whole diminished, rather than Ab [whole-half] diminished. It's a "G" based chord; therefore we want to talk of a related "G" based scale. That's also why a lot of folks prefer to talk about the G altered scale rather than Ab melodic minor for G7#5#9 (for example).
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jconstant
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tboulette wrote:

One think I'll add about nomenclature: As kirk95 alludes to, the reason for a "half-whole diminished scale" AND a "whole-half diminished scale" is one of function. Some of the utility of these names depends on the way one thinks about available tones or scales for a given chord, but for those of us who think in terms of chord-scales (scales that imply a particular chord, such as G7b913), it tends to be important to relate the scale to the root of the chord. Thus, we would say that the correct scale for the G7b913 chord is G half-whole diminished, rather than Ab [whole-half] diminished. It's a "G" based chord; therefore we want to talk of a related "G" based scale. That's also why a lot of folks prefer to talk about the G altered scale rather than Ab melodic minor for G7#5#9 (for example).


I agree with everything you said. I learned yet another way to think about it from Don Mock's book, Symmetrical Scales. In fact, it was Don's way of looking at it that made me think the Blues and Beyond book was 'wrong'. We're basically looking at two modes for the diminished scale. The first mode starts with a whole step while the second mode starts with a half step. This second mode that starts with the half step is called the 'dominant' diminished scale while the first mode is simply called the diminished scale.

C diminished - C D Eb F F# G# A B C
D dominant diminished - D Eb F F# G# A B C D

All the same notes, just starting with a whole step versus half step.

So using your example, one could also say the correct scale for the G7b913 chord is G dominant diminished if you want to relate it directly to G or Ab diminished if you want to take the 'diminished scale a half step above' approach.
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tboulette
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to go back and watch the video again, but I thought Robben was demonstrating using G half-whole diminished over the 4th bar of a G blues, leading into the C7 chord, which would be a V-I (with the C as the I chord) in line what what we've been talking about.
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AlChuck
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tboulette wrote:
I'd have to go back and watch the video again, but I thought Robben was demonstrating using G half-whole diminished over the 4th bar of a G blues, leading into the C7 chord, which would be a V-I (with the C as the I chord) in line what what we've been talking about.


I'm confused... if you say "the 4th bar of a G blues," it sounds like the key would be G, not C... Further, the fourth bar is usually the one before the I goes to the IV chord -- so G to C7 would be I to IV, and that's a common use of the diminished scale.

So which is it - a G blues, and the scale is used over the fourth bar to approach the IV cord (C7), or a C blues where the V7 goes back to I (which would not be the fourth bar in a standard blues)?
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jconstant
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He was talking about using the diminished scale to get from the I to the IV chord so of course in the case of G, we're talking G to C.
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