Watch the Diminished Tonality online guitar lesson by Frank Vignola from Modern Method for Guitar
Our next scale is another exotic sounding scale that really catches a listener's ear. Its repeating minor intervals and the dissonance of the flatted 5th interval make it mysterious and unique. The symmetry of the diminished scale and chords make it very versatile and easy to visualize on the fret board.
1. The diminished scale is a symmetric scale that starts with a whole step followed by a 1/2 step. This pattern of whole step 1/2 step continues until you reach the octave. The diminished scale works well for playing over the V7 chord.
2. Diminished 7th chords are built by stacking minor thirds. In other words, there are 1-1/2 steps between every note, making this chord symmetrical.
3. Use the formula above to write out all your diminished scales. You will discover that because of the symmetry of the diminished scale and arpeggio, there are only 3 diminished scales and 3 diminished arpeggios. Each of them services 4 dominant chords. The diminished chord or arpeggio that relates to the 4 dominant chords contains only the 3rd, 5th, and 7th note of the dominant chord and never the root. The fourth note is the flat 9, which is a 1/2 step above the implied root of the dominant chord you are playing over.
4. Included in this chapter is a visual of the diminished chords and the dominant chords that they service to help you get started.
5. Play the Ab diminished arpeggio horizontally, on the 3rd string.
6. Next play the scale, which is a series of whole steps, followed by a half step.
7. Play this arpeggio vertically as well.
8. Also included in this chapter is a visual of a diminished scale and arpeggios to help you get started.