This GUITAR Scale Sounds BETTER Than You Think

This Guitar Scale Sounds BETTER Than You Think

Tommaso Zillio

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diminished solos guitar

Number 1 “scale that people think will sound horrible (based on the name or by just looking at the notes in it), but when they actually play it, it sounds great”:

The Diminished Scale

(Dun Dun Dunnnnn!)

The caveat to everything I said above? Well, you have to know how to use the scale. Just noodling over the pentatonic scale will definitely not cut it (*)

See, many people love the sound of a well-placed diminished lick or run, but so few people know how to use the scale in a way that doesn’t activate the fight or flight response of anyone listening.

So, what should you do to get better at using the diminished scale?

Are there any tricks to use the scale in a way that sounds good every time?

Well, yes (duh, I would not be writing this article if it were otherwise)

The first thing to learn are:

  • What type of diminished scale to use (there are two)

  • What chords to use it over (it’s a surprisingly versatile scale, it works over nearly every triad and 7th chord)

  • … and how to use it over these different types of chords.

Unfortunately, all of those things would simply be too much information to contain in this article - and it’s best to learn them while listening to their sound - so if you want to know how to best use the diminished scale in your music, check out the video below where I answer all of those questions and more.

(*) As opposed to, for instance, the pentatonic scale that will sound “ok” regardless of what you play on it… and will sound great once you learn a few tricks like the ones in my free eBook on pentatonic guitar soloing

Video Transcription

Hello Internet so nice to see you. People have asked me how to use the diminished scale when they are soloing. Now the diminished scale sounds strange and it’s not like a pentatonic and everybody knows the pentatonic sounds exactly as you expect, because you have heard it so many times the diminished scale instead.

Sounds strange at the beginning, but if you know how to use it, it has a great sound and it works beautifully. And tell you what guys, it’s not even that hard. A student asked me how to use it.

And in a few minutes, we can go through how to make these scales work for you. If you want to know more about those strange scales and other things about scales and soloing and how to make the scale fit in your chord progression and use them, I recommend you guys have a look at my course master of the modes, which can appear on the top left of the top right of this video. And let’s go and see how to use the diminished scale.

My question is, I really like sort of harmonic minor Phrygian dominant results and scale and I will want to have more diminished. In my playing on the internet, I found a lot of scales called diminished some eight tone, six tone exotic diminished scale. So um, don’t know where to start to get this new classical tone, which one is the right one? So I would like to have a little bit of information on that. Maybe some practice tricks.

Okay. Very good. Diminished scales. I know only have two diminished scales. You say that you found many? So let’s see what you what you found so far. Okay. Do you remember any of those scales?

I have seen one called half diminished. One. Whole-half? Yes. Half? Oh, yes. Exactly, exactly. Full is the most useful of them. Okay, I mean, in principle, you see those diminished scales, one of them is a half step than a full step than a half step than a full step.

And it’s the household and there is a whole step and a half step there. Which is the same thing starting from the other note with essentially an in principle will look the same. Turns out that the half whole is more useful. Okay, well, at least easier to think with. Okay.

If I play a C half hole, I have C, B flat, E flat, E, F sharp, G, A B flat. And then I said, Okay, so since I have seen, I have both E flat and E and I do have a G. The half whole scale fits both major and minor chords triads. Okay. Okay, makes sense?

Yes. Then I have A, you have a B flat, I don’t have a B but a B flat in the scale, which means that this will fit dominant chord, I mean, that’s seven chord and minor seventh chords. It will not fit the major seventh chord. Okay, but no diminished scale fifth major seventh, seventh chord anyway. So if you don’t care, okay. Make sense? Yes.

So, over any major or minor triad dominant seventh chord or minor seventh chord, you play the diminished seventh scale you can play the diminished seventh scale, the diminished scale half whole diminished scale sorry, with the same root. Okay? Okay, makes sense. So I’m playing an E minor seven you play the A half all diminished scale that’s good.

Now I think the first thing is to get this position under your fingers. Okay. Right, by the way, I hate the I hate these kinds of positions. Forget how much have to shift for the position this kind of thing. Because it’s the same thing it doesn’t jump on extra flight between three and two but it’s the same that’s one idea. Another idea of playing these which I use in a few solos is to still think of these four notes per string idea but to jump the third note, so you play a B flat, C sharp and then hear you play the sharp.

Especially when Along dominant and augmented, okay, now in this form, it will work in so many different situations, okay? So you can make it some metal, okay? But this will work great in blues, as it is, with a blues chord progression, you play these with a little bit of swing, okay? And it will sound blues, okay, it worked in rock and so on and so forth.

Okay. So that’s how I will use these in the context of improvising over a chord progression, I just decide on what chord I want to put there. Diminished Scale, and they play the half-whole diminished scale with the same root of the chord. Okay, and it will work. Okay, depending on the context, it may sound strange, but it will fit the chord. Okay, this isn’t a pop song. Heads are gonna turn okay, like well, okay, but it will work. Make sense? Yes.

The other approach, which is the approaches in classical music, or technical in late Romantic music, okay, is that you take the scale, and you forget anything about the previous chord, the major and minor, etc, etc. And just just like to find groups of notes, from the scale. And in groups, or North or you find from the scale, you can always move it up or down three frets on your guitar, and it will still be a chord in the scale, because the whole scale is symmetric this way.

Okay. So at this point, you don’t have to try it anymore. You have something else? Makes sense? Yes. And you make it work with that. I mean, you can also have trials, but you’d like to make it work along the scale. In this case, you’re composing with chords and harmony, more than with the melody. So different kinds of complex but still creates some interesting music makes sense? Yes. So this will be your starting point. I think you can work with that. Yes, fun. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

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