How To Use DIMINISHED Arpeggios In Your Solos

How To Use DIMINISHED Arpeggios In Your Solos

Tommaso Zillio

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lead guitar diminished arpeggios

What is the point of diminished chords? I mean, they sound terrible, so what is the purpose? (*)

And especially, how do I use a diminished arpeggio in a solo?

Think of diminished chords/arpeggios as raw onions. By themselves, they’re pretty unappetizing.

I mean, no one is going around eating onions like apples. Hopefully. Right? (**)

But when used in the right context, or when surrounded by the right ingredients, they are incredible.

Diminished chords/arpeggios follow the same principle. A diminished arpeggio, by itself, isn’t good for much. But at the right moment, it creates a very beautiful sound... when should you be using diminished arpeggio? What is the right moment?

The short explanation is to use diminished arpeggio to get you from one chord to another.

Diminished arpeggios create a lot of tension, and that tension makes for a very satisfying release if it takes you to the right place. So you put diminished arpeggio just before the arrival of a new chord, and make that arpeggio resolve to that chord!

But how does that "resolution" business work? How can you know what diminished arpeggio to use at what time?

For that, you’ll need a slightly more in-depth explanation. If you want to fully understand how to use diminished arpeggio once and for all, check out the video linked below and I’ll show you how.

(*) They may sound terrible by themselves, but when used in the right way, they sound fantastic. I actually like them even by themselves, but that's an acquired taste.

(**) I'm sure at least one of my subscribers is going to reply that they do. You do you, man!

You can learn much more about diminished chords (as well as every other type of chord) with my Complete Chord Mastery guitar course. If you want to become an expert on chords and harmony, check it out!

Video Transcription

Hello Internet, so nice to see you! This is a diminished arpeggio. It sounds great. It's a very popular arpeggio. The question I get usually is how do you use these kinds of weird sound? Because honestly, it is kind of a weird sound How do you use these weird sound? In actual good sounding music?

How do you use these in pop in jazz? In metal? How do you make these work in a solo? Everybody can give you a tablature. Okay of a diminished arpeggio, but how many people explain to you exactly how to make this work in solo? A student asked me exactly this question. And that's what I told him.

I was curious about what chords diminished seventh arpeggios can be played over you know, I messed around. dominant seven diminished chords. What about the other chords?

Okay, so the good news are that you can play any diminished seventh chord over any other chord. So that's the good news. You cannot do wrong. Okay. The bad news is that but then the other news different good news, okay, are that the feeling is different. So you need to know a little bit what you're doing. Okay. So What music are you into Josh?

Metal hard rock, like everything.

Okay, so you you're gonna have probably a preference on what's happening depending on the kind of metal you listen to it listen to English, or you've listened to different kinds of different approaches there. Okay, so let's say I have a chord here. Let's you like metal as a minor. Okay, why like pick a major when you can pick a minor?

Plainly an A minor arpeggio any position any? Right, great. Now, what's the root of A minor? Yes, requested this time. Okay, if I go one half step below a what must do I have a flat, or in this case, G sharp. Okay, so now you play the G sharp diminished seventh arpeggio. From anywhere you can play from there from from anywhere.

And then the idea is that you play the G sharp diminished arpeggio and you resolve it into a meaning your G sharp and you land at the end on a note one or more not of a minor. Right, cool. You can start from A minor arpeggio. Play the G sharp diminished seventh and end on a minor again. Or you can start from the G sharp diminished seventh and end on a minor at the beginning I will always end on the original chord.

Okay, make sense? So this is the thing the main diminished chord you can play on a chord which is the diminished chord starting with takes the name from the note A half step below the root. It will work on practically everything.

So what chord would I be playing underneath the G sharp so I'm playing the A minor chord and then I will be playing the G sharp.

the backing track is just playing A minor the whole time I mean just making sure diminished arpeggio diminished, diminished, diminished, diminished, or not the very minor I finish on the on the A minor arpeggio and just stepping outside the chord. Just a moment. Okay, it's not really outside playing because it's it's the sound that you have in your ears and you heard that.

Okay, but for a moment, the backing track is playing a minor and you're playing this diminished seventh chord which is technically the substitution on the dominant of a minor but we can go on to the whole diagram but it's not important. Because the trick is just one fret below the root of a minor chord. It's still one fret below the root. But I promise you, you could play other diminished chord on that. Right? How many diminished chords there are diminished seventh finish question.

Well, one shape over any chord, right?

Yes, that is one shape, but there are only three diminished seventh chords. Because, say you start from G sharp, you're going to have G sharp, B, the F. If I start from a I have A, C, E flat, F sharp, a spelling in harmonically, if I start from B flat, I have B flat, C sharp, E, G, B flat again, if I start from B, I get the first one again.

Okay, B, D, F, took me the F, G sharp, B, because it's a symmetric chord. If I move it up three, three frets, I still find the same chord for them, believe me spell it out. Okay. But the point is, I have only three diminished seventh chord available, what did I call them in different several different ways, I have only three sets of notes available, the secondary to play a diminished arpeggio over any chord is to play a diminished arpeggio that has at least one note in common with the chord.

And in this case, you want to start from the original chord played a diminished arpeggio. I'm going to look right now and then come back to the original chord. So in a minor you will play say, I have the notes a C and E now in the arpeggio, a C in A minor. Let's say I want I'm picking one of those notes like C and the same thing the C diminished seventh chord.

Okay, so I'm playing the arpeggio. I'm used to mute everything so now leaving not ringing it's a problem but and then I passed into the C playing the C diminished arpeggio because it's another chord and then ending somehow somewhere on the A minor again, I can do these on C and that's what they obtain.

I can put these on the end note. The exact same diminished chord seven, of course, right. So it's the same thing, it's the same thing. Maybe I'm just starting on a different note whatever. Or I can do these on the key note, and they get an E diminish.

And it still works. But those to give you a different feeling than the other one. You notice those two tend to be similar. The other one tend to be different. Because the other one is the equivalent of a dominant chord. If you guys know your theory, why those two are just variation on the chord. So they still feel like a tonic chord in this case because a minor is a tonic chord and which we're playing right now. Just a variation.

So I'll try it out first. Yep.

You don't have to go fast.

See, right. Doesn't sound as good as it would from C.

The same would be true for a major chord. minor seven major seven dominant seven. Off the main issue, the main issue, you can put diminished chord over diminished chords. Okay, so this kind of thing. So literally, you can play any diminished chord in any position.

It's either is sharing one note, or its not. It's, it's built on the note A half step below the root of the chord. At the end of the day. If you do these, you're gonna get all the time you're always gonna get all the diminished chords. Okay, but that's how you think about it. All right. That's it. Simple as that. Thank you. Thank you.

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