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Diminished and augmented scales

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Chip2447, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Chip2447


    Jan 26, 2012
    I've been playing upright bass for twenty plus years in bluegrass bands. I'm ashamed to admit it but the breadth of my knowledge is pretty much exhausted once I get out of a I-IV-V progression and very seldom past the fifth fret. The guys I'm playing with now are doing some really great swing stuff which uses a lot of diminished chords and I just don't know what to do. I've been able to fake it OK by playing major-scale half runs off the root note of the chord but it sounds really thin to me. Is there an on-line tab resource someone could direct me to that illustrates diminished and augmented scales:help:?
  2. I would suggest that you start with learning the harmonic minor scale. It is just like the natural minor but with a raised 7th.
    So in the key of A minor it would go A-B-C-D-E-F-G#-A.
    If you played this scale starting on the C (or third of the scale), it would fit perfectly over a C augmented chord. Or play the arpeggio C-E-G#. Or a mix of both
    If you played it starting with the G# (or the 7th of the scale) it would fit over a G# diminished chord. Or play the arpeggio G#-B-D-F
    I don't think or play that way. But it is a great place to start and after a while you will start hearing what sounds good and what sound you like.
    Look up diminished scales and augmented scales I bet you can find a lot just with a simple google search. Or try the whole tone-half tone scale; it is self defining.
    Good luck
  3. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    Stay calm. :cool: There are only 2 diminished scales, Half/Whole (H/W) & Whole/Half (W/H). Both are minor intervals linked tail to head. So you can play both/either as "diminished pentatonic" by playing minor intervals from the Root; |Root|b3| then |b5|6| then |8av|#9. Look at the melody to choose H/W or W/H if you decide to play other notes in the scale. Don't worry if it sounds dissonant. Creating dissonance is probably why the Diminished scale was used in the 1st place.
  4. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    another way to think of the diminished scale is thinking of it as the scale that creates tension over the phrase. so it usually substitutes the dominant chord.
    think of B diminished as being the same as G7(b9) when it precedes a CMaj or Cmin chord.
    Think of starting the G7 chord starting on the 3rd. (as a bass player you probably don't even have to get to the (b9).

    so what would read as: G7 Cmin
    now reads; Bdim Cmin

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