I need Dim scale help!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by thndrstk6, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. thndrstk6

    thndrstk6 Guest

    Ok so I've been doing research on diminished scale theory and I feel like I'm
    going in circles. I know there are "half whole" dim scales and "whole half"
    dim scales. I know that there are "half" dim scales (with a circle and slash
    symbol) and "whole" dim scales (with a circle symbol). I know that a Locrian
    mode is similar if not the same as one of these scales. I know that there is
    a scale that has 8 tones in it. I also know that one or more of these dim
    scales can be played over Dom. and Min.7b5 chords well because they share
    important tonal notes. I've asked my instructor some questions but I feel
    even more confused.

    So my question are:

    1.) How many diminished scales are there?
    2.) What are their intervals?
    3.) What chords are they good to use with?
    4.) How are they used?

  2. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Diminished scale is another of the symmetric scales. There is one true diminished scale the whole-half. The half-whole is what Jazz players discovered if they shift the scale to half-whole it work for altered dominant's (b9, #9, b5, b13). John Scofield uses diminished quite a bit for comp'ing and solo lines.
  3. thndrstk6

    thndrstk6 Guest


    So can you use the half-whole scale over a regular dom. chord?

    What's the purpose of the whole-half scale then?

    What's the whole dim scale about? Isn't it just a Locrian mode?

    What is the half dim scale then? Is is the same as a half-whole scale?
  4. dwanetom

    dwanetom Guest

    Aug 20, 2008
    How should you use them? When should you use them?

    It all comes down to what you hear as sounding best with what you want. Each dim scale offers you a different sound. But, of course, in order to know when and how...you have to be familiar with the "sound" of each scale.

    Good luck.
  5. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Inactive

    Nov 5, 2004
    There is ONE diminished scale which is a symetric 8 notes scale with W-H-W-H- etc.
    The other form is the inversion of it H-W-H-W etc...

    Because it is a symetric shape each scale can fit 4 differents roots based on the diminished arpeggio C-Eb-F#-A. So there are only three scales to cover the twelve tones C-C#-D.

    The real diminished scale is use on diminished chords like this Co7 or C dim7.

    The other form H-W is use on dominant that often resolve on the I major. It adds a lot of color by adding the two altered 9 an the #11 and the 13 stays major. Because it is symetric you can shift it by minor thirds so on G7 you can use the diminished H-W of G-Bb-C#-E.

    Actually we are talking about the same diminished scale W-H that can start on Ab-B-D-F. It is just a matter of preference.

    There are a lot of symetric patterns based on that scale. You can find some on your own.

    The half-diminished has nothing to do with the diminished scale or chord. It is the 7th mode of the major scale call Locrian which fits xmin7(b5) or xø7 (same chord,differents symbols).

    I hope this makes sense in writing like this,

  6. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sure you can use it over a regular dominant chord if you want a altered sound. If you feel the song/change needs an altered sound use half-whole diminished.

    Whole-half would be used over a true diminished chord, both are symmetric.

    Locrian is a mode of the major scale and isn't a symmetric scale. Write the notes of each out and compare, that is the best way to learn.

    Half diminished is a chord and Locrian or Locrian #9 are the common scales to use over it. Again write out the notes of a Bmi7b5 (half diminished) chord and compare to a B Locrian mode.

    To all with questions like this taking the time to write out the scale then the related chord really helps things fall in place. Then put some seat time in playing them to get the sounds in your ear. Theory needs to be seen as well as heard.

    And lets not have a endless thread on the name Locrian #9, call it what you want. It really doesn't matter as long as you know what it is.
  7. thndrstk6

    thndrstk6 Guest

    Sly, Doc... I love you.

    Thanks a lot. That was exactly what I was looking for.

    Thank you so much!!!