Octatonic scale application

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Red Wonder, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. This is a very intriguing looking scale...

    c c# d# e f# g a a# c'

    It alternates semitones and tones...

    Have any of you applied this scale before. It certainly has an enigmatic quality to it.

    Is it primarily for augmented chords?

  2. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Diminished. I first saw it in David Baker's Patterns for Jazz, but it also appears in The Lydian Chromatic Concept. (The common scale for augmented chords is all whole tones.) On a dom seventh chord, you can start it with a half step for an unusual bluesy sound:

    C Db D# E F# G A Bb C

    For diminished chords, you can start from either the half step or the whole step. I was told once that you can decide which one to use based on the key of the progression that the diminished chord appears in, but I didn't understand what the guy meant by that.

    So, C dim could be either
    C Db D# E F# G A Bb C
    C D Eb F Gb Ab A B.
  3. This scale is flat-out awesome! Especially when you utilize one string. Is it safe to say its a chromatic sounding 8 tone scale? It seems that this scale would fit just about anywhere (in a blues context perhaps.) Diminished, augmented, major, or minor.

    Then ahain I just discovered it so what do I know? I do know that it sounds appealing. Especially with the tritone thrown in for good measure.
  4. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    What exactly is the name of this scale? I know when I learned it my teacher just called it the half-whole scale just because of the alternating intervals, but does this scale have a more formal name? I also learned the whole-half scale as my teacher so cleverly called it.
  5. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Diminished. Really.