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  • Triads in the Diminished Scale

    Triads that are derived from the diminished scale are an interesting improvisational tool. They allow you to create the effect of playing 'in' and 'out' of a key. In this article, Nicolas shows you some theory and examples.

    There are two diminished scales in C:

    1) half-whole tone scale



    Used on:
    C7 (1,3,5,b7) + all tensions b9, #9, #11, 13
    C7alt, C7(b9), C7(#9), C7(#11), C7(13), C7(b9,13)....

    Cdim (1, b3, b5)

    Cm7(b5) (1, b3, b5, b7)



    2) whole-half tone scale



    Used on:
    Cdim (1,b3,b5)
    B/C (1, b3, b5,maj7)
    Ab/C (1,b3,b13)
    D/C (1, 9, #11, 13)


    In general, the best way to make them sound good is

    - to play the chord tones on the strong beats


    half-whole tone




    whole-half tone





    - to finish a phrase on a chord tone


    half-whole tone



    whole-half tone




    The diminished half-whole tone scale, as a sound, is easier to use. The reason is that there are the major third, the minor third and the natural fifth in the scale.
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