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Thread: Strictly Diminished

  1. #1
    Registered User Dan_Bostrom's Avatar
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    Strictly Diminished

    Hi fellows!

    The diminished scale is somewhat underestimated. Musicians tend to use only a few notes from it. But I think the diminished scale has a beautiful sound all the way through.

    Normally we use the diminished scale to diminished chords (thats the whole-half dim. scale), but you can also use the half-whole dim. scale as a substitute for mixolydian scale, super locrian (altered) scale.

    The formula for half-whole dim.scale is: 1-b2-b3-3-#4-5-6-b7
    Ergo, you can use it for dominant 7 chords and altered chords (though not #5 chords).
    So, in my example, we use it for E7, E7b9 and E7#9.

    Look at the attached picture, and see all sorts of patterns come to life!

    The backing goes like this:
    | E7 | E7b9 | E7#9 |E7b9 |

    Try to explore the diminished scale fully, with this backing track.
    My contribution is called "Diminished World".
    Let me hear your take on it!

    All the best,
    Dan Bostrom.


    Later Edit:
    Please check out the thread "Practicing (and using?) diminished scales"
    http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/...ead.php?t=9315
    where we get tons of info on using the dim. scale.
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    Last edited by Dan_Bostrom; 11-17-2005 at 05:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Nice one Dan!

    I did say I'd have another go at this and I will bnut in the mean tiome, here's my original take!

    I kinda went for a tapping feel and off beat rhythmic picking patterns top accentuate the tension. I love the Diminished sound!

    I think in another thread there was mention of being slapped in the face with a giant diminished tuna...well if that's the case, slap me!


    as always, enjoy.
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  3. #3
    Weak Fingers MattW's Avatar
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    Cool take Dan (not had a chance to listen to yours Russ), I can hear some AH influences in there, am I right?

    Current Listening:
    Gong - Expresso II

  4. #4
    Registered User Dan_Bostrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattW
    Cool take Dan (not had a chance to listen to yours Russ), I can hear some AH influences in there, am I right?
    AH influences?
    Oh no... you found out!
    Yes, indeed. Allan Holdsworth is the best in my book. I always get happy when people mention AH. A fan of Holdsworth you too, MattW?

  5. #5
    Registered User Dan_Bostrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss
    Nice one Dan!

    I did say I'd have another go at this and I will bnut in the mean tiome, here's my original take!
    UKRuss, you know I loved your take. Canīt wait to hear you have another go at it.
    Dan

  6. #6
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Thanks again Dan, I prefer yours I must say, you've got the feel right!

    Matt, no worries, I think there's enough of my dirge around the forums to keep people away from my noodlings for months on end! I'd love to hear your take though, you've got the chops to make this one shake!

  7. #7
    Weak Fingers MattW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Bostrom
    AH influences?
    Oh no... you found out!
    Yes, indeed. Allan Holdsworth is the best in my book. I always get happy when people mention AH. A fan of Holdsworth you too, MattW?
    Indeed I am! He is the best in my book too, if only I had 1 millionth of his ability!

    Current Listening:
    Gong - Expresso II

  8. #8
    Registered User satch_master's Avatar
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    cool guys

    Now this is something interesting. A strictly diminished thread. I love the backing, it stays in the key E but it plays all those crazy intervals of the dimished scale. Dan your solo is very good. It has a wierd , almost fusion , AH( as mentioned) type sound. Very refreshing to hear and completely new sounding to my ears. I might have a go later but i am a bit scared, it might be beyond my abilities , lol.

    UKRuss-Not bad either. Definately not as good as some of your other stuff but i think the tapping really works. It has some cool moments in there

  9. #9
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Yes, I employed my, "I have no idea really what I'm doing here so let's start some tapping instead to make it sound better than it really is" technique

    I'm interested in the AH style you managed to put across Dan, any tips or analysis on what kind of techniques/intervals/chord tones you use/concentrated on to get that to come across.

    I am listening to alot of Brett Garsed and Shawn lane at the moment and I'd really love to grasp how they get those fusiony runs going, the chromatics etc.

    It's a lovely sound.

  10. #10
    Registered User Dan_Bostrom's Avatar
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    UKRuss and satch_master, thank you!

    The Allan Holdsworth approach you are talking about maybe demands a thread of its own? Iīll see if I get the time and courage to write something later on.

    In the meantime, though, let me say something about the way I approach scales and chords. Mostly I hear the future solo (or at least itīs sounds) in my head when I hear the chords. Or when Iīm improvising alone with my guitar (and no backing) I can hear the chords following my lead (like sheep the shepherd... ). Allan Holdsworth would say that he thinks of a scale in the same way as a family, and the chords as family members of that scale. For many years I was thinking the other way around (i.e. the chords are what determine the scale: "What the @Ģ$&#! should I play over this chord?"). Mr Holdsworth made me think more of the sound of the scale, and less of chord changes such as 2-5-1.

    That way you can take such an awkward sounding scale as the diminished, and hear some of the chords and solos itīs containing. Just go with the trial and error method: if you hear a few notes in a row which sounds good to you, then it is good! Just try to play them with your head high (metaphorically that is - not your guitarīs head) and a lot of confidence, and it will sound good. A "false" note can sound good, if I meant to play it...

    (Oh no, I turned this thread into philosophy... again...)

    Yours,
    Dan

  11. #11
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    This is bloody difficult!

    But interesting at the same time, and as I sat and tried to produce anything at all I got an intruiging idea. It seems to me that the scale feels wrong in some way, and as I kept playing a metaphor popped into my head. It goes like this:

    Letīs say youīre walking down the street feeling harmonious with not a care in the world. Suddenly you trip over a dog. In the first split second itīs actually not certain that youīre going to fall; you might or you might not, itīs undecided. Well, a lot of people actually do fall, they get paralyzed from the mere possibility of falling and falls. Which means they stop. But sometimes you donīt have time to be scared, and sort of donīt recognise that you might fall, and save the situation by, for example, jumping or grabbing something and then keep on walking.

    This is the way certain tones in the scale feels. Youīre playing along when suddenly this wrong note appears and it feels a little like being on the verge of falling, at least it did to me. And when I played these notes I fell, and stopped playing.

    Then I began thinking about another example. Take a look at the following sentence: "I am green". If I stop there it sounds a bit strange. But If I add "with envy" it suddenly means something different, and itīs no longer wrong. And if I add "he told his friend" it has suddenly changed again. So, the meaning of a sentence isnīt established until I stop (or fall).

    If I use this way of thinking on the scale Iīm trying to play around with at the moment it means that any wrong note (or note that sounds wrong) can only BE wrong if I stop playing. If I donīt, I can change the meaning of the "wrong note" by adding some other notes in some clever way ( and god, does that sound easier than it is).

    A bit philosophical, but this sort of helped me produce anything at all. As always Iīm a bit mad for sharing this, but, having struggled with it for a few days, this is as good (or bad?) as it gets.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Dan_Bostrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink3
    /snip.../
    If I use this way of thinking on the scale Iīm trying to play around with at the moment it means that any wrong note (or note that sounds wrong) can only BE wrong if I stop playing. If I donīt, I can change the meaning of the "wrong note" by adding some other notes in some clever way ( and god, does that sound easier than it is).

    A bit philosophical, but this sort of helped me produce anything at all. As always Iīm a bit mad for sharing this, but, having struggled with it for a few days, this is as good (or bad?) as it gets.
    Great, ink3!!!
    This is just what I was talking about. You held your head high and didnīt stop playing. I could really feel that you had decided to go on and on. As a listener one might think these notes sound weird at first, but with your confident playing the listener gets more familiar with the sound, a may soon be a "diminished convert" (is that like "Christian light"? ). You also had a very interesting approach rythmically. I like it a lot!

    And thanks for the metaphores! You explained it very well.
    All the best,
    Dan

  13. #13
    Hey,

    Dan nicely asked me to contribute, so hereīs my take on it...Thanks man, it was fun!

    I tried to stay true to the educational value of iBreathemusic so I played various diminished and augmented ideas, so itīs not all too musical but at least you have as many licks as I could fit in the 1 min backing track...

    To start of I attached a ptb of the, I think, trickiest lick I played. Itīs a tapping, hammeron/pulloff, picking combination lick and it covers 3 octaves. Once you get the basic shape done you can easily create your own major and minor licks with this...experiment!

    Hope you like it!

    Cheers
    TK
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink3
    This is bloody difficult!

    But interesting at the same time, and as I sat and tried to produce anything at all I got an intruiging idea. It seems to me that the scale feels wrong in some way, and as I kept playing a metaphor popped into my head. It goes like this:

    Letīs say youīre walking down the street feeling harmonious with not a care in the world. Suddenly you trip over a dog. In the first split second itīs actually not certain that youīre going to fall; you might or you might not, itīs undecided. Well, a lot of people actually do fall, they get paralyzed from the mere possibility of falling and falls. Which means they stop. But sometimes you donīt have time to be scared, and sort of donīt recognise that you might fall, and save the situation by, for example, jumping or grabbing something and then keep on walking.

    This is the way certain tones in the scale feels. Youīre playing along when suddenly this wrong note appears and it feels a little like being on the verge of falling, at least it did to me. And when I played these notes I fell, and stopped playing.

    Then I began thinking about another example. Take a look at the following sentence: "I am green". If I stop there it sounds a bit strange. But If I add "with envy" it suddenly means something different, and itīs no longer wrong. And if I add "he told his friend" it has suddenly changed again. So, the meaning of a sentence isnīt established until I stop (or fall).

    If I use this way of thinking on the scale Iīm trying to play around with at the moment it means that any wrong note (or note that sounds wrong) can only BE wrong if I stop playing. If I donīt, I can change the meaning of the "wrong note" by adding some other notes in some clever way ( and god, does that sound easier than it is).

    A bit philosophical, but this sort of helped me produce anything at all. As always Iīm a bit mad for sharing this, but, having struggled with it for a few days, this is as good (or bad?) as it gets.
    Very interesting and alternative thinking. Now, you can add a couple of other 'odd' notes if you happen to play one some time. It will work in several occasions. However, I am not convinced it will work all the time. Given you are soloing a very melodic solo, based on a specific scale. If you then accidentally hit a note outside the scale, you must be very well trained/have a lot of experience in order to make the 'odd' note fit.

  15. #15
    Registered User Dan_Bostrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsten
    Hey,

    Dan nicely asked me to contribute, so hereīs my take on it...Thanks man, it was fun!
    /snip/
    Hope you like it!
    Did I like it?
    Does the pope have a funny hat...?

    Thorsten, you are my hero! I just laughed with joy when I heard your take...
    All the best,
    Dan

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