Diminished Responsibility II

by Ben Higgins

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  • Hi and welcome to my new lesson!

    This time we will be working with the Half / Whole Diminished Scale.

    This scale is literally constructed as it's name suggests. You literally play a half step followed by a whole step. Or semitone followed by a whole tone, followed by a semitone, followed by a whole tone etc.

    Many guitar players use diminished triads in their arpeggios but diminished triads themselves are not diminished scales. The Half / Whole is just one scale that comes under the name of Diminished. The Whole / Half is another Diminished scale and interestingly they both work within the same structure of the Diminished triads. That's because the Diminished triad works by stacking minor 3rds on top of each other. These intervals exist in the same place regardless of whether you play the Half / Whole or Whole / Half scale. Confused? Nevermind. Our focus is just on the Half / Whole scale so dive on in to the lesson and let the theory come to you in stages.

    It's a very dark sounding scale. You would most likely want to use it over chord progressions that either have an ambiguous tonality (making use of the pitch axis system) or over a chord progression where you may normally use something like the Phrygian Major mode.

    As well as giving you a cool new scale to work with, I've also challenged you with some precise bending and vibrato to get a smooth, flowing feel that is almost Eastern flavoured. So, altogether you should be feeling the benefits in the following areas:

    -Use of Half / Whole Diminished scale

    So, embrace the dark side and get going on this lesson!

    Tuning: E A D G B E - Standard Tuning

    Tempo: 140 bpm

    Gear: Nick Crow 8505 Amp Plugin, Guitar Suite Tube Screamer, Poulin LeCab 2.


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