Improvising Workshop - Level 6

by Ivan Milenkovic

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  • Forget about: you either have it or you don't!
    Forget about: you are born with it!

    Improvising is a skill like any other, and it requires practice. Join me in this new series completely dedicated to improvising, starting from the simples of concepts and going to advanced stuff.

    No matter if you just started using pentatonic scale, or you are advanced user of various modes and arpeggios, this series is intended to help you improvise with whatever knowledge you have at your disposal. Who knows, it could be that this was the missing link for you, link towards more quality improvising.

    This lesson is the sixth in line, and today we will tackle the last chord of the major key: diminished (aka mb5) chord! This chord is specific because it features two minor third stacked on top of each other, other being flatted fifth in relation to the root. This creates tension in the sound and asks for resolution, so this chord is used usually as a transitional chord, before resolving or in climaxes to build tension. It requires specific treatment, as it features flatted 5th, and we will introduce the usage of whole-half scale over it as well.

    After watching this lesson, if you think you need to work a bit more on arpeggios or chords, check out these two series of mine, to systematically develop all the "tools" needed for improvising:

    Arpeggio Workshop Series

    Chord Workshop Series

    Gear used in the lesson
    - US 60th Anniversary Modded Strat, neck pickup
    - Focusrite OctoPreMKII ADAT converter/preamp into EMU1212m system
    - Cubase 5 DAW, with Amplitube 3 (Silverface amp with spring reverb and compression)

    Patterns used in the lesson:

    B locrian mode (position on the 5th fret):

    B diminished arpeggio:

    B whole-half scale:
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