Any tricks to using the half whole dim scale?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by ♫♪♫, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. ♫♪♫

    ♫♪♫ Member

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    I know I can use it over dominant chords...but what else can I do with it???

    Any tips on what notes to land on? etc.
     
  2. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Diminished scales are, as you said, used over dominant chords. However, since they are mainly used to create tension, like a diminished chord, you can use them whenever you want to create some tension.

    Since it is a symetrical scale, taking a section/lick and moving it around in a pattern, whole steps, minor 3rds, etc, will give you a cool effect, and can be used to help you jump around to different parts of the fretboard. If not used on a dominant chord, then you pretty much need to resolve to a chord tone of the target chord you are headed to.

    Those are the two ways I used them anyway. Hope that was the sort of thing you were looking for.
     
  3. ♫♪♫

    ♫♪♫ Member

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    thanks shihanderek, exactly what I was looking for!
     
  4. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Here's an uncommon usage

    Over Gmaj7 play "F#dim 1/2 whole"

    Also known as G diminished

    pretty cool
     
  5. funkycam

    funkycam Member

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    try it over minor 7s.
    listen to larry carlton play "so what" on the live record "last night"
    he throws a lot of 1/2 whole over minor 7s... v hip to my ear :)
     
  6. ♫♪♫

    ♫♪♫ Member

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    just curious...when playing this scale over improv....do you guys think of the scale formula at all...or just remember patterns?


    Im using patterns right now lol...and it seems to work fine.
     
  7. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I think of both. Since they are symetrical, there are only 3 different ones. You can treat any note in the chord as the root, so I see the different chords, plus I am thinking about the target notes.

    I just make the patterns I usually rely on fit within these parameters. Rereading this, not sure how much sense it makes.
     
  8. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    I usually "see" the pattern, but in relation to where I'm going is the most important thing. Instead of just running through that scale, I like to think how it's going to resolve to the next chord (usually on a chord tone).
     
  9. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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  10. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    I either a) think about the 4 note arpeggio and then use my ears as to the leading tone(s), or b) think about the chord I'm leading to and base the diminished notes off that.
     
  11. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    True. (I think)

    I just let the W-H thing lead me around by the gut, abandoning when necessary.
     
  12. fusion58

    fusion58 Member

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    First I learned the (dominant diminished, a.k.a., diminished half/whole) scale and its fingering patterns.

    Then I tried to learn as many idioms, licks, lines and phrases built from the scale as possible (an ongoing process in which I expect to be engaged until I buy the farm.)

    My favorite applications for the scale are:

    (a) Over altered dominant chords, (with a b9 or #9, and a nat13th.)

    (b) Over vamps on ambiguous chords, e.g., power 5ths, 5/2 chords, etc., (to create an exotic sound.)

    (c) Over progressions the roots of whose chords move in parallel with the scale, e.g., E dim half/whole over the progression Bb/E - C#/E - G/E - C#13(b9) - E13(#9) etc.
     
  13. JonR

    JonR Member

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    I agree with shihanderek, rockinrob and drsax - it's all about target notes on the next chord (melodic moves), as well as reflecting chord tones on the current chord.

    The dom7/HW-dim relationship is all about adding extra tensions to the V7 chord to resolve on to the following I chord. (It only works in a V7-I context, but the I can be major or minor.)

    Clifford's suggestion of G WH dim (F# HW dim) over Gmaj7 is an "outside" sound, designed to resolve back to Gmaj7. IOW, it's "opposite" to the current chord function (unlike the HW dim on a dom7).
    The "inside" notes are G, A, E, F# (1, 9, 13, maj7). The outside ones are Bb, C, Eb, F - each of these can (and has to) move by a half-step to a Gmaj7 chord tone - not necessarily directly, but eventually.

    In contrast, the D HW dim scale (on a D7 chord) is ALL "inside" notes, relative to that chord: 1, b9, #9, 3, #11, 5, 13, b7. Most of them will move by a half-step to a chord tone on the next chord - that's their purpose.

    The dim scale( either mode) is always a tension, IOW, and needs resolution of some kind.

    The advantage of the scale is its symmetry of course. As well as dim7 arps, you can get major and minor triad arps out of it too.
    So if you have (say) a D7(b9) chord, the D HW dim scale produces all the following arps: D, Dm, F, Fm, Ab, G#m, B, Bm
    And also 7th and 13th versions of each of those.
    Any of those chords can be played over the D7, arpeggiated in any combination.
    But the trick is to come out of it on to a target chord tone on the following chord - which is almost certainly G or Gm. (This is not too much of a limitation, as chord tones can include 6, 9 or maj7.)
     
  14. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Don't look for tricks so much as music - there's lots of music that uses these scale tones (Jim Hall's excellent "Careful", for one) and lots of chordal harmonies inside
     

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