#1
Okay, so I'm tired of both the pentatonic and minor/major scales, and wanted to try the diminshed scale, which sounded a bit interesting. However, after lots of googling, I haven't found all the advice I'm looking for, which brings me to this thread.

So here's the scale in Em, right? Correct if wrong.

|----------------------------------------------12-13-15-|
|-------------------------------------12-14-15----------|
|----------------------------12-13-15-------------------|
|-------------------12-14-15----------------------------|
|----------11-13-14-------------------------------------|
|-12-13-15----------------------------------------------|

Questions:

1. What chords and progressions would be good for backing? I'm guessing there's gonna be a diminished chord or two in there somewhere (yes, really!), but what different possibilites do I have? Tab would be nice so I can see how the chords are, but this isn't vital.

2. If I write a more riff-like backing (using single notes), should I stick to the scale for best effect?

3. Can you recommend a song or two that uses the scale, particularly in an interesting way. I'm more interested in using the scale in an 'evil' fashion than in a jazz purpose (though that would be interesting to try, though I doubt my bandmates will agree with that).

Thanks in advance.
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Quote by potassium_39
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#3
Check out a song called Dreaming by Boys Night Out. There second CD uses alot of diminished stuff throughout it all. The beginning riff to Dreaming has some diminished notes in there, aswell as the very end riff that goes on. Check it out, if you are interested in the other songs on the CD, the CD is called Trainwreck, check it out.

That's the opening riff to the song, just to give you an example.


E-------------------
B------------------
G------------------
D-----------------
A-----6----------
D-8-5---9-7-9---


Closeing riff.

e|----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------7----7-9-----------------------------------|
D|-2---5--7--4--2---9------------2---5--5-----2-------------9-7-9-| x2
A|-2------------2--------9-------2---------7--2--------6----------|
D|-2------------2----------------2------------2---8--5------------|
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Last edited by CNC-Digity at Jun 24, 2008,
#4
There's actually two diminished scales. both alternate whole and half steps, but one starts with a half step for the first interval, and the second starts with a whole step. people use both, and they're often interchangable. someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Quote by allislost
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#5
I recommend that you forget about the diminished scale and focus on learning the notes all over the fretboard, and learning the theory behind the major scale. If you think of scales as box shapes, you aren't ready for anything beyond the major scale.
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#6
As aetherspear said there are 2 Diminished scales.

1. Whole-Half
2. Half-Whole (aka the Dominant Diminished scale)

1. The W-H scale is used over Diminished 7th chords, and it can be harmonized by playing a Dim 7th chord from the root (in this case E), a whole tone above, and a semi tone below. So it will be E, F# amd D# diminished 7th chords.

Your E W-H scale is:

E F# G A A# B# C# D#

It is a symmetrical scale and has 8 notes, therefore one letter must be repeated twice. It doesn't matter which letter you repeat (I got a bollocking for this in another thread!)

2. The H-W scale is commonly used over Dominant 7th chords, it helps to create sounds from 'outside' if you like.

The Dominant and Diminished relationship is found by looking at Tritone substitution between the V and vii chords in the major scale. Use C major for simplicity since it has no accidentals and look at the tritones in G7 and Bm7b5 for yourself.

3. There is also the Whole Tone Scale which can be used over Dominant 9b5 chords and augmented chords.
Last edited by mdc at Jun 25, 2008,
#7
furthermore, the Half-whole (Dominant Dimished) can be seen as the only 'mode' of the Whole-half diminished scale.
#8
I dont particularily like symetrical scales (whole tone, half/whole, whole/half). They're great for writing some quick licks/scalar runs to build some dissonance, but I wouldnt suggest writing songs based around them.

The best scale for writing songs (of any genre, style or feeling) is the major scale.
#9
Quote by demonofthenight

The best scale for writing songs (of any genre, style or feeling) is the major scale.


that's a pretty damn big statement. mostly because unless you're going to be taking from parallel minors and doing chord substitution, the major scale is a bit more limiting than minor scales. now i know its not necessarily true that more options = more depth of feeling, etc. i just don't really know how you justify saying that major scales are "the best."

EDIT: when i said chord substitution i wasn't talking about simply using chord "families" but also diminished and tritone subs.
#10
To thread starter;

1. Diminished seventh chords. You couldn't really create a decent progression using the diminished scales (as far as I know) but if you're playing over a progression and a dim 7 chord comes up you could use it to a good effect then.

2. Yes.

3. Octavarium by Dream Theater has a long instrumental section that makes extensive use of the Diminished scales. This is the bit I'm talking about, but listen to the song all the way through to see how it's used to effect.
#11
Quote by sisuphi
that's a pretty damn big statement. mostly because unless you're going to be taking from parallel minors and doing chord substitution, the major scale is a bit more limiting than minor scales. now i know its not necessarily true that more options = more depth of feeling, etc. i just don't really know how you justify saying that major scales are "the best."
It's the best for people who are just beginning to write music. Virtually every chord harmonized from the straight major scale will want to move to and from the I chord, you can resolve anytime you want. Also, you can keep to the same 7 notes without sounding too disjointed and still resolve to the right note. Except sometimes I'd use a #4 as it moves nicely to the 5'th. Alot less thinking is needed, which is great for the beginner who just wants to write a nice sounding song.

With the modes, you are limited to a few chords which will resolve the way you want them to resolve, instead of to the I chord of the parent scale. Resolving to the major I chord of the parent scale will cause you to loose all modal effect.

Progression around the minor scale will resolve to the Major I chord (the III chord of the minor scale), if you dont substitute some chords. You end up having to change 3 or 4 chords. Concerning the melody, a couple of the notes will have to be changed periodically so as the melody doesnt sound disjointed, but still resolve to the right note.

Convinced?

EDIT: also, are you a multi of MDC?
#12
fair enough, i see where you're coming from. i'm not convinced in the sense that i think the major scale is the best, but i do agree with you when it comes to composing and the like for people new to theory. i see what you mean about minor scales/keys (namely substitution-less minor keys or "pure" minor keys as it were).

what would a multi of MDC even be? i'm not sure what you're asking. EDIT: ahh, i understand what you're asking. no i'm not.
#13
Quote by demonofthenight
I dont particularily like symetrical scales (whole tone, half/whole, whole/half). They're great for writing some quick licks/scalar runs to build some dissonance


I agree. I tend to incorporate them into blues phrases. E.g Steal a Clapton type lick and then just add those 'outside' notes.
#14
Quote by Dante's Inferno


1. What chords and progressions would be good for backing? .


You can sub 3 other dim 7 chords for one dim 7 chord if that makes sense, cos they all have the same notes. You could use that as a quick chord progression.

Edim7, Gdim7, Bbdim7 and Dbdim7.

A good example is "Big Bad Moon" by Joe Satriani.
#15
The diminished scale is often used by Jazz players over altered dominant chords. the scale will give you the b5, b9, #9.
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#16
Okay, TONS of great tips here, people. Glad you all could help. I'm going to store this, because it is a lot to digest at once, but I'll go out there now and try to write something diminished still.

Cheers!
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Quote by potassium_39
dude your a walking talking metal making expert!!!

i bet this person sucks so bad emo people laugh

^0wned^