Diminshed Scale

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:28 pm
by Derek • 3 Posts

I'm a newbie on the boards and wanted to see if I could get some advice. I've been playing guitar for around 7 years, but had TERRIBLE form. Over the last couple of months I discovered Pebber and have improved my technique ten-fold. I listen to metal and am trying to improve on soloing and have found out one of my weakness; diminished scales. For instance, The Diminished Scale (mi intervals) Page - 6, I have a hard time with the single note on the A string. I've been using a metronome on that scale for the last several weeks but have plateaued. Any advice on how to get through this? I apologize if this has already been asked somewhere else...

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RE: Diminshed Scale

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:45 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

To get good advice, I recommend you post a video playing through the pattern(s) that you feel you are struggling with. Please make sure we can see both of your hands, that you play with a metronome or drum track at a speed that you can handle, and that the audio is clear enough to hear both you and the clicks.

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RE: Diminshed Scale

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:24 pm
by Derek • 3 Posts

Yeah, I kind of figured that is what I would need, unfortunately, I do not have a camera on my computer. Do you have any tips on how your broke through a time you had plateaued?

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RE: Diminshed Scale

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:39 pm
by Cliff • 344 Posts

Hey Derek - I'm definitely one of the less technically able players on this forum. However, I feel recently I've climbed a couple of long-standing plateaus, so I'll mention what's worked for me in case it's any use:

Practice it really slowly, being very aware of how your fingers are falling - be sure to work slowly until you're making only the motions you want. I find that when I'm struggling with something, I'll tend to fret and pick too hard, and after a little while I notice the tension. So always try and stay relaxed, since what you're practicing slowly is hopefully going to be what you end up playing quickly.

As for speeding it up, a tip from Troy Stetina is to isolate the problem spot, and try playing just a few notes (maybe the two notes on the previous string) plus the problem note. Play as quickly (but cleanly) as possible. Once you have this nailed, add a note from earlier in the sequence, then a note from later, and so on. I've found doing this helps me find what's causing the sticking point.

With this particular scale, it may well be the right hand that's the issue (it would be for me). You could try using the same picking pattern but an easier left-hand pattern. Is that easier to play. If not, you know you need to work on the picking pattern itself.

Anyway, sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but hopefully some of it will prove useful.

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RE: Diminshed Scale

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:46 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

With no web-cam, and very little information to go on, it's pretty tough to help you. For example, we have no idea if you are only struggling with the one pattern you mentioned or if you also struggle with other patterns. We have no idea if you can pick on a single string. We have no idea if you have trouble switching strings using inside and/or outside picking. We have no idea if your hands are in jacked up positions. Etc, etc. If you can't pick up a cheapo webcam, then I recommend you read a bunch of other threads on this site and try to absorb as much of the technique based advice as you can. Then apply that advice to your situation.

The holidays are coming up. Save up and grab yourself a webcam. HD versions are cheap these days. The one I use cost like $40 at target and that was a couple years ago.

You can also check out this 2 part series and see if it helps you get past your wall.

Last edited Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:07 am | Scroll up


RE: Diminshed Scale

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:56 am
by uderoche (deleted)

Derek, I hope these free Pebber videos on Youtube can help you. A video of you actually playing would be best if you want someone to comment directly on your playing.

Pebber Brown Diminished Scale Concepts 1

Pebber Brown Diminished Scale Concepts 2

Pebber Brown Chromatic/Wholetone/Diminished Review

Diminished Backing Track

Pebber Brown What To Practice?

YouTube www.youtube.com/ursinderoche
Facebook www.facebook.com/ursinderoche
Twitter @ursinderoche

Last edited Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:08 am | Scroll up


RE: Diminshed Scale

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:57 am
by pebberbrown • 926 Posts

One very important thing to learn about the diminished scale is that there are three of them. The original diminished scale is also a diminished 7th chord arpeggio which is a series of notes separated by minor 3rd intervals.

Since the notes are a mi3rd apart they create a scale that is symmetrical. This is the diminished scale based on the vii dim7th chord in a harmonic minor key. Please note that a major key only produces a diminished TRIAD and does not produce a four-note Dim 7th chord - only a half-diminished (mi7b5) chord. The notes in the harmonic minor scale (7 -2- 4 b6) are equivalent to the 1-b3-b5-bb7 - if the 7th degree of the harmonic minor sale is considered to be the root of the diminished 7th chord.

This was was used by many of the the great composers from the 1600's onward to the 1800's - when more experimentation was done and the Russians - Scriabin mostly - created/discovered what is still referred to (in Classical music academic circles) as the "Octatonic Scale." This scale is a symmetrical scale comprised of 8 notes being a repeating halfstep-wholestep - or wholestep-hafstep combination.

To say "which diminished scale? the wholestep-halfstep one or the halfstep-wholestep one?" implies a typical uneducated vague understanding of what diminished scales are and what the structures produce. The original mi3rd diminshed scale is 1-b3-b5-bb7 (or 6). These notes outline the tonality of the diminished scale. The overtone series produces a b7 BEFORE the natural 7 so any scale with a b7 in it would have a stronger pull towards being a DOMINANT sound rather than a DIMINISHED sound.

The halfstep-wholestep scale produces the following notes:

1-b2-b3-3-b5-5-6-b7-1 of which outline the 1-3-5-b7 dominant 7th chord.

The wholestep-halfstep scale produces the following notes:

1-2-b3-4-b5-b6-6-7-1 of which outline the 1-b3-b5--6 diminished 7th chord.

the first scale produces a 3 and a b7 - which have a stronger tonal gravity than a b3 and a 6 - they produce a tritone
which naturally occurs in a Dom7th chords giving it its specific sound.

The scales are called:

1- The 8 tone dominant scale.

2 - The 8 tone diminished scale.

These scales were discovered in the 19th century by placing ONE regular diminished scale/arpeggio on top of another one either a halfstep apart or a wholestep apart from each other. So these are actually a combination of TWO regular diminished scales/arpeggios stacked on top of each other.

The symmetric nature of the note arrangement is originally based on taking the 12 note chromatic scale and dividing it into 12 notes (chromatic scale), 6 notes (two wholetone sclales), 4 notes (three diminished scales/arpeggios),
3 notes (augmented scale/arpeggio) and 2 notes (the tritone/"el diablo").

Jazz musicicans/improvisers tend to play a lot of altered V chords (b5, +5, b9, #9, #11, b13) to the symmetrical scales are the preferred choices for playing over these types of chords. Many modern composers and film score composers use these types of scales for specific tonal effects and structures as well.

-Which diminished scale?

Now you know.

Last edited Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:44 pm | Scroll up


RE: Diminshed Scale

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:53 pm
by Derek • 3 Posts

Pebber, thanks for the reply!

Cliff, that is a GREAT idea. I actually think I'll try that method as I think you could be on to something.

Thanks again!

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