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Diminished Scales

Semitone/whole-tone scales



This page in the Diminished Scales mini-series considers the diminished scales played and heard with the half-step (ascending) first, instead of the whole-step.

The
Diminished
Scale

DimSca 1

DimSca 2

DimSca 3

DimSca 4

DimSca 5

Semitone/whole-tone diminished scales

Playing diminished scales with the half-step first, instead of the whole-step, is appropriate and/or desirable in some harmonic contexts.

Consider these examples.

This is the standard whole-tone/semitone diminished scale with the diminished chord-tones on the beat (accented).

(Here is the video of this section.)


Next, here is the semitone/whole-tone diminished scale, i.e. the original scale with the whole-tone/semitone steps swapped round - but still with the diminished chord-tones accented (on the beat).

Not as musical, especially descending!

Now here is the first example again, but with the non-chord tones of the diminished scale accented (that is, the notes a semitone below the diminished chord tones on the beat).

Much more interesting, musically. The right hand plays the same semitone/whole-tone diminished scale (ascending) as the first example, but 'from the semitone' and with the non-chord tones accented.

These are the semitone/whole-tone diminished scales you're going to learn.

The white-key tonics

Again, we'll use the rationalized set of just three white-key tonics: C, D and E.

Here's the demonstration video of those three scales.


Now for the black-key tonics.

The black-key tonics

The group-of-three black keys give us a representative set of scales to practice. The right hand always starts on a white key - 'the semitone'.


Now go on to Page Five of this series, and practice some patterns made of segments of the diminished scales. These patterns, and the fingering challenges they present, are typical of practical music-making and improvisation.

The
Diminished
Scale

DimSca 1

DimSca 2

DimSca 3

DimSca 4

DimSca 5


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