Dec 092010

Diminished Scales

Diminished scales are 8-note scales and they are symmetrical. There are only 2 (enharmonically) diminished scales: One  is based on a hale/whole step formula; the other based on a whole/half formula.

Eight note scales are easy to practice with a metronome. I have found that the symmetrical nature of chords or scales makes fingering easier on guitar or piano, possibly other instruments.

The half/whole type of diminished scale goes well over a dominant 7th chord; the whole/half type fits well when played over a diminished or half-diminished chord, e.g., a  2-5-1 in a minor key.

In the chart below, the 1st 4 bars are simply the C diminished scale (half/whole) ascending and descending. Continue reading »

Dec 092010

Freddie Green played rhythm guitar for Count Basie’s various small and large bands.
If you are a Frank Sinatra fan, you probably heard either the Count Basie band, or the Nelson Riddle orchestra backing him up.

Basie played piano, and along with Freddie, the upright bassist and drummer they became an astounding rhythm section.< --more-->It was noted for its sparseness (Basie played a note here and a lick there-the opposite of Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum) yet it accomplished two things: It really did swing, and none of the rhythm players ever got in the way of each other or the rest of the band. Continue reading »

Dec 092010

We derive our scales from looking at the 12 chromatic tones, picking a note to start, or name the scale, and follow the pattern of whole/half step intervals for the subsequent notes as described above. For clarity, we switch to the numbering system (and we assume more than one octave to play with), to derive these simple permutations, by picking the starting note as the “next” note.

1 – 8 / 2-9 / 3-10 / 4-11 / 5-12 / 6-13 / 7-14 / and (8-15), or

C to C’ / d to d’ / e to e’ / F – F’ / G – G’ / a – a’ / b – b’

In the sheet music below you’ll see this illustrated.

Continue reading »