Exotic Scales: Diminished Scale

This scale is formed using the 1st, b3rd, b5th, and 6th, notes of the major scale. In the key of 'A' that would be, A, C, D#, and F notes.

Starting the scale on the 6th string - 5h fret, you have a nice pattern going up the notes.

Diagram 1:


If you prefer tablature, it would look like this:

Diagram 2:


You can also play this in the position behind the root note: Start with the 3rd finger on the root-note, 'A'.

Diagram 3:


It is quite effective to move up and down the fret-board sequencing the first 3-notes scale-shape, (not the actual notes, just the shape) using the 3rd finger, 1st finger, 4th finger. Starting at the octave, it would look like this:

Diagram 4:


By now you have noticed that all the scale shapes repeat, every four frets, to create a succession of minor 3rd shapes (first finger/fourth finger). You can move the whole pattern in diagram 1 (above) from the 5th fret to the 8th fret and repeat the pattern. Then you can move the whole pattern to the 11th fret, 14th fret, etc. Also, you can move it backward to the 2nd fret. Doing this you can learn the whole fret-board for the diminished scale in the key of A. And, of course you can transpose this scale to any key.

As always, if you have any question about this article or any other article I have posted on Guitar9.com, feel free to email me.

Until next time... K.O.R.!

Michael Knight is a composer and guitar player from Floral Park, NY, who has released several independent CDs on his own label, Knight Music Productions.

His latest CD is entitled "Electric Horrorland", another musical descent into the darkest depths of the abyss.

Michael Knight