A diminished scale is a 8 tone scale that has intervals that alternate between whole-steps and half-steps. For instance a diminished scale interval map would be W H W H W H W H. This scale is great for using in finger exercises because it is symetrical. I’ll go over a couple today.
Much like diminished 7th chords, there are only 3 different diminished scales (subject to enharmonic changes). They are as follows:
Eb or F#/Gb or A or C diminished scale: [ Eb, F, F#, G#, A, B, C, D, Db ]
D or F or Ab or B diminished scale: [ D, E, F, G, Ab, Bb, B, C#, D ]
Db or E or G or Bb diminished scale: [ Db, Eb, E, F#, G, A, Bb, C, Db ]
If you can’t see what I mean by there are only 3 different diminished scales, let me explain. Lets look at the first scale. If we start on the Eb we get an Eb diminished scale [ Eb, F, F#, G#, A, B, C, D, Db ]. But if we start on the A, we get an A diminished scale [ A, B, C, D, Db, Eb, F, F#, G#, A ]. Therefore the same set of notes can give us multiple diminished scales.
Here is one pattern that can be used to play the scale on guitar:
The first exercise plays the scale linearally across one string.
The next exercise is from the Dream Theater song Octavarium. The exercise starts at 1:08 into the video.
(click to enlarge)
If you have any questions or comments, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.