In the fifth installment of the series, our focus will begin to shift on application of the diminished idea into more pragmatic areas

More Detailed Diminished
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Let’s discuss other approaches to resolving the diminished idea. We know the traditional resolution of moving a half step up to a major chord or a whole step down to a minor chord. In this, the fifth installment of the series, our focus will begin to shift on application of the diminished idea into more pragmatic areas. The following examples illustrate diminished ideas in lines commonly used in the rock and blues guitar genres.

The Dorian scale (1 – 2 – b3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – b7) creates an easy way to implement the diminished concept and create a strange and beautiful tension that can be resolved without requiring any half or whole step movement. The sixth tone of the Dorian mode represents a diminished chord and is therefore perfect as a launching pad for diminished ideas.

One of the most common areas of melody for rock guitarists is the blues scale (1 – b3 – 4 – b5 – 5 – b7) .In the following examples we’ll take a diminished idea and combine them with this scale, providing the everyday guitarist with some great approaches. In each of the five examples given I’ll take a diminished line and then resolve into a cool blues lick. The diminished line provides the tension, while the pentatonic line resolves the tension.

We’re making good progress in our comprehension and application of diminished ideas into pentatonic and blues scales. If you have difficulty in understanding this lesson, please review the previous installments and feel free to contact me with any questions. Hang in there and I’ll see you next month here in Lethal Guitar, thank you for logging on and tuning in. God bless!

Ex. 1 - Download Example Audio

We descend with the A blues scale (A – C – D – Eb – E – G), then ascend with an ear-catching F# diminished arpeggio (F# – A – C – Eb) resolving on the tonic on the beat 1 of the second measure.

Ex. 2 - Download Example Audio

Begin with a descending F# diminished arpeggio beginning on C. Since the notes of a diminished chord are each a minor third apart, you can move this shape up three frets and play another inversion of the chord. This resolves into the A minor pentatonic scale in the 7th position.

Ex. 3 - Download Example Audio

Here we descend initially with the F# diminished starting on C and resolve into the A blues scale ala Jimmy Page.

Ex. 4 - Download Example Audio

This example begins with the F# diminished arpeggio beginning on the A and continues up before resolving into the blues scale on beat 4.

Ex. 5 - Download Example Audio

One of my personal favorites, start with an ascending five note diminished arpeggio and then resolving into the A blues scale in the ninth position.

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