There are two types of diminished
scales, both are constructed by alternating whole steps (whole tones
) and half steps (half tones
- Whole step half step (abbreviated WH). A C WS would be: C, D, Eb, F, F#, Ab, A, B
- Half step whole step (abbreviated HW). A C HS would be: C, Db, Eb, E, F#, G, A, Bb
Note for improvisor
s: The HW diminished scale outlines a dominant seventh chord
with a lowered ninth and fifth. For example, C7b9b5 is C E Gb Bb Db, so it is a good choice to use over such chords. John Coltrane
used this alot.
The WH diminished scale outlines a diminished chord, and can be used over such chords.
Important: do not confuse the two, as they sound radically different!