What comes to mind when you hear the word diminished?
A chord? A scale?
“Wait, is it whole-steps and half-steps…or the other way around?”
If you’re like most players, the diminished sound often creates more questions than answers…
But it’s a sound that the greatest players – from John Coltrane to Michael Brecker and beyond – have used to add harmonic complexity and melodic interest to their solos.
And it’s one that you can use in your solos as well…if you have the know-how.
You see, the premise of a diminished chord or pattern is simple, but when you start applying this sound to your solos, the details can get complex very quickly.
And this is exactly what we’re going to look at today…
Stacking minor thirds…
Before we start digging in to these diminished patterns, you need to start with an understanding the structure of the diminished chord.
And luckily it’s pretty straightforward, a fully diminished chord is simply a stack of minor 3rds…
Because the construction of these chords is symmetrical, there are only 3 diminished options: a stack of minor 3rds from C, from C#, and from D. That’s it – the pattern just repeats itself.
The most common way you’ll use this sound in your solos is over dominant chords. Applying this diminished structure over a V7 sound is an easy way to access the altered notes of a dominant chord in a logical way.
And again, since the construction of the structure is symmetrical … Read More