Symmetrical Scales: The Whole Half Diminished Scale
Symmetrical Scales are scales that are marked by interval patterns within one or two octaves. There are four types of Symmetrical scale based around one or more interval patterns repeated in a cycle. They are particularly useful for improvising over extended and altered chords
Whole Half Diminished Scale
The Whole Half Diminished scale is built up by repeating a pattern of a Whole Tone interval followed by a Half (or semi) Tone interval as you move up the scale from the root note and is constructed as follows:
R 2 b3 4 #4 #5 6 7 R
Or in the key of C:
C D Eb F F# G# A B C
The Whole Half Diminished Scale can be used to solo over any Diminished or Diminished 7th chord. Make sure you learn it in all 12 keys to ensure full mastery of the scale and then practice playing it over a Diminished Chord to hear how it works.
Once you have these scales mastered, pick a standard out of your jazz repertoire and incorporate these in the relevant places to add some colour and diversity to your solos!
by Matt Warnock
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