Half-Whole Diminished Scale - Lesson 2

In this lesson we're going to continue looking at the Half-Whole Diminished scale. We'll do that by taking the scale fingering we looked at in the first lesson, and then learning to play it using two different melodic patterns. So if you haven't yet memorized the scale fingering from that lesson, then it's definitely worth doing that now before reading any further.

All done? Great! Let's now take a look at the first exercise...

C Half-Whole Diminished Scale: Melodic Pattern Exercise 1

Half-Whole Diminished Scale: Melodic Pattern 1

This exercise is a great one to help you develop your alternate picking technique. It also uses some quite awkward fretting-hand movements in places. And if you use lots of distortion, like I did on the videos below, it can be a little tricky to play cleanly. So the usual advice of starting off super-slowly and gradually building speed is probably good advice to follow. :-)

Rythmically, the exercise is played using sixteenth-notes. This means that you will need to play four evenly-spaced notes per click of your metronome. With that said, I feel that it's always a great idea to experiment with playing the exercise using different subdivisions. This helps you to become more rhythmically versatile, which can only help your soloing ability!


Let's now look at the second exercise...

C Half-Whole Diminished Scale: Melodic Pattern Exercise 2

Half-Whole Diminished Scale: Lick 2

Like the first exercise, this one is played using sixteenth-notes. But because it uses a lot of hammer-ons and pull-offs, it has a much smoother sound than the first exercise.

To play each six note fragment of the exercise you'll need to do the following...

  • Pick the first note using a downstroke.
  • Hammer-on the next two notes.
  • Pull-off the next two notes.
  • Pick the last note using an upstroke.

One thing to watch out for are the fingerings that I'm using on the thin E-string and the G-string. Have a look at the TAB now and you'll notice that I'm using fingers 1,2 and 3 to fret the notes. This is what feels most comfortable to me for this exercise, but you might want to use fingers 1, 3 and 4 if my fingerings don't feel good to you.


A Few Last Words

I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Be sure to work hard at the exercises because in the third lesson I'll be giving you some ideas on how to apply the Half-Whole Diminished scale in your playing. And if you're struggling to physically play the scale, then applying it will be a lot more challenging! :-)

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