How Cory Henry uses the diminished scale for jazz/fusion improvisation

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Please watch video above for a deeper analysis

Hi Guys,

Today we have a quick look at how Cory Henry employs the diminished scale to good effect for an original and unique sound.

Firstly we will take the whole step half step diminished scale starting on the note C

diminished- scale- Cory- Henry
Whole step half step diminished scale starting on the note C

From this scale there are 4 “Dominant” Chords that move in minor 3rds:

4-Dominant-chords-diminished=scale
4 Dominant Chords of the Diminished Scale

These could also be Dom7#9

Dom7#9-chords-diminished-scale
4 Dom7#9 chords from diminished scale

These could also be Dom7[#9]b5 Chords

Dom7[#9]b5 -Chords-diminished-scale
Dom7[#9]b5 -Chords-diminished-scale

Each of these chords can also be a, minor 7th, minor7b5 and a diminished 7th chord/arpeggio

Example for the chord D:

D Dominant 7th

Dom7-arpeggio-diminished-scale
D7 Dominant Arpeggio in the diminished scale

D minor 7th

minor 7th-arpeggio- diminished-scale
D minor 7th arpeggio in the diminished scale

D minor7b5

minor 7b5-arpeggio- diminished-scale
D minor7b5 arpeggio in the diminished scale

D diminished 7th arpeggio

diminished 7th-arpeggio-diminished- scale
D diminished 7th arpeggio in the diminished scale

All 4 of the above arpeggios/patterns apply to F Ab and B also.

Remember that these Major chords can now also become minor as in the example below:

diminished-scale-harmony-major-minor-triads
Major becomes minor with the diminished scale

Okay, here is the key to Cory Henry’s improvisational approach!

He employs inversion of the “Triads” of these 4 Dominant chords in Major, minor, minor7b5 and diminished 7ths.

Triads-diminished-scale-inversions
“Triads” of 4 Dominant of the diminished scale in Major, minor, minor7b5 and diminished 7ths and inversions

He exploits this further by employing a “Slash” chord style harmonic approach:

slash-chord-Cory-Henry-approach
“Slash chord” Cory Henry diminished scale improvising approach

Another concept with which to stretch the harmony is to join the triads together over a dominant chord: [Maj, min, min7b5, dim]

triads-diminished-scale-Cory-Henry
Cory Henry style Joining “Triads ” of the diminished scale for Dominant improvisation

Here is a harmonisation of the diminished scale: Notice that the diminished scale is present in all 4 lines: Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass

Cory-Henry-diminished-chord-scale harmonised-SATB
Cory Henry diminished scale harmonised with the scale in all Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass

Lastly, a nice little sequence:

Cory-Henry-Diminished-scale-chord sequence
Cory Henry Diminished scale chord sequence

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Chick Corea Piano licks for Guitar

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2 Chick Corea Piano licks for Guitar examples

Hi Guys!

Just a quick look at two Chick Corea “Dominant” piano licks applied to the guitar.

[Please watch the video above for a deeper analysis].

LICK 1:

Chick, Corea, Piano, licks, for, Guitar,
Chick Corea Piano licks for Guitar

3/4 VARIATION LICK: 2

Chick, Corea, Piano, licks, for, Guitar,
Chick Corea Piano licks for Guitar

PDF CHICK COREA LICKS:

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Diminished Scale Secrets Part 1

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Before we look at the diminished scale it is worth noting that we can find  two different modes within the scale:

diminished, scale,
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts

To begin with we will use the E diminished scale as it is an easy guitar fingering.

diminished, scale, concepts
Diminished Scale Concepts

From the diminished scale we can use Dominant chords in Minor 3rds.

 

diminished, scale, jazz ,improvisation composition, music, theory, lesson, tab, notation,
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts

Tetrachord line ascending in Minor 3rds played over a C7 dominant chord.

diminished, scale, jazz ,improv, composition, example , tab
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts

Tetrachord Root flat 5 over C7 Dominant Chord

diminished, scale, jazz ,improvisation composition, music, theory, lesson, tab, notation,
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts

Below is a fingering that is from a John Mclaughlin sequence using the E diminished scale and is [To Me] a very comfortable fingering. The key is to connect each 4 not grouping [Tetrachord] with the 1s finger. This way the scale flows really easily and comfortably.

John, Mclaughlin, Jazz, guitar, diminished, scale , lick tab, music, notation
E Diminished Scale Jazz/Fusion music theory and composition lesson John Mclaughlin Style

C DIMINISHED SCALE:

diminished, scale, jazz ,improvisation composition, music, theory, lesson, tab, notation,
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts

From C diminished scale we go up in minor 3rds with 7#9’s

diminished, scale, jazz ,improvisation composition, music, theory, lesson, tab, notation,
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts

Here we Employ Minor 7ths in minor 3rds

diminished, scale, jazz ,improvisation composition, music, theory, lesson, tab, notation,
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts

Next we employ Dominant 7ths in Minor 3rds

diminished, scale, jazz ,improvisation composition, music, theory, lesson, tab, notation,
E Diminished Scale Jazz/Fusion music theory and composition lesson
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts

In this example we employ Slash Chords

diminished, scale, jazz ,improvisation composition, music, theory, lesson, tab, notation,
E Diminished Scale Jazz/Fusion music theory and composition lesson
Diminished Scale Jazz Improv and Compositions Concepts

To finish with we have some more chord ideas but this time from the g sharp diminished scale.

diminished, scale, jazz ,improvisation composition, music, theory, lesson, tab, notation,
Diminished Scale Jazz Improvisation and Fusion music theory lesson
E Diminished Scale Jazz/Fusion music theory and composition lesson

THE 13 FLAT 9 dominant chord

This is the common “Altered” dominant for this scale.

Below is a John Mclaughlin minor 7 flat 5 to a 13 flat 9 This has a masterful and great original fusion sound to it that avoids the predictable diminished cliche

diminished, scale, jazz ,improvisation composition, music, theory, lesson, tab, notation,
E Diminished Scale Jazz/Fusion music theory and composition lesson
Diminished Scale Jazz and Compositions Concepts

 

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