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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MICHAEL BRECKER JAZZ IMPROVISATION Lick Quick Analysis

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CHROMATICS AND CELL [TETRACHORD] REPLICATION 

Michael brecker  jazz improvisation part 2 replicated cells

In this example can see how Michael Brecker weaves in and out of the harmony with a replicated cell that descends in minor 3rds.

4 note  cell

Michael brecker  jazz improvisation part 2 replicated cells

2 cells descending in minor 3rds replicated

replicated cells in minor 3rds for jazz improvisation

We can now look at the whole line and see and hear where the descending replicated  cells in minor 3rds start and how they serve their purpose.

Michael brecker  jazz improvisation part 2 replicated cells

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John Mclaughlin “Dominant” D7#9 Fusion Guitar Lick analysis

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John Mclaughlin analysis of how to improvise over Dominant chords example

Hi Guys,

Just another “Quick” fire lick today from legendary guitar great John Mclaughlin!

This is a short lick doubled in unison with strings [or synth] and played in double time. It employs strict alternate picking starting on a down stroke. The lick exploits two “Dominant” chords, D7#9 and D7#9#11.

John Mclaughlin Guitar Lick:

John, Mclaughlin, "Dominant", D7#9, Fusion, Guitar, analysis
John Mclaughlin analysis of how to improvise over Dominant chords example

Ascending John employs a simple pentatonic scale that exploits both the #9 [F natural] and the Major 3rd [F#]. Descending he employs the F melodic [jazz] minor scale.This is because the second dominant chord exploits the #11 [Ab]. It also creates an augmented flavour with the #5 [Bb] note]. This finally resolves to GMaj7#11 with an F#m9 arpeggio that finishes on the C# note [#11 of Gmaj7#11].

Although this line follows musical logic it is also slightly ambiguous which in turn creates an interesting and more original sound:

LICK:

John, Mclaughlin, jazz, fusion, guitar,  lesson,
John Mclaughlin “Dominant” Double Time Fusion Guitar Lick

VARIATION with Chromaticism:

John, Mclaughlin, jazz, fusion, guitar,  lesson,
John Mclaughlin “Dominant” Double Time Fusion Guitar Lick

PDF FILE:

PDF 2:

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