Funkman's Delight #2 - Children of the
Damned (Diminished Scale)!
Regardless of whether it starts with a whole or a half step, the beauty of this scale lies in its ability to be broken down into smaller pieces of three, four, five (pentatonic) or six note (hexatonic) cells, whereby these groupings can be combined and spaced at intervals, usually minor thirds or tritones, to create some very hip longer lines.
The potential downside to this method is that the results of pure symmetry could end up sounding somewhat mechanical or mathematical. but for the sake of exploration and experimentation, that may not necessarily be a bad thing; at least as a starting point.
Besides, a lot usually depends as much on "how" you play something, as it does "what" you play; doesn't it?
But that's something for another post. In the meantime.......
Thus, this 6 note configuration is just two notes short of its 8 note parent diminished scale, but it gives us a leaner, meaner set of melodic material to work with.
The line in this exercise is 4 bars long and is meant to work over a static harmony, as in a "funk groove" type situation, among others.
Checking out Line #i, which consists of the triads B min. (B-D-F#) and F Major (F-A-C), and which in turn forms the hexatonic scale: B-C-D-F-Gb-A. The two missing notes from the parent diminished scale, in this case, are Eb and Ab (a perfect 4th).
Hearing this scale with "B" as the root of a B7 chord, each of the scale tones would then relate as follows:
B = root; C = b9; D = #9; F = #11; F# = 5; A = b7
Call it anything, but call it B7 b9 #9 #11.
Now check out the same Line #1, this time over D as the root, naming the same notes as part of a D7 chord.
Do the same for F and Ab roots.
If you hadn't noticed, B, D, F & Ab are ascending minor 3rds and spell a diminished 7th chord, whose roots are interchangeable and which divide the octave into 4 equal parts.
We'll be investigating more of the diminished scale and her many "offspring" in future posts. For now, have fun playing in the sandbox with this one.