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Dobro Lessons: Diminished Scales and Chords

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In this lesson, let's talk a little
bit about diminished scales and chords.
The diminished sound is a really
ear-catching sound and can be used for
a variety of different things.
The sound I'm talking about is this.
So, a diminished chord is,
basically can be substituted for a 5
[SOUND] It can resolve, it can create a
lot of tension, and
then resolve to like a major chord.
So, let me just show you a basic
diminished pattern,
you can refer to your music for this.
Now the interesting thing about
a diminished chord is there's not really a
root note, they, the chord,
the diminished chord kind of cycles around
And so, the way I tend to think of it is,
[SOUND] I use the top two strings as the
basis of,
for my diminished chord,
these two notes, and then this note.
So, that's your basic diminished triad.
It looks sorta just like a major triad
except you're raising the root note.
So if this, if I were in B,
B major, I raise the B to a, B flat,
excuse me, major,
[SOUND] I raise the B flat to a B,
play the other two notes as B flat, and
I've got a B diminished.
[SOUND] It's essentially a B minor with a
flat 5.
And then I can move that up three frets,
and it's all the same notes.
So, that's sort of how it's used,
I'll show you an example of where I might
use it.
I'm gonna go from a G chord to a C chord,
and on that C chord,
I'm gonna use this diminished scale to
then get me back to the G.
So, here's an example.
So what I was doing there is,
once I got to the C, I was just using my
top two
strings to create a diminished sound by
playing [SOUND] the C,
two notes in C going up three frets, mm
another three frets.
And by the time I get here, I've got my
eye focused on G on the twelfth fret, and
I might go up another three frets.
But I know where my end point is, so,
when you get into using the diminished
scales or chords, a lot of times,
it's not an end of itself, it's trying to
get you somewhere,
it creates tension, and then when you
resolve it, it's really nice.
So, once again, G to C to G using some
So that's one way that this can be used,
it can substitute for a 5 chord as well.
[SOUND] If you're in the key of G, and
you look at [SOUND] a couple notes here,
if you look at an F sharp diminished, so
you play your F sharp note,
and use this diminished chord,
you notice that it's all the same notes as
would be in a D7 chord.
So you can use it to
resolve to other chords.
Now, I've got some exercises here, I've
got the chords written out,
you can take a look at it, do a little
experimenting, and
see how you can incorporate some of these
diminished ideas.