Half-Whole Diminished Harmony for Jazz Guitar

(Image credit: Cindy Moorhead)

One of the most commonly used scales in jazz guitar, yet trickiest to get under your fingers, is the half-whole diminished scale.

Used to solo over 7b9 chords, which pop up quite often in the standard jazz repertoire, this eight-note scale yields a ton of great-sounding jazz guitar lines. Yet it often is one of those scales we struggle to get onto the fretboard in a convenient fashion.

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Matt Warnock is the owner of mattwarnockguitar.com, a free website that provides hundreds of lessons and resources designed to help guitarists of all experience levels meet their practice and performance goals. Matt lives in the UK, where he teaches Skype guitar students all over the world, and is an examiner for the London College of Music (Registry of Guitar Tutors).