Skip to main content

Thrash Course with Dave Davidson: Investigating Two Forms of the Diminished Scale

These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the Holiday 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

In this month’s column, I’d like to discuss the diminished scale, which is a very useful scale for writing heavy, twisted-sounding riffs.

In fact, I used it for the primary riffs in the title track from the latest Revocation release, Deathless. There are two forms, or modes, of the diminished scale. One ascends in a repeating pattern of whole steps and half steps (whole, half, whole, half, and so on) and is referred to as the whole-half diminished scale.

The other form starts with a half step and ascends half, whole, half, whole, and so on, and is referred to as the half-whole diminished scale.