The diminished scale is one of the most useful and versatile tools for jazz improvisers.

In this course, Juampy sites its use amongst the more daring jazz guitarists and composers.

Regularly used by ‘outre’ composers such as Bela Bartok and guitarists such as Alan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin and Adam Rogers, amongst many others.

Juampy starts outlining the construction of the diminished chords and harmonies.

He plays in a variety of contexts over a static dominant chord.

He then gives many examples of applying the diminished scale over altered dominant chords.There is a wide variety of ideas presented in this course including:

  • Playing a range of triad pairs to get great effects.
  • playing the scale horizontally to produce more melodic results.
  • the use of wide interval playing to create modern jazz sounds.
  • Playing “ascendant lines” (moving only upwards) to create great lines.
  • how to play the diminished scales over the blues. ( Many examples are given.)
  • compositional ideas.

Juampy often refers to his courses as “investigations”, and like an enthusiastic researcher / musician he delights in revealing myriad of unexpected applications of this scale.

One musical example is his beautiful and unusual soloing over the Jobim bossa nova standard, “How Insensitive”.
His fresh approach of using the diminished scale within this song leads the viewer to apply it in a fresh context to other musical contexts.

[Course Description by Mike Bryant]

From Juampy:

In this Master Class I show my ideas with  this marvelous symmetrical scale.  The diminished tonality is a big part of modern jazz sound and contemporary classical compositions.  The scale has many melodic variations and lots of possible triads and chords that, in modern player’s hands, these tools will become nice colors to add to their music.  Besides this, the  third minor symmetry that this scale has a spicy taste, a very modern flavor, that the student could hear in the music of Allan Holdsworth, John Coltrane, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, Adam Rogers, and many more.

The Diminished tonality is a must if the student wants to sound like the contemporary improviser .
Examples with phrases, licks, both scalar and triadic, applied to  easy blues progressions and famous standards, plus II V I   are shown in the video.
~ Juampy Juarez

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Class Content

The Diminished Scale: Theory and Practice
The Diminished Scale: Theory and Practice 00:58:00

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