Andrew Wasson
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Using The Major Scale Modes


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"Outside" the Blues Scale... Using the Half-Whole



The Half-Whole scale or sometimes called, “Dominant Diminished” is an excellent scale
for Dominant Seventh chords. It should not be confused with the Whole-Half or, “Diminished
Scale.” The Diminished Scale is better applied upon a Diminished Chord, where the Half-Whole, (Dominant Diminished) is better applied with Dominant Seventh chords.

The initial movement of intervals in the Half-Whole gives us a “b9” interval and a “b3.”
The altered 9th makes this scale perfect for Dom.7th chords with a “b9.”

The “going outside” sound of players like; “Larry Carlton,” “Mike Stern,” and “Robben Ford,” can be largely associated to their use of the Half-Whole scale. The major scale and their modes offers only seven notes, however the Half-Whole offers us eight notes. There are dozens
of patterns for this scale, but like you may have noticed with other scales, you don’t have to learn them all to begin making some cool music.




Handouts for this Lesson:

Blues Jam Chart
MP3 Jam Track