Mike Zatezalo

My specialties lean towards rock, blues/R&B/soul and metal with maybe a little jazz and country thrown in for...

Diminished Arpeggio Exercise

This is an exercise that I often use as a warmup, but also serves as a nice way to practice diminished arpeggio shapes and chromatic runs together.

This is an exercise that I often use as a warmup, but also serves as a nice way to practice diminished arpeggio shapes and chromatic runs together.      The diminished (or to be more precise, "full diminished") arpeggio within any key is built from the diminished scale, which is a nine (yes, nine) note scale using the following intervals:      1 - 2 - m3 - 4 - dim5 - aug5 - 6 - 7 - 8       The diminished arpeggio, incorporates the following intervals from this scale:     1 - m3 - dim5 - 6   The exercise shown in this lesson begins with a diminished arpeggio line in the key of E.  A diminished arpeggio in the key of E would have the following notes:      E - G - Bb - C#   Diminished arpeggios are very useful for creating "tension" when soloing and are also popular for guitarists because of the fact that subsequent inversions of the arpeggio can use the exact same shape patterns shifted up, or down, three frets.   So, for example, if you play a diminished arpeggio shape that begins on the 9th fret of the G string (E), you can play the first inversion of this arpeggio by simply playing the exact same shape starting on the 12th fret of the G string (G)   The Chromatic scale is comprised of the 12 semitones of a traditional octave.   So on guitar (or piano), you have 12 half steps…basically every "fret-able" note (or "key-able" note on piano).   "Chromaticism" is often a great way to link different phrases within a solo while also adding some interesting tonality.  In the example exercise, I use it to link between different inversions of the diminished arpeggios I'm using and to move down the neck of the guitar.   For this particular exercise, I tend to use strict alternate picking, but you could easily use some economy picking as well if it is more comfortable.   As with any exercise, start slowly with the metronome at a comfortable speed and gradually increase the speed only after you can play the passage mistake-free.   In the audio file I play the exercise slowly, then fast.   On the fast portion I actually do an extra set down one fret.   Basically the pattern is exactly the same (from beginning to the middle of the 2nd line is one "rep", then it repeats one step down) and just ends up shifting one fret down, so you can just keep going with this until you run out of frets, which is why I think it makes a nice exercise.    

This is an exercise that I often use as a warmup, but also serves as a nice way to practice diminished arpeggio shapes and chromatic runs together.

The diminished (or to be more precise, "full diminished") arpeggio within any key is built from the diminished scale, which is a nine (yes, nine) note scale using the following intervals:

1 - 2 - m3 - 4 - dim5 - aug5 - 6 - 7 - 8

The diminished arpeggio, incorporates the following intervals from this scale:

1 - m3 - dim5 - 6

The exercise shown in this lesson begins with a diminished arpeggio line in the key of E. A diminished arpeggio in the key of E would have the following notes:

E - G - Bb - C#

Diminished arpeggios are very useful for creating "tension" when soloing and are also popular for guitarists because of the fact that subsequent inversions of the arpeggio can use the exact same shape patterns shifted up, or down, three frets. So, for example, if you play a diminished arpeggio shape that begins on the 9th fret of the G string (E), you can play the first inversion of this arpeggio by simply playing the exact same shape starting on the 12th fret of the G string (G)

The Chromatic scale is comprised of the 12 semitones of a traditional octave. So on guitar (or piano), you have 12 half steps…basically every "fret-able" note (or "key-able" note on piano). "Chromaticism" is often a great way to link different phrases within a solo while also adding some interesting tonality. In the example exercise, I use it to link between different inversions of the diminished arpeggios I'm using and to move down the neck of the guitar.

For this particular exercise, I tend to use strict alternate picking, but you could easily use some economy picking as well if it is more comfortable. As with any exercise, start slowly with the metronome at a comfortable speed and gradually increase the speed only after you can play the passage mistake-free. In the audio file I play the exercise slowly, then fast. On the fast portion I actually do an extra set down one fret. Basically the pattern is exactly the same (from beginning to the middle of the 2nd line is one "rep", then it repeats one step down) and just ends up shifting one fret down, so you can just keep going with this until you run out of frets, which is why I think it makes a nice exercise.

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For reference, here is the Diminished Scale in the key of E along with the Chord.