Etude 47-Diminished Scale Organized in 7ths

If you already know your diminished scales well, here’s a highly functional way for you to start thinking, hearing and playing wider intervals when you improvise. Take a look at the example below:

The first measure is a G7 arpeggio (to get the sound in your ear of the dominant 7th), moving into a simple melodic pattern in the 2nd measure based on all eight pitches of the diminished scale. The third measure is the same pitches of the second measure, but organized into two-note groups of major 7ths. The fourth measure is ta similar pattern, except each two-note group from the previous measure is reversed (mirrored).

Octave displacement a very effective way to add variety and angular color in your improvisations. When I first started working on consciously cultivating and applying a “wide interval” technique in my improving, this is how I began to work. By displacing the octave of a scale that I knew well (and could hear and imagine vividly), I was able to simultaneously increase my melodic vocabulary, while at the same time improving my air-speed/voicing skills on saxophone.

Make sure you begin practicing each pattern slowly and with a full, resonant tone, always anticipating the sound of the “shape “of the phrase. Increase the tempo gradually. If you’d like to explore wide intervals in improvisation in a more methodical and comprehensive manner, consider my e-book, The Vertical Saxophone. Click below to download the free pdf for this etude.

Diminished Scale Organized in 7ths pdf