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A diminished pattern you hear a lot of Jazz musicians play

Posted on April 26, 2009 by Sweets

Here is a diminished pattern that you probably have heard a lot of Jazz musicians play in different variations. This diminished lick is very easy to learn and implement into your improvisation skills.

Diminished pattern - Jazz lick 17

Here is a sound sample played on trumpet:

How to memorize this diminished pattern in 12 keys:

Since this is another diminished pattern, you’ll only need to worry about memorizing the lick in 3 keys depending on which note you start on. You can see that this is simply a diminished scale going down with a half step up between each note of the diminished scale.

If you look closely, every first and fourth note of each group of 4 notes is just part of the diminished scale. This diminished lick is easy to learn on trumpet because the fingerings lay really well in all the keys.

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to “A diminished pattern you hear a lot of Jazz musicians play”

  1. Elise says:

    Interesting, never thought of it like that.

  2. michele says:

    why Ddim? this scale is for C Eb F# A dim. can you explain this to me?

  3. Sweets says:

    Thanks for pointing this out Michele.

    You can play the same pattern over C Eb F# or A diminished and it will probably sound just as good or better. I just picked D diminished because of the chord tone I started on.

    In the above example, I start on the 3rd of D diminished, as you go down the pattern, one & three (stronger beats) are being hit as diminished chord tones in the stacked minor 3rd succession. (F 1st, then D, then B, then Ab, then F, etc….)

    Hope this helps!!!


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