Axe of Creation: Diminished Riffage!

What’s going on everyone!? Welcome to another installment of Axe of Creation here at the wonderful Gear Snobs. This month, we will be looking how to incorporate the sweet and sour tensions of the Diminished Scale. We’re breaking out our 7 strings for this one but don’t fret if you’re without. Just base it off whatever your lowest string is!


First things first, we need to take a quick look at what we’re working with. So, we will be using the B (H/W) Diminished Scale. What!? What the hell is h/w, Gregory? Calm down italicized voice in my head, I’ll tell you. It stands for Half/Whole. Which is how the scale is constructed, by the repeating sequence of half and whole steps.  Now, you’ll LOTS of hidden chords and harmony lurking in its enharmonic depths but this month we’ll just be focusing on the overall diminished heaviness.  All we’ll need for that is some good tritone clusters and a diminished arpeggio…three octaves!!!

AOC_GS_Sept 1AOC_GS_Sept 2

Bring on the Riffage!!!

Okay, okay, it’s time to crush! Right away we’re playing a heavily accented riff and applying that aggressive sound of the tritone by playing one on in 6th position. Also, notice that the distance between the open B and the 6th fret is also a tritone. It all adds up to brutality. Taking a quick glance you’ll notice that we have essentially two “fills” with our riff. The First one blurs some harmony by playing a tritone on E then switching to an E major sound with the G#. The second fill is a tasty little “run”.  It starts by outlining two chords, a tritone cluster then a Bm chord. (There’s a B dim and Bm chord in this scale.) Then we throw in a cliche trill and descend down the scale.

AOC_GS_Sept 3

That wraps up part one of our September lessons. I hope you dig these heavy tritone based riffs as much as I do.  I’ll see you in part two, where we will explore and a couple of more riff ideas.



13483187_868947283235087_6689828817923588477_oGregory Arthur is Axe of Creation, a Gear Snob, and a Father of Two. He challenges you to become uncomfortable with yourself in attempts to gain a new perspective. Never give your energy away to what you’re not. Focus on what resonates within you and bring forth in creation. 

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