Giant Steps using the Symmetrical Diminished

by | Jazz Improvisation

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been fascinated by the symmetrical diminished scale!  And I know that this is also the case with so many jazz musicians we all look up to. For example, the late Pat Martino used the symmetrical diminished as the source from which he derived all his chord voicings. On the classical side, Nicholas Slonimsky explored many of its possibilities in his Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns. And you know who in jazz first derived a wealth of ideas from this book? …John Coltrane! As a matter of fact, Giant Steps is based on one of Slonimsky’s exercises.

So I bring all of this up because a number of years back, I myself started to explore how the symmetrical diminished scale relates to Giant Steps. I asked myself, Is there a way to bridge the main notes of it’s 3 key centers using 1 symmetrical diminished scale?” That is the fascinating topic of this lesson!


The “Symmetrical Diminished Lines” Files can be downloaded for $8.00.  The download includes:  A PDF featuring regular notation and TAB of all the lines, as well as MP3s  and Band In A Box files which you can use to practice all of it if you have the software.

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