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Using Diminished Arpeggios Sweeps

 

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Sweep Picking Series 6: More Advanced Applications

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In this lesson we will look at these little diminished arpeggios closer. Since they are symmetrical they can be easy to get used to moving around quickly. Essentially, these diminished seventh chords are stacks of minor 3rds. That means the the only interval between every note in all of them is a minor 3rd (or one and a half steps, 3 frets). So once you get a handle on one of them, simply slide it up and down 3 frets at a time and do the same sweep picking technique with the same shape in the new position.

These diminished chords can be viewed in either of two ways.

  • Diminished chords functioning as (vii dim) leading tone diminished chord.
  • Diminished chords functioning as (v) chords, dominant chords

    Notice, in either case, they have a Dominant function. They lead to the tonic (i) chord.

    So, in this example, I will use them in both ways! I will imply a II - V - i progression with these chords:

  • F# 7 flat 9 (II) or (V of V)
  • B 7 flat 9 (V)
  • E minor (i)

    When I am playing over the F# chord (V of V) I am using the diminished chords with the note A-sharp in mind as my reference. This is because it is the leading tone of the B chord we are moving toward. Then when I playing over the B chord (V) I am using the diminished chords with the note D-sharp in mind as my reference. This is because it is the leading tone of the E minor chord we are moving toward. Finally when the E minor arrives I play it in the form of a large swept arpeggio.

    Again, that's a lot of sweeping! Be careful and go slow at first until you can get it up to speed.

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