Diminished Seventh Arpeggios | Guitar Lesson with Shapes, Fingerings and Licks
What's an arpeggio?
An arpeggio is a chord whose notes are played one at a time, it is a chord played like a scale. Arpeggios are quite easy to learn and mostly played in jazz and western music. It helps you create fluid and clear phrases over specific chords.
Diminished 7th arpeggio formula:
- Minor third (b3)
- Diminished fifth (b5)
- Diminished seventh (bb7)
The basic application of diminished 7th arpeggios is to play them over diminished 7th chords. For example, playing a G°7 arpeggio over a G°7 chord. However, you can play them over dominant b9 chords. The notes of a diminished arpeggio are identical to the notes of a dominant b9 chord a semitone lower.
G7b9 chord is made up of : G-B-D-F-Ab
Ab diminished 7th arpeggio is made up of : Ab-B-D-F
A diminished 7th arpeggio is built with minor third intervals, it is symmetrical. A minor third interval is made up of 3 semitones (3 frets on a guitar). It means that you can move any diminished 7th arpeggio positions up or down three frets and you will still find the same notes.
You can play four diminished 7th arpeggios over a G7b9 chord :
- Ab diminished 7th arpeggio
- B diminished 7th arpeggio
- D diminished 7th arpeggio
- F diminished 7th arpeggio
Related diminished scales
We find the diminished seventh arpeggios in diminished scales. These scales are the diminished scale and the dominant diminished scale.
|C dominant diminished scale (half-whole)||C||Db||Eb||E||F#||G||A||Bb|
|C diminished scale (whole-half)||C||D||Eb||F||Gb||Ab||A||B|
Arpeggios in the dominant diminished scale (half-whole)
The C dominant diminished scale contains eight diminished seventh arpeggios starting from each note of this scale :
- C, Eb, F#, A = C diminished 7th arpeggio / Cº7 chord
- Db, E, G, B = D diminished 7th arpeggio / Dbº7
- Eb, F#, A, C = Eb diminished 7th arpeggio / Eb7
- E, G, Bb, Db = F diminished 7th arpeggio / Eº7
- F#, A, Db, E = F# diminished 7th arpeggio / F#º7
- G, Bb, Db, E = G diminished 7th arpeggio / Gº7
- A, Db, E, G = A diminished 7th arpeggio / Aº7
- Bb, Db, E, G = Bb diminished 7th arpeggio / Bbº7
Arpeggios in the diminished scale (whole-half)
The C diminished scale contains 8 diminished seventh arpeggios starting from each note of this scale :
- C, Eb, Gb, A = C diminished 7th arpeggio / Cº7 chord
- D, F, Ab, B = D diminished 7th arpeggio / Dº7
- Eb, Gb, A, C = Eb diminished 7th arpeggio / Eb7
- F, Ab, B, D = F diminished 7th arpeggio / Fº7
- Gb, A, C, Eb = Gb diminished 7th arpeggio / Gbº7
- Ab, B, D, F = Ab diminished 7th arpeggio / Abº7
- A, C, Eb, Gb = A diminished 7th arpeggio / Aº7
- B, D, F, Ab = B diminished 7th arpeggio / Bº7
Diminished 7th arpeggio | Diagram 1 and fingerings
Here is a first guitar diagram with fingerings.
It is recommended to play it by starting with the lowest root by ascending and descending movement.
To play the A diminished 7th arpeggio starting on the lower root you must put your first finger on the sixth string at the fifth fret.
This diagram contains three roots (R), three minor thirds (b3), two diminished fifths (b5) and two diminished sevenths.
Pattern 1 w/intervals. Roots on the sixth, fourth and first string.
Pattern 1 w/fingerings
Diminished 7th arpeggio | Diagram 2 and fingerings
This second guitar fretboard diagram has two roots (R), two minor thirds (b3), three diminished fifths (b5) and three diminished seventh (bb7).
For example, to play the D diminished 7th arpeggio using these diagrams and starting with the lowest root, you have to put your first finger on the fifth string at the fifth fret.
It is recommended to play these arpeggios by starting with the root "R". This way you will hear them correctly.
Playing the corresponding chord after or before these arpeggios is a nice way to bring them together.
Pattern 2 w/intervals. Roots on the fifth and third string.
Pattern 2 w/fingerings
Diminished 7th arpeggio | Diagram 3 and fingerings | Diagonal playing
Here is a third shape using the diagonal playing.
To play the A diminished 7th arpeggio starting on the lower root (R) you must put your first finger on the sixth string at the fifth fret.
This position is easy to remember because of the symmetrical fingering. This way it's possible to exploit three octaves.
Pattern 3 w/intervals. Roots on the sixth, fourn and second string. Diagonal playing.
Pattern 3 w/fingerings
Minor II-V-I lick | A diminished 7th arpeggio
Here is a minor II-V-I sequence using the B diminished 7th arpeggio. This is a common chord progression very used in jazz music. In this line the B diminished arpeggio starts on the third of G7b9. It is a basic used of the diminished arpeggio.
- Bar one : D descending Locrian mode (D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C) with a passing tone (A).
- Bar two : B diminished 7th arpeggio (B-D-F-Ab) and chromatic line (F-F#-G)
- Bar three : Fifth and b3 of Cm.
This printable PDF eBook provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
Printable PDF eBook containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
This downloadable eBook in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 20 II-V-I jazz guitar lines with tabs and audio files both in major and minor keys
A printable PDF eBook with tabs and standard notation containing five jazz blues guitar studies. Learn how to use arpeggios over a jazz blues progression.
Jazz guitar comping. How to play II-V-I chord progressions on guitar with drop 2, drop 3 chords, rootless and inverted voicings. This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with analysis, tabs & standard notation.
This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis and scale charts.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks with tabs and standard notation in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson.These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.
The tritone substitution is explained through 6 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links. Printable PDF eBook.
Last edited: 02/17/2019