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Sizzling Simplicity - Part 2 (Diatonic Movements)

by Mike Lindyn
www.GuitarKnowledgenet.com ©2004

Remember the objective of this lesson is to show easy ways to create something complex, diatonic movements are great for this. They can also drastically increase the amount of musical tools you have at your disposal. If you were to take every lick, riff and chord diatonically through the Major scale you would have seven times as much material.

In music, the term diatonic means “belonging to the scale” or “inside the scale”, so a diatonic movement is a movement inside the scale or a movement using notes that belong to a scale. In part 1 of this lesson we examined how we could take a simple finger pattern and move it a octave higher or lower to create longer, more complex sounding musical passages. Diatonic movements allow us to do the same thing but we are not limited to movements of only an octave. The basic idea to diatonic movements is this; you take a chord, lick, riff, or whatever, find out what key that musical passage is in and than move that musical passage one scale degree high or lower, then repeat this until you have figured it out over every scale degree. The down side to moving through the scale is that you have to learn different fingering patterns for just about every scale degree, but once you get the hang of it this is really not that hard (I do it now without thinking). In the example below all the finger patterns are indicated on the top of the staff as P1, P2, … so on.

Consider this an introduction to diatonic movements, since this is such an important concept I will be bringing it up many time in the future, and there will be a lesson on it in the Lesson Zone as well.

The first example on this page starts out exactly like the first example in Part 1 of this series, but instead of repeating main the finger pattern an octave higher we push all the notes up one scale degree. Notice that all the notes do not move up together, some move up a whole step, others move only a half step.

Examples 2 and 4 show longer finger patterns being moved diatonically through the scale. Example 4 is a great arpeggio run too, this example is in ¾ time….This was not indicated on the sheet music.

This works just as well for chord forms. It is recommended that every time you learn a chord fingering you find out where that chord exists in the major scale and move the form through the scale, learning every form that is created through this action. Example 5 shows the second inversion form of a 7th chord being moved through the Major scale. There is only a clean version of this example and I pick the chords out differently than shown.

            P1                  P2                      P3
           |----------------|  |----------------|      |----------------|

   Clean Example             Distorted Example

         P1                    P2                    P3                    P4
        |----------------|    |-----------------|   |-----------------|   |-----------------|

    Clean Example             Distorted Example

                 P1                  P2                  P3                  P4
                |---------------|   |---------------|   |---------------|   |---------------|

    Clean Example             Distorted Example

       P1                     P2                   P3                    P4
      |-----------------|    |-----------------|  |------------------|  |------------------|

    Clean Example             Distorted Example

              GM7         Am7          Bm7        CM7          D7          Em7     F# half dim 7

    Clean Example

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