Hey everyone, thanks for checking in. Last lesson we looked at learning some Dominant 7 arpeggios. This lesson let's take a look at what we call minor 7 (b5) otherwise know as half diminished.
Remember, an arpeggio is the notes of a chord played individually in succession. The notes are usually taken from a corresponding scale that the chord is related to. You need to be able to look at or hear a chord and know what notes are available to you in that chord to be able to build a bass line. Your knowledge of scales and arpeggios will help you to build better and more interesting bass lines.
Okay let's get started. Example 1 shows a one octave B Locrian scale which comes from the 7th degree or mode of C Major. I've included the the fingereings so please be sure to follow these. Once you learn these fingerings, you can apply them to all the Locrian scales. This is the scale that a minor 7(b5) chord is derived from.
Notice the difference between a B Locrian scale and the other two scales that you've learned so far. The B Locrian scale has a flat 2nd, flat 3rd, flat (diminished) 5th, flat 6th and flat 7. Everything is flat with the exception of the 4th degree.
Example 2 shows the notes taken from the B Locrian scale to form a B minor 7(b5) arpeggio. In just about every scenario, a minor 7(b5) chord is either written as such Bmin7(b5) or Bø to designate a half diminished chord. Just like all chords or arpeggios, you need the Root, third, fifth and seventh. In this case though, you need the Root (B), minor 3rd (D), dim 5th (F) and minor or flat 7th (A). These are the intervals that comprise a minor 7(b5) arpeggio, Root, minor 3rd, diminished 5th and minor 7th. So now that we see that a B minor 7(b5) arpeggio has a B, D, F and A in it, let's go ahead and play it using the fingerings that I've included.
Example 3 shows you one alternate fingering that will work as well. Be sure to learn and be proficient with both fingerings.
Now remember what you did with the Major 7, minor 7 and Dom7 arps? That's right, now you need to learn the remaining 11 arpeggios in one octave. Be sure to try to use the fingering pattern that you used on the B minor 7(b5) every chance you can. This will become a very familiar pattern to all the other arps as well. Play the Locrian scale first and then go ahead and figure out the arpeggio from there. Remember to say the notes as you play them too. This will help you to retain this information.
As you get comfortable with these arps, try experimenting with different combinations of the notes to write a bass line. When you really get good with them, try soloing!
As always, please feel free to email me anytime at for any and all questions. Until next time....