The diminished scale is an extremely creative tool. Due to the diminished chord’s symmetrical structure of stacked minor thirds, we have two options of diminished scales: half step-whole step and whole step-half step.
A major benefit to this scale is that you only have to learn it in three different keys since it repeats itself every minor third. Another useful aspect of its symmetrical and repeating nature is the use of scale patterns. Patterns can be a wonderful source of inspiration for solos as well as being useful in improving finger dexterity. And now for some practical applications:
In this example, the scale (whole step-half step) is played over a Dmin7 chord and ends nicely by leading into the third (G#) of the E7 chord.
This example is similar to the first but uses a different diminished scale over the same chord (Dmin7).
This is a nice long run over a G7 chord.
Here’s a pattern in the style of John Coltrane.