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Barry Harris' Diminished 6th Scale Theory

It's Just Two Chords - 1/2

I wanted to make this in two parts so that you can get the theory down before getting into technical exercises to actually practise it. It's not as complicated as it seems, this Barry Harris diminished 6 scale. There's two chords, the 6th and a whole diminished. You then play then in inversions. The symmetry provided by the extra note, the b6, is beautiful. Homework from this video is the experiment in new keys to play the major scale plus a b6, then play the 6th in root, first, second and third inversion and then the whole diminished in its 4 positions based on the 2nd of the major scale. It will all make sense!


Should you be interested in the Water Pianism Syllabus, the price is $100USD ($80 if you’re a registered member) and is only available via PayPal. I recommend reading the Syllabus Overview Document before contacting me ( for the payment address. I hope you will enjoy the concept and be interested in taking the journey.

I have a new playlist called Straight & To The Point which contains videos only 4-6 mins in length. You can find them of course by looking in the playlist or, if you happen to find one isolated, it will carry a red, 5-min logo in the thumbnail for instant recognition.

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Andrew Liao:  As a firm believer of Water Pianism (WP) philosophies, I have no doubt that the philosophical approach to piano established by “danthecomposer” has help me learn to play any Jazz repertoire systematically. Once I select a song I start listening to several recordings to be stored in my “internal jukebox”. Then, I dissect chord progression from a lead sheet. The basic song structure, including tempo, is then stored in my “internal manuscript” and “internal metronome”. Often I spend two to three weeks just to rehearse the aforementioned internals “away” from piano. When I am “at” piano, I focus on my natural fingering and steadiness of execution, not speed. Then, I play the repertoire over and over again to lessen conscious interference, subsequently becoming a spectator rather than a performer. Last, but not least, I work on improvisation and embellishment according to my music personality. At this point I should feel confident to play the repertoire fluently. I recommend highly the WP approach to anyone, especially to beginners who want to be a Jazz piano player.