"Chapters Of Shred Guitar" - Scales of Choice Part 2
On the first page of "Scales
of Choice" we looked at the Major scale and the 7 modes which the scale has. For
a summary we learned the modes were;
Now we will look at
some of the more exotic scales that are used. All of these scales are based on a
mode from the major scale, but have either augmented (made higher) or diminished
(made lower) changes to particular notes to change the sound of the scale to
First we will look
at one of the favorite scale used by shred guitarists, the Harmonic Minor scale.
The Harmonic Minor scale has been used in all sorts of music, and can be
frequently heard in classical music. Because of it's unique sound this scale is
perfect for shred guitar licks. The scale is constructed from the Natural Minor
scale, or the Aeolian Mode, from the Major scale.
The notes for the Natural Minor
scale with a key of A are;
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A -
Natural Minor Scale (Aeolian Mode)
- Ionian ("Major")
- Aolean ("Natural minor")
A - B - C - D - E - F - G# - A -
Harmonic Minor Scale
Notice that the Harmonic Minor scale is the exact same
as the Natural Minor scale with 1 difference. It has a raised 7th. So apply the
raised 7th to the Natural Minor scale and we now have;
Just like the
Major scale the Harmonic Minor scale also has its own modes. I' am not going to
post a diagram for each one, but here is the notes for each of the modes. All
the modes here are in the key of A.
Harmonic Minor -
Ionian Augmented - A-B-C#-D-E#-F#-G#-A
Phrygian Major -
Besides the diagram
that I posted for the Harmonic Minor scale, I' am also going to post a diagram
for the 5th mode of the Harmonic Minor scale, "Phrygian Major" or, "Phrygian
Sharped 3rd". Shred guitarist always combine the regular Harmonic Minor
scale, and it's 5th mode.
A Diagram of
Phrygian Major is below (In the key of E)
Here are a few diagrams
for other exotic scales.
Double Harmonic (Gypsy, Byzantine)
Hungarian Minor (Algerian)
Arabian (Major Locrian)
Hirajoshi (allot of Jason Becker runs are based on this)
That should be enough scales
to mess around with until the next page, enjoy.