Altered Scale

Altered scales are used predominantly by jazz musicians to produce interesting tensions when improvising over dominant seventh chords. Altered scales are the same as jazz minor scales played a semitone higher, so you only really have to learn one to play the other. For example, the A altered Scale uses the same notes as a Bb jazz minor scale. If you know the Bb jazz minor scale, you also know the A altered scale!

Altered Scale Guitar Diagrams

In the altered scale guitar diagrams below, the root notes are shown as white circles.

altered scale guitar

Altered Scale Shape 1

Altered Scale Guitar

Altered Scale Shape 2

Altered Scale

Altered Scale Shape 3

altered scale guitar

Altered Scale Shape 4

Altered Scale Guitar

Altered Scale Shape 5

Guitar Music Theory

Altered Scale Theory

An altered scale contains the same notes as a jazz minor scale played a semitone higher, e.g.: an G altered scale contains the same notes as an A flat jazz minor scale.

When played over Dominant Seventh chords, altered scales provide the following altered notes that will create tension: b5, #5, b9, #9

Notes in an altered scale

The notes in a G altered scale are: G, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, F, G

The A flat and B flat are respectively the flat nine and sharp nine tones, the C flat and D flat notes are respectively the flat and sharp five notes.

Hear an example guitar solo using the altered scale, and play your own over a backing track here: How To Use Altered Scales.

guitar scales chart

Guitar Scales Chart Download - Click On Image For Details

Related Pages:

Whole Tone Scale

Jazz Minor Scale

Diminished Scale Guitar

Guitar Scales Chart


Posted in Scales For Lead Guitar | Tagged , |

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