Category Archives: Scales For Lead Guitar

Japanese Scales

Japanese Scales

This page contains information on several Japanese scales, and includes guitar tab and fretboard diagrams.

There are several Western interpretations of Japanese scales. They are all pentatonic (i.e. made up of five notes). Each of them produces a slightly different sound, but all are instantly recognisable as being Japanese in origin. Continue reading

Byzantine Scale

The Byzantine scale is the same as the Gypsy scale and the double harmonic scale. It is also related to the Phrygian dominant scale.

The scale spelling for a Byzantine scale is: 1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7. Playing the scale produces a sound very reminiscent of Eastern music.

Byzantine Scale TAB & Scale Diagrams

Byzantine Scale TAB

Byzantine Scale TAB

Byzantine Scale Diagram 1

Byzantine Scale Diagram 1

Byzantine Scale Diagram 2

Byzantine Scale Diagram 2

Byzantine Scale Diagram 3

Byzantine Scale Diagram 3

Byzantine Scale Diagram 4

Byzantine Scale Diagram 4

Byzantine Scale Diagram 5

Byzantine Scale Diagram 5

The Byzantine scale doesn’t exactly fall under the fingers, so take a bit of time practising with it and finding a way of playing it that works for you. Because it contains the major seventh, rather than the minor seventh of the Phrygian dominant scale, the Byzantine scale sounds that much more exotic. It is a great scale to introduce to give a bit of character to a standard rock guitar solo.

Learn hundreds more guitar scales with Guitar Command’s scale reference section. We want to be the best guitar scales reference site on the web. Visit Guitar Scales and let us know how we’re doing.

Hirajoshi Scale

The Hirajoshi scale is a Japanese pentatonic scale. Its scale spelling is 1,2,b3,5,b6. Therefore, with a root of C, the notes are: C, D, Eb, G, Ab.

When played, the Hirajoshi scale produces an unmistakeably Japanese sound. Below is the TAB and several scale diagrams, so you can play this scale all over the neck.

Hirajoshi TAB

Hirajoshi TAB

Hirajoshi Scale Diagrams

Hirajoshi Scale Guitar Diagram 1

Hirajoshi Scale Guitar Diagram 1

Hirajoshi Scale Diagram 2

Hirajoshi Scale Diagram 2

Hirajoshi Scale Diagram 3

Hirajoshi Scale Diagram 3

It is best to find a way of fingering these scales to suit you playing style – they can be quite awkward until you get used to them. Learn many more guitar scales using our huge reference site. See Guitar Scales to get started.

 

Double Harmonic Scale

The double harmonic scale goes by several other names, including the Arabic scale, Gypsy scale and Byzantine scale. It has the unusual feature of two augmented second intervals; these, together with the half-step gap between its first and second notes, give the scale an exotic, Eastern sound. The scale spelling is: 1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7. TAB and diagrams for this scale are given below. It is not the most natural scale to play on the guitar – so find the shape you are happiest with and practice it to get your fingers around it.

Double Harmonic Scale TAB & Guitar Diagrams

Double Harmonic Scale TAB

Double Harmonic Scale TAB

Double Harmonic Scale Diagram 1

Scale Diagram 1

Double Harmonic Scale Diagram 2

Scale Diagram 2

Double Harmonic Scale Diagram 3

Scale Diagram 3

Double Harmonic Scale Diagram 4

Scale Diagram 4

Double Harmonic Scale Diagram 5

Scale Diagram 5

This unconventional scale is not the easiest to play on the guitar. There are some stretches involved, and you may have to find the best way of fingering the scale for your playing. It is worth persevering, however, as this scale can sound very special if used at the right time.

A similar scale, in both sound and construction, is the Phrygian dominant scale. There is only one note different in both scales, the Phrygian dominant having a b7 rather than a natural seventh degree. For more information on Phrygian dominant scales, visit: Phrygian Dominant Scale.

This scale could be used in jazz or rock solos to create some contrast between more traditional rock sounds. For more Eastern sounding scales, visit this page: Arabic Scale. Here you will be able to explore the differences between several exotic guitar scales. Sample some traditional Arabic music here: Traditional Arabic Music.

Discover more guitar scales in our ultimate scales guide: Guitar Scales. Here you will find many other types of scale which you can include in your playing. Whilst many guitarists make do with a few pentatonic shapes and some blues scales, if you can play a few bars using a more exotic scale it really separates you from the crowd and makes your playing more distinctive.