Exotic guitar scales can intoduce some real variety into your improvisation and set you out from the crowd. Many of the exotic guitar scales on this page are from non-Western musical cultures, where there is less emphasis on the major / minor key systems that create the basis of most Western music.
Exotic Guitar Scales – Double Harmonic Scale
The double harmonic scale contains two augmented second intervals, and is widely used in traditional Eastern music. It can be slightly awkward to play on the guitar – the notes don’t fall under the fingers as they do with say, a pentatonic scale. Persevere with it, however, and you’ll have a very useful scale that will give another angle to your playing. For more information, see: Double Harmonic Scale.
Double Harmonic Scale TAB & Guitar Chart
Exotic Guitar Scales – Freygish Scale
The Freygish scale is similar to the double harmonic in sound and structure; it is only the seventh degree of the scale that differentiates the two. The Freygish scale is also known as the Spanish Gypsy or Phrygian dominant scale. This exotic guitar scale is often used in metal. For more information see: Freygish Scale.
Freygish Scale TAB & Guitar Chart
Exotic Guitar Scales – Hirajoshi
One of the best-known Japanese pentatonic scales, this scale is used in much traditional Japanese music. Find out more about this exotic scale here: Hirajoshi Scale.
Hirajoshi Scale TAB & Guitar Chart
Exotic Guitar Scales – Enigmatic Scale
The enigmatic scale was invented by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. It contains unusual intervallic sequences and with some experimentation you may be able to come up with some interesting lines using it. More information on this scale here: Enigmatic Scale.
Exotic Guitar Scales – Whole Tone Scale
The notes in the whole tone scale are separated by whole tone intervals. Every note in a whole tone scale can be considered to be the root of the scale, and because of this there are only two possible whole tone scales. Jazz musicians use the scale because it creates tension-filled lines. More information here: Whole Tone Scale Guitar.
Whole Tone Scale Guitar Chart
Exotic Guitar Scales – Diminished Scale
This exotic guitar scale is formed from the diminished chord. The intervals throughout the scale are whole-tone, half-tone. Like the whole-tone scale above, jazz guitarists use this scale because it creates tensions when played over dominant seventh chords. Find out more here: Diminished Scale Guitar.
Diminished Scale Guitar Charts
These exotic guitar scales can all bring something different into your playing. You can use them in improvisation or in composition – they can really help you get out of a creative rut. For other exotic sounds, you could explore: Arabic Scale, Japanese Scales, or find inspiration in our main Guitar Scales page. If you are interested in exotic guitar scales, you may also be interested in avant-garde jazz.
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