The harmonic minor scale is one of several minor guitar scales that can be used in improvisation. The harmonic minor scale is so named because, particularly in baroque and classical times, it was this scale, rather than (for example) a natural minor or melodic minor scale, which would have been used to harmonise music in a minor key.
The jazz minor scale is one of several minor-type scales available to use in improvisation. Depending on which way you want to approach it, it is either the ascending form of the melodic minor scale, or simply a major scale with the third degree flattened.
Whole tone scales have an tonally ambiguous sound that can sound quite ‘out of place’ if used to improvise with in standard rock and pop songs (though you shouldn’t let that stop you trying!). Whole tone scales are often used in jazz, and can be used to play over augmented and augmented 7th chords such as G+, or G7+.
The whole tone scale produces a tonally ambiguous sound that when played alone can create an ‘eerie’ or ‘ominous’ mood. Its use was once frowned upon by strict classical composers, but the scale’s distinctive sound can now be heard fairly regularly in classical, film and jazz music.
Altered scales are most often played over dominant seventh chords. They introduce flattened fifths, sharpened fifths, flattened ninths and sharpened ninths, giving the full range of altered notes beloved of jazz improvisers.
Altered scales are used predominantly by jazz musicians to produce interesting tensions while improvising over dominant seventh chords.
Diminished scale guitar fretboard diagrams, tab and information. Learn how to play diminished scales on guitar.