Hirajoshi Scale: Marty Friedman Style

by Ben Higgins

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    THE PROFESSOR In this expertly laid-out lesson from Ben, you will be learning an uncommon, but important scale that will bring you closer to getting that authentic Marty Friedman sound in your riffs, licks and solos today. As was mentioned in the text, this scale is built upon the Natural Minor Scale, as well as the Harmonic Minor Scale, depending on how you want to think about it. 

    By learning how to play the Harmonic Minor Scale and Natural Minor Scale for guitar, you will provide yourself with a solid foundation on which to build when expanding towards more out of the box scales such as the Hirajoshi Scale found in this lesson.

    Welcome to my new lesson!

    We continue our theme of looking at the guitar playing of Marty Friedman and this time the focus is on Marty's use of the Hirajoshi Scale.

    The sound of the Hirajoshi scale originates from its use in Japanese music and it has a distinctly Oriental sound. The Hirajoshi Scale is essentially the natural Minor scale (or Aeolian mode) with the 4th and 7th intervals removed. Marty has used it to great effect in his solo work, Megadeth and Cacophony. The scale formed the basis for the long, instrumental middle section in the Cacophony song 'Ninja'. This is a great introduction to the sound that it can create.

    You will get the opportunity to learn a group of different phrases using this scale and move through 3 different key changes too. You will also notice another of Marty's popular traits feature in this lesson too: Bending from outside tones.

    This lesson will work on:

    -Knowledge of the Hirajoshi Scale

    Enjoy and remember, the only opponent is within!

    E A D G B E Standard Tuning


    Marshall JVM OD1, Red setting. BASS 2 MID 4 TREB 7 GAIN 4

    Gm, A#m, Cm


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