Modal Madness pt 5. -  The Hirajoshi Scale

by Zsolt Galambos

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  • Hi GMC-ers,

    And welcome to my 5th in a row lesson entitled "Modal Madness".

    This time we will buld up the modes of the exotic soundig Japanese scale called the "Hirajoshi" scale.

    You may have heard these scales by some of my favorite guitarists, Jason Becker and Marty friedman. These scales are becoming sort of trendy lately.

    "Hirajoshi, or hira-choshi (choshi = tuning and hira = even, level, tranquil, standard or regular) is the original solo koto tuning which was developed by Yatsuhashi Kengyoo in the seventeenth century and was adapted from Shamisen music. In the D-mode, hirajoshi consists of the pentatonic scale: D, E-flat, G, A, B-flat." ( From Koto Sound Dictionary )

    The Kotot is a traditional Japanese instrument with strings.

    These sequences are a bit harder to play becouse of the wide stretches, but I played them slower intentionally so everyone can learn them. Before trying to play them, warm up your left (fretting) hand so you can avoid hurting them. I made the bends out of the scale intentionally as well, just to have this bluesy feel to it.

    The tuning is in D ( D, G, C, F, A, D ).

    Have fun practicing


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