Exotic Scales Introduction (lesson)

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In this series of brief lessons, we are going to explore scales outside of the familiar. By this stage you should all be comfortable with the most commonly used scales:

  • Pentatonic
  • Blues Scale
  • Major
  • Natural Minor
  • Major Modes
    • Ionian
    • Dorian
    • Phrygian
    • Lydian
    • Mixolydian
    • Aeolian
    • Locrian

Now its time to start looking at some more interesting sounding scales. Use this section as a reference, or dip in occasionally when you need some inspiration. Use of exotic scales (and by exotic I mean anything that isn't in the list above) will add interest and range to your playing. You will be playing intervals and sequences of notes that are out of the ordinary and use of these can really spice up your playing.

Since we have progressed through boxes, and 3 note per string scales by now, the emphasis in these lessons will be on describing the scale and its sound, rather than providing exhaustive fingering - you should be capable of working that out for yourself now. I will provide a reference scale diagram, but this should really just get you started. Remember we are not thinking in boxes anymore, so you should use the diagram as a basis to explore the whole fretboard when you have the sound of the scale in your mind.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy them!