10 Exotic Scales to Spice Up Your Songs

Posted: September 28, 2015 by csgsbrandon in Techniques
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As a guitarist, I get sick of playing the same boring scales when improvising writing solos. To add a bit of interesting flair to your songs, why not check out these 9 interesting sound scales? Of course they can be played on a piano, or just about any instrument really, so don’t worry if you don’t play guitar. Each scale is in the key of A.


Arabian Scale

A very distinct sounding scale that almost sounds eerie and mystical, you’ll probably recognize it immediately when you play it. It is also a minor scale.

Arabian Guitar Scale


Persian scale

Imagine it a bit like the major version of the Arabian scale, similar sounds but yes, it’s major.

Persian guitar scale


Byzantine Scale

Another middle eastern scale worth taking a look at, again similar sounds and this one is another major scale.

Byzantine guitar scale


Oriental Scale

The 5th mode of the Double harmonic major scale, a very interesting sound that also looks cool when played on guitar, especially if you run up the A string.

Oriental guitar scale


Japanese Scale

This pentatonic scale will give you that Japanese sound you hear on any traditional Japanese folk song. It’s also really easy to play.

Japanese guitar scale


Indian Scale

A really interesting variation of the phrygian scale, also has a lot of applications for varying genres of music. The cool part about this scale is it is played differently ascending and descending! The Indian scale is also called the raga Asavar.

Ascending:

Indian raga

Descending

Indian music


Hungarian Scale 

Another quirky minor scale that’s really useful for metal music.

Hungarian gypsy scale


Romanian Scale

A simple minor scale that yet again just sound a little different to your traditional scales.

Romanian guitar scale


Chromatic scale

By far the best scale to use. Fits into any key, works with every chord and requires 0% skill to play! Just go mash some notes and call yourself an expressionist. While you’re at it, might as well throw any resemblance of a time signature and tempo out of the window too.

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