Im starting to learn scales as i shouldve done about a year ago, and im making solos/fills with them. Im in drop b right now. I listen to alot of jeff loomis, and i really like how his guitar playing sounds sorta egyptian, if that makes sense, in some songs, especially Jato Unit. could anyone tell me what kind of scales he is using for example - Phrygian in C - or something along those lines. thanks
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Last edited by leigh596 at Feb 14, 2012,
It is probably the Harmonic Minor scale. It's like the natural minor scale, but you sharpen the 7th note (for example, the A natural minor scale would be A B C D E F G A, while the A harmonic minor scale would be A B C D E F G# A). Give it a try and let me know if it sounds right.

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Harmonic Minor has an Arbic sound.

Phrygian is more of a dark spanish sound.

Phrygian Dominant is an Egyptian sound you are probably looking for.

Now in the sense of modes. You are not modal by using these scales. You need a harmony to make it that mode. You can't modulate with just a melody. Why do these scales sound like that then? Because of the intervals. Learn your intervals and you'll be able to make any sound you want.


Edit: Should of been more clear on the mode thing but it gets old typing the same thing over and over to everyone.

When you modulate, its the harmony that creates the modulation. There are few cases, and I mean few, where the melody determines if it's a mode or modern tonal music. In each case though the harmony is supporting the modulation.

Just because you play a C Phrygian Dominant scale does not mean you are in the C Phrygian Dominant mode, it would be better described as C major with accidentals.
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Last edited by Xter at Feb 14, 2012,
Loomis is a player with a very characteristic sound.. He mainly uses:

Phrygian dominant ( formula: Tonic, minor 2nd, major 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, minor 6th, minor 7th)

Harmonic minor (formula: Tonic, major 2nd, minor 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, minor 6th, major 7th)

diminished scale (formula: Tonic, minor 2nd, minor 3rd, major 3rd, diminished 5th, perfect 5th, major 6th, minor 7th)

whole tone scale (evey note is basiclly 1 whole note away from each other.) Diminished arpeggios (Tonic, minor 3rd and diminished 5th and minor 7th if you want)
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another way of thinking about phygian dominant as the 5th mode of the the harmonic minor. really only making it 1 scale you need to remember, just focusing on a different root. which ever you prefer.