The Kumoi Scale Cacophony Style

I`ll review this exotic scale, which was commonly used by Marty Friedman and Jason Becker.

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Hello! Today I'm gonna show you some exotic scale, hopefully most of you don`t know it, as it is not as popular or over-used like pentatonics, etc`. So, the name of the scale is the kumoi scale. It`s an exotic scale, which basically means it has a unique sound. This scale has only 5 notes in it, so you could say it's a pentatonic one. Like any scale, it has a formula. The formula is: root, minor 2nd,4th,5th,aug 5th meaning if we play a G kumoi scale, it would look like:
E||-----------------|
B||-----------------|
G||-----------------|
D||-----------------|
A||--------3--5--6--|
E||--3--4-----------|
The fingering I use is: first and second finger for the E string, and for the A string, the first, third and pinky. That way you use all your fingers, and don't need to slide or anything. So now that we are familiar with this scale, we can extend ourselves and play this scale over 3 ocatves, pretty much covering the lower neck:
E||--------------------------8-10-10b-|
B||----------------------8-9----------|
G||----------------5-7-8--------------|
D||------------5-6--------------------|
A||------3-5-6------------------------|
E||--3-4------------------------------|
I love bending the high D note a half step, reaching Eb. it's a nice way to phrase this scale. Side note: as for the picking, I like using legato for this lick, it sounds smoother. Meaning I hammer on all notes, and downpick. Now I'm gonna show you a cool lick, which is based off this scale. This comes from the Cacophony song "Savage", off the Speed Metal Symphony record. If you haven`t heard it, I highly suggest you do. This lick has actually two guitars, they both play the same thing, just one is higher an octave than the other. Just a side note: jason played the lower haromy, marty played the higher. I`ll put the lower harmony here, if you`d like to play as marty, just take everything up an octave (position is in A string, 10th fret) 164bpm
     S      S S S S S S S H            S S S S S S S S S S S S Q      
E||---------------------------------|--------------------------------|
B||---------------------------------|--------------------------------|
G||---------------------------------|--------------------------------|
D||---------------------------------|--3-5-6-3-5-3-------------------|
A||--3------------3-5-6-3-5~--------|--------------6-5-6-5-3-2-3~----|
E||---------4-3-4-------------------|--------------------------------|
 
  S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S    S S S S S S S S H          
----------------------------------|----------------------------|
----------------------------------|----------------------------|
----------------------------------|----------------------------|
--3-5-6-3-5-3-------3-5---3-------|------3-5-6-5-3---5~--------|
--------------6-5-6-----6---6-5-3-|--5-6-----------6-----------|
----------------------------------|----------------------------|
 
  S S S S S S S S H            S S S S S S S S S S S S Q      
----------------------------|--------------------------------|
----------------------------|--------------------------------|
----------------------------|--------------------------------|
----------------------------|--3-5-6-3-5-3-------------------|
--3-------3-5-6-3-5~--------|--------------6-5-6-5-3-2-3~----|
----4-3-4-------------------|--------------------------------|
 
  S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S    S S S S S S S S H           
----------------------------------|----------------------------||
----------------------------------|----------------------------||
----------------------------------|----------------------------||
--3-5-6-3-5-3-------3-5---3-------|------3---------------------||
--------------6-5-6-----6---6-5-3-|--5-6---5-2-3-5-2-3~--------||
----------------------------------|----------------------------||
Duration Legend: H - half Q - quarter S - 16th This lick goes quiet fast, so I suggest you first learn to play it slow, then increase speed at your own rate. That concludes my lesson about the kumoi scale, of course there are more cool exotic scales, which I`ll cover sometime soon. Here`s a link for the lesson in guitar pro. I hope you learned from this lesson, have fun!

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Sylvanus
    This is awesome, it's good to see I'm not the only one who finds pentatonics over-used.
    becker89
    thanks for the comments everyone! slyvanus: a nice progression over G kumoi scale i just made up: Cm\Gm\Eb\Dm7 Nacho Cheese: point taken,thanks!
    pilgrimevan
    Sylvanus wrote: This is awesome, it's good to see I'm not the only one who finds pentatonics over-used.
    This is a pentatonic
    Zep_shizzle
    its cool to see somebody showing cacophony stuff. they need much more appreciation. good job too. i love the sound Friedman gets on ninja.
    becker89
    the scale used in the beginning of "the ninja" is actually a variation of the kumoi scale. those exotic scale are all linked together. take a G kumoi scale,and start playing from C. you`ll end up playing a C hirojashi scale, which is actually a mode of the kumoi (or vice versa)
    xJohnxAnarchyx
    Haha. I actually thought no one has heard of this scale. If you flip through the Guitar Grimoire, it's in there. Along with a bunch of other exotic scales. Great lesson though
    DashBlaster
    becker89 wrote: the scale used in the beginning of "the ninja" is actually a variation of the kumoi scale. those exotic scale are all linked together. take a G kumoi scale,and start playing from C. you`ll end up playing a C hirojashi scale, which is actually a mode of the kumoi (or vice versa)
    The hirojashi scale is also the one that's used in the Cacophony segment that the author has given us. Even though he/she showed the kumoi.
    becker89
    toshiro umezewa wrote: Correct me if i'm wrong, but Isn't the Kumoi Scale in the Phrygian mode of the major scale?
    you`re wrong,the phrygian mode formula is: r-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7. while the kumoi scale is only r-b2-4-5-b6. you could say the phrygian mode is an extension of the kumoi scale,as two notes are added (b3 and b7)
    dark__echoes
    Well, this scale is just phrygian without the flat third and flat seventh. Sounds cool though. I never really thought about how you could get a very different sound by NOT playing notes in a scale. Makes sense though; minor pentatonic sounds different then aeolian.
    becker89
    dark__echoes wrote: Well, this scale is just phrygian without the flat third and flat seventh. Sounds cool though. I never really thought about how you could get a very different sound by NOT playing notes in a scale. Makes sense though; minor pentatonic sounds different then aeolian.
    indeed,leaving notes out is a great way to come up with new sounds. also rearranging the notes of a scale is a nice way to get a unique pharsing. becker himself said he loves to take the pentatonic minor scale and just leave random notes out. he made arpeggios from them,scalar runs,etc`.