Exotic Scales Guitar Lesson

This video guitar lesson teaches a hybrid exotic scale derived from the phrygian dominant and harmonic minor modes. In the key of E, our new scale is known as the double harmonic minor or Byzantine scale. This scale is good for giving us Egyptian or Spanish sounding music.

Ultimate Guitar
Exotic guitar scales are great for creating mystical sounding music and in this video lesson from www.AceGuitarLessons.com you'll learn a cool hybrid scale known as the Double Harmonic Minor Scale, or Byzantine mode. We begin with playing the Phrygian Dominant scale in the key of E, with an added note (D#) borrowed from the E Harmonic Minor scale.
E Phrygian Dominant Scale TAB:
E Phrygian Dominant Scale Plus Hybrid Note:
This new hybrid scale is known as the double harmonic minor scale, because when you add the D# note it makes 2 harmonic minor transitions: D# - E - F. One note is directly before the root and one note is directly after it, both in the same scale. The 10th fret (D note) is not a part of the E double harmonic minor scale. The phrygian dominant and harmonic minor scale are relative modes - this means that the E Phrygian Dominant scale and A Harmonic Minor scale contain the EXACT same notes! E phrygian dominant is the 5th mode of the A harmonic minor scale. Harmonic minor scale comes from the natural minor scale (Aeolian mode) by moving the last note up one semitone (1 fret). Egyptian Sounding Example TAB:
Egyptian Melody TAB:
Alternating E String TAB:
Hammer-Ons & Pull-Offs TAB:
Thanks for checking out this guitar lesson. There's more beginner to advanced guitar lessons at my site: http://aceguitarlessons.com.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Honestly, if anyone wants a lesson dealing with exotic scales look up the Marty Friedman lessons on Youtube. You can't beat lessons taught by a master of exotic scales.
    +1 to that! No one rocks the harmonic minors like Marty. His solos are so 'exotic'...lol. Years ago I bought a Cacophony CD and the first time I played it I was like WTF?!?! Friedman and Becker at like 20 years old, shredding all over the place with no sense of going too far. Cacophony was a perfect name for that duo.
    Yea I've been listening to Cacophony for a few months now and I gotta say that Marty really knows how to use the Hirajoshi Scale. Songs like The Ninja, Desert Island, Speed Metal Symphony, Go Off!, and pretty much all their music has a bunch of amazing Exotic scales that Marty and Jason both used. Can't go wrong with Cacophony!
    You want exotic scales?? Listen to some old school Al DiMeola. Nothing but super-fast Spanish flavored scales used to perfection. This is a serious suggestion to all the metal players out there (like me growing up)... check out some Al and practice his music. It's like playing with a metronome. You're finger-work and timing will improve 100%. I've played metal for about 20 years now and everytime I sit down and figure out a new Al song, it's the only times I can noticably see my playing improving.
    This lesson is meant as an introduction to the exotic sounds of the phrygian dominant mode and double harmonic minor notes. The video should be easy to understand but I can see how the text explanation might be confusing. This is more about using the notes in the scale to get interesting melodies then the technicalities of scale relationships (pure theory)
    Lavatainposted on Nov 02, 2012 11:21 am # The scale used for Misirlou by Dick Dale I thought the same thing as you. But it was actually the sufaris Who played misirlou in 1963 on an album entitled (Play) Check the the original version out its definetly different from dick dales version
    This scale is also used in Sun of Nothing by BTBAM, fun to play around with this one.
    By the way phryg dom is called the 'ahava raba scale' when associated with Hebrew and klezmer music. Fun fact. It's good to use over secondary dominants too.
    Yusef Lateef's 'Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns.' Thats all you need, man
    The author has showed some stuff, but hadn't showed what's possible to do this it. So, I'll try to show you how that stuff can be used to create a kick-ass metal, check this out:
    Really cool, love the video with the tab. Simple scale that sounds awesome. Maybe this will help get me out of my root of riffing/soloing strictly out of the blues scale
    ^ I agree with this guy, I'm a a bit of a novice at theory and I'm confused as shit. Cool scale though, I've used it without realising what it's called.
    the D# note is more of a blues note than a harmonic minor note... I dont really understand the point of this lesson because it sems to be aimed at beginners who have not yet been exposed to exotic scales, but if I was a beginner this lesson would have just confused the shit outta me
    In the E harmonic minor scale, D# is the last note. In E phyrgian dominant D is the last note. So when we substitute the D# for the D we are left with the double harmonic minor scale