- David "Skinny Devil" McLean
originally published at Insane Guitar, 2003
As we mentioned last time (in “Exotic Scales [part 1]“), the term
“exotic scale” generally refers to scales outside of the standard Major
Scale (& it’s modes), the Harmonic Minor, and the Melodic Minor…plus
a few others (depending on which text you’re reading). Essentially,
exoticism is the use of musical devices (melodies, harmonies, rhythms,
instrumentation, etc.) to evoke the atmosphere of ancient or distant
places, so the easiest way to gather such scales are to take them from
Like the last two installments of “Insanity 101″, this article will
assume a knowledge of modes. Rather than breaking each scale down myself
as I have in the past, I urge you to pull each one apart yourself and
experiment with them. Note that all scales herein are in the key of “A”.
The first scale we’ll look at is sometimes called the Lydian Minor Scale (you’ll note the first half of the scale is identical to the Lydian Mode, with the major 3rd and raised 4th). Several of it’s modes are extremely interesting, too, and be sure to note that chromatic bit as you go from the 4th to 5th to 6th.
The second is another cool 5-note Oriental scale, called the Kokinjoshi (similar to last month’s Hirajoshi Scale).
The last one we’ll look at this month has several names, but I recently
saw it called the Prometheus Scale – a very interesting pentatonic scale
which is essentially a whole-tone scale minus one note (making all of
it’s modes sound similar). Check it out:
That’s all for now, kiddos. Enjoy!