Rockové klávesy XV - workshop
Exotic Scales for Soloing
If you feel like your solos are starting to sound a little flat, try experimenting with some exotic scales from around the world to add some spice to your riffs. Use these scales with taste. They are usually most effective when used briefly in a solo with a return to more inside tonal ideas. The four scales listed below are only the tip of the iceberg. On your own, search for music and scales that are exciting to you and develop a style encompassing the different music you learn about.
1. Hungarian Major
It's hard to say exactly where this scale comes from. Most sources say it's Eastern European in origin . It's probably related to the Hungarian Minor Scale we will speak about in the next example. The scale has a very romantic flavor. If the math of figuring which notes to play is a little much for you, we've analyzed the scale as easy to remember chords in bar 2. If we combine the notes of a C6 chord and the notes of a Eb minor chord, we can derive the scale. Try this exercise with all the scales in all 12 keys for true mastery. Because this scale has a major and minor third, it's tonality is a little vague. This is why it works so nicely over power chord vamps. In our musical example, which begins on bar three, we use a distorted wurli over a simple rock gallop. Just pick notes from the scale and try to combine them in musical ways. Notice how interesting dissonances and intervals are created automatically. I will often play a scale I'm working on over and over to really get the sound in my head.
2. Hungarian Minor
This scale makes an appearance in the theme song from the classic American movie, The Pink Panther. This is a great sound to use if you want to give minor vamps a little more flavor. You can use this scale over lots of chords; Cm, D7b5, Eb+, g, Ab7, Bm6. Our musical example uses the same background tracks to illustrate how the major and minor versions of this scale can be interchanged. We use a mono synth for this one too. Just like the previous example, we pick notes from the scale and try to combine them in lyrical ways. I like to set up a loop on the computer and play one scale over and over to really get the sound in my head. If you want a short cut to think of this scale, think CmMaj7 and a D (add#4) voicings.
This is one of the two essential scales in the gamelan music of Indonesia. I've also heard it in Indian music. Let's move the key to D for the next two examples also. To think of this scale quickly, think of Dm7 and Ebmsus4. In our musical example we use and Indian Instrument called a Ney to highlight this great sounding scale. This is a very mysterious scale that sounds great on slower drone vamps. Use it over minor 7th chords to slip in and out of the key.
This unusual pentatonic scale comes from Japanese Shamisen music. It was popularized largely by Jazz pianist, McCoy Tyner in the 1960s. The Insen Scale works great over D7susb9 and Am7b5 chords. This one is not easy to analyze with our chordal system, but we will try: Try to think of a Dm7 voicing with no 3rd and a C minor triad. Another way to think about it is as a D minor pentatonic scale with a flat 2 instead of a flat 3. This is my favorite way. The rhythm tracks in our music example are the same as Ex 3. For a different color, we use Irish Bagpipes (?!?!). Don't be afraid to do crazy things.