Altered scale on guitar

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The following patterns show how the altered scale in B can be played at various positions on the guitar neck. Standard guitar tuning is assumed (E, A, D, G, B, E open guitar strings lowest to highest).

The horizontal lines in each pattern are the guitar strings, where the lowest guitar string is at the bottom and the highest string is at the top. The vertical lines represent the frets. The fret numbers are at the top of each pattern. The tonic of the scale (the first note) is in white. The dominant of the scale (the fifth note) is in gray.

Transposing these scale patterns up and down the guitar neck will produce other altered scales. Since not all of the patterns below start on the tonic of the scale, the same patterns can produce other modes of the altered scale.

The altered scale is the Locrian scale with a flat fourth (Eb). This means that the fifth note (the dominant) of the scale is not a perfect fifth, but a diminished fifth. It is six semitones up from the tonic and not the typical seven (the distance between B and F is six semitones; the perfect fifth of B is actually F#). This also means that the fourth of the scale (the subdominant) is not a perfect fourth, but a diminished fourth. It is four semitones up from the tonic and not the typical five (there are four semitones between B and Eb; the perfect fourth of B is actually E).

Altered scale on guitar (pattern one)

Altered scale on guitar (pattern two)

Altered scale on guitar (pattern three)

Altered scale on guitar (pattern four)

Altered scale on guitar (pattern five)

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