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Upper Structures for 8-note scales

by Laurence Mollerup
 
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The 8-note Dominant scale, also known as the Whole step/Half step scale is a synthetic scale. This means that it doesn't occur in nature, but don't let that scare you! It is a symmetrical scale (another of its many names) that can be used over Dominant 7th chords that have a natural 13th, and a flat or sharp 9th.

The scale is easy to play if you play with four fingers per semi-tone and just put a little shift in between your 2nd and third fingers. Each group of four notes can be played this way: 1,2 shift 3,4. Then just go to the next higher string one semitone up and play 1,2 shift 3,4. Then go to the next higher string one semitone up and you are at the octave.

This scale works really well as it has all the notes of the dominant 7th chord: R,3,5,b7, and some great altered notes: b9,#9,#11,and 13th.

I will go into detail about this scale in other theory lessons, but for now let's just try playing it on a G7 (b9) chord.

 
 
 
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