Exotic Sexatonic Scale

Ok, I made that name up, but I couldn't think of a more descriptive name for this pattern. If any of you have heard my music before, you know that I like to use exotic sounding scales primarily to emulate an Indian and/or Middle Eastern sound. The following scale is something that I just stumbled upon one day and found it to be quite useful in improvising and to quickly achieve an out of the ordinary flavor for a solo. As the name suggests, it is a six-note scale. The cool thing about this is that you can play it on two strings in a 3 note per string pattern as illustrated below:

In the video example and tab above I am playing the scale with C as the root, but like most scales this one has its modes as well. Below is a chart that will help you determine the various uses of the scale:

Keep in mind that I am just showing you the modes according to the root scale (Exotic Sexatonic) being in its key of C. Everything is transposable and should be practiced in different keys against the chord types I suggested or against a single note to really get the unique sound of the particular mode. I find a scale like this is most effective when used sparingly. For instance, if you are soloing in C minor using pentatonic or natural minor, throwing this scale in can be very cool to add something different that will still work most likely over what the pentatonic or natural minor scale worked with.

The droning sound you hear in the video is called a tanpura, which is used to set up a harmonic background in Indian music.

Steve Booke is in the process of putting together his first instructional DVD for Chops from Hell. Watch out for it on this site. To hear some of Steve's music check out his website or his myspace pages: and