The Hungarian Minor scale is a type of combined musical scale. It is the fourth mode of the double harmonic scale. It is the same as the harmonic minor scale except that it has a raised fourth scale degree. Its tonal center is slightly ambiguous due to the large number of half steps. It figures prominently in Eastern European music, particularly in Romani music. Melodies based on this scale have an exotic, romantic flavor for listeners accustomed to more typical Western scales. The scale has also been adopted and used for many years by shred players such as Joe Satriani whose tune, ‘Musterion’, is based on this scale.
Take a look at both scales in the key of A. As you’ll know, in the 2 Position Scale System there are only ever two patterns to learn per scale, I call them the forward and backward positions.
Harmonic Minor forward position:
When you’re comfortable with the scale patterns, try playing over this backing track. The one below is for E Hungarian Minor, which means you’ll have to switch root notes from A patterns above. Fortunately this is another benefit of the 2 Position System as all the patterns are movable and the same rules apply.
If you enjoyed experimenting with exotic scales and modes in this lesson, check out our Exotic Scales and Modes eBook which features 18 of the most common exotic scales and modes, how to incorporate them into your playing, or over standard chord progressions to add a little spice, and how to come up with your own chord progressions and riffs using exotic scales and modes.
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