The Leads Are Weak

THE LEADS ARE WEAK: GET WEIRD WITH SOME COOL, NEW SCALES

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The Leads Are Weak - Tony Sannicandro of Job For A Cowboy

Hey man, I love the standard major, minor, and pentatonic scales as much as the next guitar player. But sometimes all that’s needed to give my playing a little sauce is to learn a new scale or arpeggio. Lately I’ve been looking at eastern scales as well as scales more common in jazz than they are in the metal guitar world.

Example 1 is a collection of “Far East” sounding scales that recall some of my heroes: Becker, Friedman, and Gilbert.


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These are pentatonic scales, meaning there’s five notes in each octave. These work best over a power chord of the same name.  Note the cool feeling of tension they can create. If you know how to apply a basic box pentatonic you can apply these as well. These are based in the key of A:

Scale A = 1 b2 4 5 b7
Scale B =  1 b2 4 b5 b7

Make sure to avoid chilling out on a dissonant note for too long!

Example 2 is my new favorite scale. This is the melodic minor scale, as used by jazz musicians. I come from a classical background where we were taught to ascend in the melodic minor scale and descend in the natural minor. Fuck that. The jazz mentality is that it’s OK to ascend and descend with the same scale. I like that better. Those jazz guys can’t be so bad after all.

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This one is a little harder to use but it sounds cool as shit. It’s essentially our beloved major scale with a b3. This one is also in A. It works easiest over a minor chord of the same name although it has other applications.

Scale formula = 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7

Check these out. Try and hear what they sound like over the root and how each interval gives the scale its own flavor. I love flavor; especially if chicken is involved.

Crush it.

-TS

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