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  • Writer's pictureJay EuDaly

Going Modal! The Augmented Scale

Updated: May 13, 2022

This month, continuing the Going Modal lessons, we start a 3- lesson mini-series on symmetrical scales. The word, "symmetrical" means that the scale formula is a consistent pattern of intervals, which results in a consistent pattern on the fretboard.

In the case of the Augmented Scale the formula is, whole-tone, whole-tone, whole-tone, etc. Not surprisingly, another name for the Augmented Scale is the Whole-Tone Scale.

So when is the Augmented Scale used?

Anytime there is an altered 5th in a Dominant tonality. It works if the 5th is either sharped or flatted.

  1. Augmented Triad

  2. Dominant 7 #5 chords such as C7+

  3. Dominant 7 b5 chords such as C7(b5) – also Dominant 7 #11 chords; b5 and #11 are octaves; they have the same letter name. Therefore C7(b5) and C7(#11) are functionally the same thing.

  4. Dominant 9 #5 and Dominant 9 b5/#11 chords

This FREE lesson includes explanatory text, 15 fretboard diagrams and a 12-and-a-half minute demonstration video.

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Blogs Published Since Last Newsletter

The Harmonic Minor Distinctive: The basic concept of this "Modal Distinctives" series is that you can get to the distinctive sound of a mode without learning the whole mode, or getting all confused by modal theory, but by adding, or altering, a single note of the most commonly-known scale among guitarists; the Minor Pentatonic.

Jam Tales: Marilyn Maye: "Well, I can never do that song again, it's been ruined for me forever!"

The Norvells: The backstory on the Norvells and how they wound up in the club that night will take some telling that involves the Kansas City mob, a porno movie theater, a massage parlor and the band, "Cloud".


Tune of the Month

Feel the Flame is the opening track of the CD, My Ship. This CD was conceived as a showcase for my songwriting so there's not a lot of fancy guitar work. The sax solo was played by my good friend, Phil Brenner (Temptations, Impressions, Kevin Mahogany) who I still work with on a regular basis.

Here's a clip of Feel the Flame live with a full band.




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