top of page
  • Writer's pictureJay EuDaly

Going Modal! The Spanish 8-Tone Scale

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

As indicated by the name, this scale has 8-tones per octave. The unusual thing about it is that it contains both a minor third and a major third! The scale is constructed thus:

1 – b2 – b3 – 3 – 4 – 5 – b6 – b7 – 8

One way to conceive of it is as a Phrygian with an added major 3rd.

The main context in which I use this scale is what I call the, "Malaguena" Progression wherein you have two major chords a half-step apart like C to Db.

It's common in Jewish music as well as Flamenco music - thus "Spanish." Because of the Flamenco connection it's used by guitarists more than other instrumentalists.


Going Modal Lesson Series Launch!

The above lesson on the Spanish 8-Tone Scale is the last lesson in the Going Modal series.

I'm going to offer all the Going Modal lessons as a single PDF download. That's 18 lessons given via the monthly newsletter for the last year and a half - all curated together in a single PDF downloaded to your device of choice. That's going to happen NEXT WEEK!

The launch will open Monday, August 15th and run till Friday the 19th at midnight. So if you'd like the convenience of having all the Going Modal lessons in a single PDF file, next week is your chance!

I'll be sending a couple more emails about the launch between now and then so watch for those.


Blogs Published Since Last Newsletter

Jim Dandy to the Rescue!: In September of 2008 I was playing in a band that opened for Black Oak Arkansas in Platte City, Missouri. The event was a motorcycle rally. “This could be cool!” I thought. Well…

Republished: Blues Plus (1): I took a phone call at my teaching studio one day that went something like this; ”I’m new in town, I recently moved here from Austin. I got your number from the guitar player at the jam at Jimmy’s Jigger last night. They called a Blues in Bb. I’ve been playing guitar professionally for over 20 years and what we call a Blues in Austin ain’t what you Kansas City guys are doing! There were tons of chords! I was totally lost! It was humbling. I need you to show me what y'all are doing.”

I'm going to give you what I gave him; I call it, "Blues Plus." It consists of common variations on the 12-Bar Blues form.

Going Modal! Chromatic Scale: FREE lesson on the Chromatic Scale, Blog links, Tune-of-the -Month and more!


Tune of the Month: Waltz for Debby

This month's tune is from my Channeling Harold CD. It's by the great jazz pianist/composer Bill Evans. The lyrics are by Gene Lees.

Liner notes, 2001: "Waltz for Debbie" is a tune I’ve loved ever since I heard Tony Bennett sing it on the duo record he did with Bill Evans. Of course, it has personal meaning for me since I have two daughters who dance professionally (ballet and modern, not the other kind). Watching my dancing daughters grow up right in front of my eyes is the main threat to my denial of advancing geezerdom! By the way, I know I didn’t do it as a waltz. What you hear is the way it came out that day so that’s the way it is!


Jay EuDaly

P.S. Don't forget! Going Modal! Launch next week!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page