5 Riffs To Get To Know The Harmonic Minor A Little Better

From Metal to Gypsy Jazz, the Harmonic minor is a scale that can transform your playing into tame little baby riffs into deep and vicious whirlwinds of Arabic sands and Gypsy violins.

Here is a voicing of the scale:

 Here is the list, get your guitar ready

5. Slap and Tickle

4.  Johann Sebastian Buckley

3. Tremolo and the Djinn of Grappeli

2.  Hey good lookin you got Hummus cookin

1. Sweeping out the harmonic

There you have it!


Monday Hodgepodge – Fishbone: A Profile In Controlled Chaos

There has never been a more eclectic band that could still retain a distinct sound in the midst of the chaos of genres bouncing off of tonal walls.

It is safe to say that the main style of this L.A. band is defiantly ska, but they are not really anything because they are simply: Fishbone.

From 1979 to now, Fishbone never really got the recognition that they deserved, a tragedy because a world without Fishbone isn’t worth living at all. As a kid that grew up during the infancy of Alternative rock and I heard about the storied mosh pits from Fishbone concerts. Without further ado:

Sunless Saturday

Music Video Here

I start off with a 90s single called “Sunless Saturday”, a track that really shows some guitar wizardry and proves that Fishbone could rock if they wanted too.

Here is the acoustic intro and main verse:

Ma & Pa

Music Video Here

Aha, now we are dealing with ska and it is all about upstrokes after a quick downward rake on the chord changes:

Skankin To The Beat

Music Here

Everybody needs a little more ska in their life, so here is another easy little tab.

Lyin’ Ass Bitch

Music Here

And more ska, this became a prototypical ska progression from a million ska bands after this song came out in 85

I hope you grow to love this crazy crazy band because they would get 1/10 of the love they deserve from their contributions to music.

Skank to the beat..

Top 5 Thursday: 5 Exotic And Unique Scales For You To Marinate on


Hirajoshi Scale 

     A tuning scale for the Japanese koto by way of the shamisen, this scale revolutionized the koto in Japan by the Andres Segovia of koto :  Yatsuhashi Kengyō.

Metal and Jazz players have used this scale extensively.

Enigmatic Scale

     Invented by the great composer Verdi, he whipped this up on a public challenge.

Spanish Gypsy

Another name for the Phrygian dominant

Whole Tone Scale 

A great transition scale especially over a dominant chord like the G7 that is implied here.

Augmented Scale 

This is a great way to dip in and out of a blues scale when the V chord is invoked and whenever you can fit it in.

Take these scales and applications and see what you can create with them!

Joni Mitchell: Painting With Altered Tunings


The prolific and often sourced Canadian Joni Mitchell has been constantly wrestled with harmonic riddles through her long time practice of searching for chord progressions under the influence of heavily altered tunings for decades. Her insights are quite valuable, especially since I don’t want to spend that much time writing that many songs to earn said insights.

Let’s see two ways altered tunings and Joni Mitchell have made a beautiful union.

EADAAD Tuning for Dulcimer simulation on “A Case Of You”

I have to confess the intro reminds me of Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” chorus and I chuckle a bit when I hear every time. However, this is a very gently meandering yarn of beauty that keeps unraveling into nostalgia and soliloquy.



(Full Transcription Here)

Hejira: Dark Moods and Altered Tunings  (CGDFGC)

 Hejira is a very dark, introspective, and mature non linear ballad that shows some interesting progressions and of course… tuning.