Three Weird-Ass Scales

I’m going to backtrack from the title right away. Whether these scales sound weird to you depends entirely on your cultural perspective. But they are rarely heard on the ukulele.

There are plenty of good reasons to learn unfamiliar sounding scales:

Rut busting: Ever find yourself playing the same set of notes over and over again?
Lame Pastiches: This is how they’re most often used. And that’s what I’ve done for the demo examples in this post. But that’s certainly not the best way of using the scales.
Integrating into your own style: Much more satisfying is take ideas and sounds and integrate them into your own playing.

So, for starters, here are three lesser-uked scales for you to try out.

Double Harmonic – “Arabic Scale”

How it Sounds

Arabic Scale

You Might Recognise it From: Miserlou

In C

C – Db – E – F – G – Ab – B – C

In General

1 – b2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – b6 – 7

How to Play It


An Example


Arabic Scale Example

Deeper Listening: Khyam Allami

Phrygian Dominant – “Flamenco Scale”

How it Sounds

Flamenco Scale

You Might Recognise it From: Metallica’s Wherever I May Roam

In C

C – Db – E – F – G – Ab – Bb – C

In General

1 – b2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – b6 – b7

How to Play It


An Example



Deeper Listening: Paco De Lucia

Lydian Dominant – The Simpsons Scale

How it Sounds


You Might Recognise it From: The Simpsons Theme Tune

In C

C – D – E – F# – G – A – Bb – C

In General

1 – 2 – 3 – #4 – 5 – 6 – b7

How to Play It

Lydian Dominant

An Example


Simpsons Scale Example

Deeper Listening: Danny Elfman and Tim Burton Music Box

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