Scale tab knowledge is important if you enjoy playing the guitar or have just started doing so. This is because it enhances your guitar playing abilities and helps you broaden your musical range.
The Egyptian guitar scale is a suspended pentatonic scale composed of five notes and five intervals. The notes are – DEGAC, while the intervals are the 1 2 4 5 b7 intervals.
Here, in addition to providing valuable information on the Egyptian guitar scale tab intervals, you would also be informed on techniques that guarantee an ecstatic feel from playing the Egyptian scale. You’d also be exposed to popular western songs that successfully sampled the scale.
Intervals in the Egyptian Guitar Scale Tab
Intervals are an intricate part of the music scale as they are responsible for the pitch differences between notes. A typical Egyptian pentatonic scale consists of five general intervals;
- P1 or perfect prime.
- M2 or major second.
- P4 or perfect fourth.
- P5 or perfect fifth.
- m7 or minor seventh.
Egyptian pentatonic guitar scale tabs for each note are also shown in the table below, along with their note arrangements (scales) and intervals.
|C||C, D, F, G, Bb||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|C#||C#, D#, F#, G#, B||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|Db||Db, Gb, Eb, Ab, Cb||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|D||D, G, E, A, C||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|D#||D#, G#, E#, A#, C#||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|Eb||Eb, F, Ab, Bb, Db||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|E||E, F#, A, B, D||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|F||F, G, Bb, C, Eb||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|F#||F#, G#, B, C#, E||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|Gb||Gb, Ab, Cb, Db, Fb||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|G||G, A, C, D, F||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|G#||G#, A#, C#, D#, F#||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|Ab||Ab, Bb, Db, Eb, Gb||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|A||A, B, D, E, G||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|A#||A#, B#, D#, E#, G#||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|Bb||Bb, C, Eb, F, Ab||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
|B||B, C#, E, F#, A||P1, M2, P4, P5, m7|
It is important to note that you can play each scale in the table above on the guitar in different fret positions, giving room for variations in melodies of the same scale.
5 Techniques Peculiar to the Egyptian Guitar Scale?
As promised, you’ll find techniques for playing the Egyptian guitar scale here.
1. Exotic Picking Technique
The exotic picking technique is one whose origin is traced to the songwriter, composer, and guitar teacher Joe Satriani from America. With this technique, your melody can benefit greatly by introducing intriguing vibrations. To achieve the vibrations, strum on the tip of the string with your pick close to its saddle.
Here is a video demonstrating applying this technique to the Egyptian scale tab.
2. Wide Bends Technique
With the wide bends technique, the guitar player adopts gentle vibrations and weeping sounds that add more spice to their guitar solo. We’ve found this technique is perfect when playing on intervals ranging from 5 to 7 on the G string or 13 to 15 on the B string.
The video below throws light on the wide bends Egyptian guitar scale tab technique
3. Legato and Tremolo Picking Infusion
The Legato and Tremolo picking infusion style of playing on the Egyptian guitar scale are perfect when playing on an electric or acoustic guitar. It produces an exotic sound almost identical to that of an Egyptian guitar.
Start with a slow alternate, picking on a high note. Then, incorporate the Jins Hijaz chord and add some light legato feel by hammering on your strings and increasing the rhythm of your play. This video shows how it is done.
Here is a video showing a demonstration of this technique
4. The Open (loose) Strings Technique
This technique suggests that you begin by loosening the strings on your guitar to reduce tension on the neck. Doing this adds flavor to whatever song you are playing. It also allows you to combine multiple strings to create unique melodies. Now, proceed to strum the first three notes of the scale, then maintain this sequence in ascending pitch.
This video provides a short guide on how to use this technique while playing the Egyptian scale
5. Octaves Technique
This technique produces the soothing sound of varying pitches of identical notes that you could meld into a musical genre like jazz. It involves playing some octaves and adding more n feel to the melody using the tremolo bar.
In addition to the tremolo bar, you can incorporate strumming and whammy to your play to add more flavor to your sound. You can also use your fingers to pluck the strings to produce octaves that have a staccato-like feel.
Have a look at the video
Popular Western Songs That Sample the Egyptian Guitar Scale Tab
The Egyptian guitar scale tab has been widely used in western music across several genres. Some popular music sampling this exotic scale include;
- Misirlou by Dick Dale
- Animate-Inanimate by John Petrucci
- Are you gonna go my way by Lenny Kravitz
- Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
The Egyptian scale is quite exotic if we do say so ourselves; it’s one every guitarist aiming to become a pro should have under their belt. Although it might seem difficult at first, it becomes second nature with enough practice.