Psychedelic Guitar Scales (with TABs)

Since many people visit my blog to know more about scales for psychedelic guitar, I would like to explain some basics in more detail. And in tablature, this time.

As a preparation, please read this former post! I will give you a basic riff to improvise on, by using the mixolydian scale. You can either play this scale the usual way (example 1) or slide along just the G-string (example 2), maybe pretending your guitar was a sitar…

So, use some slides, bendings and so on! Scales are just a raw material, nothing more. You have to make something out of it. Go ahead now.

Psychedelic Basic Riff in A – give it a nice rhythm!







Example 1): Psychedelic Scale (A mixolydian)







Example 2): A mixolydian on just one string (G string): use slides in a wild manner!

G –––0––2––4––6––7––9––11––12––14–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Don’t forget to practice each scale either way, meaning downward as well as upward! Furthermore, it’s understood that nobody will be able to create a psychedelic sound who lacks listening experience with psychedelic music…

If so, maybe you should listen to the medley in this former post: psychedelic medley and the list of tunes



A Bluer Bossa than “Blue Bossa”, I heard this tune composed by my dear friend Saman Vossoughi who plays jazz guitar, and I was like: “what scale is that?”. It sounded so – interesting, so different. And usually I know my scales around…

It turned out this tune is based on Melodic Minor, a scale I had always rejected as not feasible. “It’s neither fish nor fowl”, I used to state, “as part of it sounds like Major, and part of it like Minor”. I simply didn’t know how to use it. I’m glad attending my friend’s concert has taught me to stay open, since I began to practice Melodic Minor as soon as I came home after the concert. All of a sudden I found it rather useful. A week or so later we arranged to meet and record the song in my studio as a one-shot collaboration. Here we are.

The “who is who” is easily to be detected, as Saman has the smoother sound, and my Jaguar is a bit more incisive.

(Saman has dedicated this tune to Joe Henderson, famous tenor saxophone player, who among many other things recorded an outstanding version of “Blue Bossa”. But “Mylodic” bears no direct resemblance to the latter, although it’s kind of a Bossa, too).

guitars & gear: Saman: Gibson ES 335, Vox AC 15, Tube Reverb. Gary: Fender Jaguar, Vox AC 30, Gibson EB3 bass, Cabasa, Tabor, Tube Reverb