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

gumBo with Bo


An archetypical 60s rhythm, popularized by the famous and most influential Bo Diddley. Originally a typical Caribbean rhythm, e.g. called “clave” in Cuba, but – unlike this – played with a slight swing feel to it.

Important Bo-Diddley-rhythm-kind-of-songs of the period this blog is all about:

  • Not fade away – Buddy Holly/The Rolling Stones
  • Magic Bus – The Who
  • Get me to the world on time – The Electric Prunes
  • Gone and passes by – The Chocolate Watchband

So, let your guitar’s body turn into a red rectangle, grab maracas, and play some wild Caribbean thing! Here we go, Bo…

guitar & gear: Sakurai nylon string, Fender Jaguar, Fender Tweed Champ, Tube Trem, bongos played with mallets, mini-cymbals (no maracas, sorry…)

overall mike: Sennheiser MD 421