The Gypsy Minor Scale

In this lesson, you will learn a theme based on the gypsy minor scale, a scale that is prominently used in Romani (gypsy) music. Exotic guitar scales like this one are a good way to bring new sounds into your playing.

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The gypsy minor scale (aka Hungarian minor scale or double harmonic minor scale) is an exotic guitar scale that is similar to the harmonic minor scale, but with a raised 4:

 

C Gypsy Minor ScaleCDEbF#GAbB
12b3#45b67

 

The following diagrams show you how this guitar scale looks on the fretboard (in 2 positions).

Get these 2 positions in your fingers before you go on to the theme.

 

The Gypsy Minor Scale Diagram 1

 

The Gypsy Minor Scale Diagram 2

 

Gypsy Minor Scale Video

 

 

Gypsy Minor Scale Guitar Tabs

Backing Track

The Gypsy Minor Scale 1

 

The Gypsy Minor Scale 2

 

The Gypsy Minor Scale 3

 

 

  • John says:

    Hi

    Just wondering what are the chords at the start. I know it starts with Cm, but the other two chords are like Dm an Bm however with a sort of missplaced note if you will. I’m just starting out on guitar and would like to know the official names of the chords thanks

  • horacio castriota says:

    BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLL SWEET MISTERY FABULOUS

  • Dirk says:

    Thank you very much, I enjoy your lessons so much! Keep on the good work!

  • Pat says:

    Wow impressive. The backing track was terrific aswell.
    Do you have any tips on groups that are into this style or just tunes with similar arrangements?

    • Dirk Laukens says:

      Check out Rabih Abou-Khalil and Karim Baggili…

  • emmanuel says:

    thanks for that wonderful elucidation on gypsy minor scale

  • Jim says:

    You play this very well. Thanks for sharing.

    Meanwhile, which Epiphone model is that and what are you playing it thru?

    Thank you!

    • Dirk Laukens says:

      Thanks Jim, I’m playing an Epiphone ES-175 through a Fender Hot Rod George Benson going to Cubase via a Shure SM57 microphone and a Steinberg MR816CSX audio interface.

  • Horacio says:

    very good exercise and simple single with two positions thanks dirk

  • Canaan Perry says:

    Love this scale — first heard it when listening to Ritchie Blackmore’s playing in Deep Purple and Rainbow. I’ve also noticed it in Rimsky Korsakov’s music

  • FlauzerOriginal says:

    Amazing, Excellent!!!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Carlos marc says:

    Excelente lição, parabéns, suas lições são as mais organizadas e objetivas que vi!

  • Xtof Calis says:

    Thanks for this great lesson, this sounds very exotic. May I ask a few extra questions? Which chords are used in the backing track? Do you have any suggestions for comping a track like this or how to play the bass line on guitar? Thanks.

    • Mark Maxson says:

      OK, thank you so much! I needed to spend some time with the guitar today and this little item was very interesting.
      What’s really cool is the Dm(b5) chord in the vamp and F# in the scale – and is that a G7 with no root?
      What I wound up doing was taking all my Berklee fingerings for harmonic minor and raising the 4th. It almost sounds like I know what I’m doing.
      Also worked out fingerings for the “diatonic” chords, and hour well spent.
      Mark

  • Bill says:

    Chords would be Cm7, Dm7b5, G7

    • zg says:

      Don’t get tricked by the guitar intro. Listen to the bass. It is moving nowhere and stays in C minor. Of course you can play any combination of notes from the scale simultaneously on top of it, but this gives only the feeling of having fun above a pedal note.

  • Superloco says:

    Great explication, tnx !

  • Gordon says:

    Very nice, fresh and haunting sound. Any tips for chords which fit well? I would imagine m7flat5 is a good fit.

    • ricardo says:

      theorically C gypsy minor scale fits with Abm7flat5, but it does not sound too nice for my ears …

  • says:

    Is that you missed a lower B in the first scale diagram?

    • Dirk Laukens says:

      You’re right, fixed it!

  • Pieter Jordaan says:

    I love the feel of this style of music! Would you please add the chords on the tab?

    • ricardo says:

      C minor

    • johan says:

      hallo Pieter,

      Woon jy dalk in SA?

      groete, Johan

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