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.

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

The Gypsy Minor Scale For Guitar

 

 

Gypsy Minor Scale Guitar Tabs

Backing Track

The Gypsy Minor Scale 1

 

The Gypsy Minor Scale 2

 

The Gypsy Minor Scale 3

 

 

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25 thoughts on “The Gypsy Minor Scale”

  1. John

    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

    1. Anonymous

      You are correct with them being a D and a B chord. The misplaced note you mentioned makes these diminished chords. Hope that helps.

  2. horacio castriota

    BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLL SWEET MISTERY FABULOUS

  3. Dirk

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

  4. Pat

    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?

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Check out Rabih Abou-Khalil and Karim Baggili…

  5. emmanuel

    thanks for that wonderful elucidation on gypsy minor scale

  6. Jim

    You play this very well. Thanks for sharing.

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

    Thank you!

    1. Dirk Laukens

      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.

  7. Horacio

    very good exercise and simple single with two positions thanks dirk

  8. Canaan Perry

    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

  9. FlauzerOriginal

    Amazing, Excellent!!!

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Carlos marc

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

  11. Xtof Calis

    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.

    1. Mark Maxson

      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

    1. 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.

  12. Gordon

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

    1. ricardo

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

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

    1. Dirk Laukens

      You’re right, fixed it!

  14. Pieter Jordaan

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

    1. johan

      hallo Pieter,

      Woon jy dalk in SA?

      groete, Johan

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