The altered scale (super locrian mode) | Free guitar lesson with patterns

jazz guitar scalesThe altered scale ( or super locrian scale) is the seventh mode of the melodic minor scale.  It contains two altered fifth (b5 and #5) and two altered ninth (b9 and #9). You can also consider the b5 as the #11 and the #5 as the b13. This scale is used to play over 7th altered chords when you want to create tension in your jazz lines.

B altered scale B C D Eb F G A
Formula 1 b9 #9 3 b5 (#11) #5 (b13) b7
Intervals H W H W W W W

Altered scale | Guitar position 1

There are many ways to play the altered scale (super locrian mode) on a guitar. Here are two recommended patterns.

To "hear" the sound of this scale it is important to play these patterns by starting from the root "R".

To play the B altered scale using the first pattern you have to put your third finger on the sixth string at the seventh fret.



Pattern 1 w/ intervals. Roots on the sixth, third and first string.

Altered scale guitar position diagram 1

Pattern 1 w/fingerings


Altered scale 1 fingering

Altered scale | Guitar position 2

To play the B altered scale using the second pattern you must put your third finger on the fifth string at the fourteenth fret.

You have to learn these fingerings and transpose these patterns in twelve keys by moving the root "R" to the right note keeping the same intervals.

Pattern 2 w/ intervals.Roots on the fifth and the second string.


Altered scale guitar position diagram 2

Pattern 2 w/fingerings

Altered scale 2 fingering

  • 20 II-V-I jazz guitar licks

    This printable PDF eBook contains 20 II-V-I jazz guitar licks with tabs, analysis & audio files to master the II-V-I sequence both in major and minor keys.
  • 5 Jazz blues arpeggio studies

    Here is a printable PDF eBook with five guitar studies that will help you to master arpeggios over a jazz blues progression. Tabs and standard notation.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings NEW

    Printable PDF eBook method containing 50 exercises with tabs & standard notation to practice the essential jazz guitar chords over the II-V-I progression.
  • 11 blues jazz studies

    This PDF eBook contains 11 guitar lessons with chords, tabs, standard notation analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
  • Mastering the altered scale

    This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to learn to master the altered scale.
  • 40 blues jazz guitar licks

    40 easy jazz, blues guitar licks with tabs & scale charts. Printable PDF & eBook method to learn to play in the style of Wes Montgomery & Charlie Christian.
  • 25 soul jazz guitar licks

    This PDF eBook is about 25 soul jazz guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks. Lessons with tabs, diagrams, backing track & audio files.
  • 25 dominant diminished licks

    This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and some diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 25 minor jazz guitar licks

    This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.
  • 5 Tritone substitution licks

    The tritone substitution is explained through 5 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links and backing track links. Printable PDF eBook

Last edited: 08/12/2017


Add a comment

Incorrect code - please try again.


Subscribe the newsletter 

To keep you informed of the latest lessons and articles. (no spam)