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

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Comments (2)

  • 1. jazz-guitar-licks (link) | 10/01/2016

Hi !

jonas bylund
  • 2. jonas bylund | 09/01/2016

hi there

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Last edited: 30/04/2017


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