The Ritusen Scale | Theory Lesson with Guitar Shapes

What's the Ritusen scale ?

The Ritusen scale is a pentatonic scale used in traditionnal Chinese and Indian music. It is made up of a root (1), major second (2 or 9), perfect fourth (4 or 11), perfect fifth (5) and major sixth (6 or 13). It is built the same as the Indian Raga Durga scale. It doesn't contain any semitone so, it belongs to the family of the anhemitonic scales. It has no third so it is neither minor nor major. It is like a major pentatonic scale starting on the fourth note which can also be considered as a major pentatonic scale whose third has been replaced by a fourth. 

D Ritusen scale D E G A B
Formula 1 2 (9) 4 (11) 5 6 (13)
Intervals W W+H W W W+H


Comparison between the Ritusen scale and the major pentatonic scale

As it is shown in the chart below, you can see there is only little difference between the Major pentatonic scale and the Ritusen scale. The Ritusen scale has no third, but a fourth instead of a third.

D major pentatonic scale D E F# A B
Formula 1 2 (9) 3 5 6 (13)
D Ritusen scale D E G A B
Formula 1 2 (9) 4 (11) 5 6 (13)


Ritusen scale / Chord relation

Playing the Ritusen scale will give an exotic touch to your guitar improvisations. You can use it over many chord types as minor sixth, minor seventh, minor ninth, minor thirteenth chords or any dominant chords (7, 9, 11, 13). However, the most appropriate choice would be to play it over suspended chords because of the second (2) and the fourth (4).

Ritusen scale guitar diagrams

Ritusen scale guitar diagrams

Ritusen scale guitar diagrams


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Last edited: 12/23/2018