52 illustrated Scales

A variety of scales and scale types are presented here along with a robust set of features to aid in their practical use. A few are referred to by multiple names. Their alternate names and or expanded distinctions are shown in parenthesis.

The formula column contains a shorthand version of the scale degrees in relation to the major scale.


The compatible chord summaries are meant to paint a quick descriptive picture of each scale’s compatible chords. Mix, match, and break down these symbols to create the chords you need. Abbreviation explanations may be found in the Abbreviation section. A compatible chord explanation may be found in the Compatible Chord section.

The comparative to major, minor, and similar major mode columns reveals the simple modifications which when applied to said scale will create the respective scale. “no” indicates a note to omit while a dash “-” such as 5-6 refers to a passing note to be included between the two scale degrees shown.


All of the scales presented here have their own respective modes! Check out the "Guitar Grimoire" if your interested in a reference book that explores this subject extensively.

Disclaimer: Scales and their names can be a slippery subject - especially considering the multi-cultural dimension found in many here (often approximated from different tunings than the Western 12 tone-chromatic scale). I am no expert - if using for a "serious" purpose - be sure to cross reference.. I assure you however that they are all scales..




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