Mixing Scales For Great Riffs

Welcome riffing lovers!

Astonishing, what powerful riffs you can produce mixing different scales!

Today I'll present to you one of the most interesting metal riffs off my Exotic Metal album "Electric Storm", in it's original version, plus a very soft version of exactly the same melody, reminiscent of an Indian sitar style!

OK, let's analyze the riff first. You'll see that this strange and Eastern sounding riff has been composed of some (more or less) known scales. Listen to the original riff on my Exotic Metal version (note: my guitar is tuned one full step down to D for all examples):

MP3 - "Slaves Of Pyramid" - main riff


With "Indication of ingredients", i.e. the scales used:




Phrygian dominant (RED circle)

1 - b2- 3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7

Phrygian (BLACK circle, just one note)

1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7

Locrian (GREEN circle)

1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 - b6 - b7

Algerian 3rd mode (BLUE circle)

1 - b2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - 7

Here the riff in his original context:

MP3 - "Slaves Of Pyramid" - intro, riff and theme

And NOW... close your eyes and listen to a totally different interpretation, using exactly the same melody!

MP3 - Same riif and melody, played softly

Astonishing, isn't it?

Try out your own version. Any feedback about these two interpretations are very much appreciated!

Note: All sound samples are taken from my exotic metal album "Electric Storm".

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

Dan Keller, Switzerland's Sultan of String, is a guitarist whose original compositions showcase his exotic metal fretwork.

His debut CD is entitled "Electric Storm".

Dan Keller