10 scales from around the world that will broaden your playing horizons

Guitar Playing
(Image credit: FilippoBacci / Getty)

As creative musicians, we’re always on the hunt for fresh and unique sounds. One way to introduce new musical ideas and reinvigorate our playing is to look at incorporating less familiar sounds. 

As most pop, rock, blues and even jazz utilises a well-worn set of scales and chords, a great way to do this is by studying scales that popular western music rarely employs. We can cover new ground either by exploring a completely new concept, revisiting an old musical friend to search for new ideas, or by slightly modifying something we already know well. 

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John Wheatcroft

John is Head of Guitar at BIMM London and a visiting lecturer for the University of West London (London College of Music) and Chester University. He's performed with artists including Billy Cobham (Miles Davis), John Williams, Frank Gambale (Chick Corea) and Carl Verheyen (Supertramp), and toured the world with John Jorgenson and Carl Palmer.