Alter your musical perspective by learning to solo using the Superlocrian mode

Robben Ford
(Image credit: Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images)

Superlocrian, otherwise known as Diminished Whole-Tone scale, or Altered scale is the 7th mode of Melodic Minor. The Superlocrian mode is used a lot in jazz and fusion music by players like Mike Stern, Scott Henderson and Robben Ford. It has a very unusual construction as all of the intervals are flat: 1-b2-b3-b4-b5- b6-b7. So you could find the positions on the fretboard by playing a Major scale shape and moving the root notes up one fret.

To gain an understanding of how the scale relates to harmony, our first example shows the notes harmonized using 3rds to create four-note chords, with root notes along the sixth string. This is the same as playing Ab Melodic Minor, only here we are starting from the 7th degree.

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Charlie Griffiths

Charlie Griffiths plays guitar in acclaimed prog-metal outfit Haken, and has a wealth of experience handling corporate and session gigs for genres as diverse as rock, heavy metal and pop. He has been a regular contributor to Total Guitar, Guitar Techniques, and Guitar World for over a decade, and released his debut solo album Tiktaalika in 2022.