This scale has come to be known by many as the Mahavishnu scale as it was used by John McLaughlin of the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the 70’s.

If you wanted to go way out of bounds and be labelled a hopeless music theory geek, then you might call this scale a maj. 9, (#4) add 5 arpeggio. But we’re not going there, girlfriend.

This is a wonderful scale somewhat reminiscent of the Eastern scale tradition in it’s sparseness. The great thing about this scale is that since it has no 3rd or 7th, you can use it against pretty much any chord.

I can think of only one instance where NOT to use this scale and that is against a flat ninth interval.

The original Mahavishnu Orchestra lineup included keyboardist Ian Hammer later of Miami Vice theme fame, as well as the burnin Billy Cobham on drums. Check it out. One of the greatest bands ever.


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