Showcase Music Magazine - Intense Guitar
March 1997

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by Toshi Iseda

Welcome to another installment of Intense Guitar!reg. Thanx for tuning in! Apparently a lot of readers enjoyed last month's topic on the Whole Tone scale, I received a lot of feedback. It's always cool when people really get into the columns!! Thanks for the feedback! If any of the readers have questions or comments for me, I try to answer all of them, sometimes in the column or with a personal response. Remember, if you have a question or would like to see something in- particular explained, feel free to write me at: Toshi Iseda, c/o Over The Top Records, 9824 S. Western, Suite 331, Evergreen Park, IL 60805. You can also reach me by fax at (773)233- 1195 or by e-mail at If you would like a personal response call me at (773)233-2144. If you just want to find out about any shows, clinics, etc. in the area you can also check out my website at You can drop e- mail there, as well. This month's topic is in response to a question from David Errante of Hickory Hills, Ill. David’s question was: "I really enjoyed your column on the Whole Tone scale, can you please tell me about the Augmented scale, where to apply it and also include a few fingerings for it, as well?" Not a problem, David!!

Constructed of three half steps and three intervals of a minor third (an augmented 2nd), the minor 3rds in the Augmented scale occur in regular alternation with the half steps of the scale. Seeing as there are only four DIFFERENT sounding Augmented scales, each of these scales can be interpreted as several different scales.

The Augmented scale is used with Major family chords that have a raised 5th present in the harmony. There are six augmented triads, the roots of which form two augmented triads, in the scale. Three major triads are also present in the scale. Because of its symmetry, the Augmented scale can create patterns that move up or down through the scale at some regular interval. Sounding very effective, these patterns are less common than whole tone or diminished patterns.

Steve Vai is one person who comes to mind as far as rock players that use this scale, but not so much with his own group as when he played with Frank Zappa. Eric Johnson can be included, as well. I think he gets that from coppin' some Jeff Beck licks, seeing as though Beck uses this scale frequently, too. Greg Howe is another person that comes to mind when I think of players that use this scale. If you haven't checked out any of Greg's stuff, do so 'cause he's an amazing player!

Once again, the progressions we went over a few months ago are perfect to solo over using these scale patterns. Speaking of patterns, as usual, I've included 10 fingerings for you to dwell on. And of course, you should practice these with a metronome and use 16th notes.

Before I go, I want to take a second to thank Joe Mordarski, Jim Chowning and everyone at Rocktron for the endorsement and for making the best guitar preamps and amps out there! Thank you Rocktron!!! I love this stuff!!! If you get a chance, make it a point to plug into the new Chameleon- Preamp. You're gonna flip when you hear the tone this thing gets! I'm using a Chameleon- Preamp as well as a Velocity 250 Poweramp and the All- Access Pedalboard to get a simply unbelievable sound! You can see and hear me playing through this setup at any number of my shows and clinics throughout the country (see web page for listing).

Okay, that about wraps it up for this month. Remember if you'd like to get enlarged actual prints of any of the Intense Guitar!reg. columns past or present, you can send $5.00 (for postage) to the address above. Thanks for tuning in, keep metronoming and I'll talk to ya next month from Europe! C-YA!!! Tablature 1 Tablature 2

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