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Arabic Guitar Scales – Hijaz Positions

In this post I will show you a few positions you can use to play the “Egyptian scale” to cover the guitar fretboard.

Before you start objection about the name 🙂 , let me tell you quickly that no one knows exactly the origin of this musical scale. All recorded history show that it has been widely used in the Middle East region and surrounding areas. It has been used (sometimes abused as a cliche) in music score for films about the ancient Egyptian civilization or the Pharaohs.

Other names indicate other roots. like Hijaz, Phrygian Major, Phrygian Dominant, Gypsy Phrygian, Spanish Phrygian..etc

Scale Diagrams

Note that original Arabic Hijaz has a few variations in which some has micro-tones but that is not the scope of our lesson here today. We will focus on the variation of Hijaz that is identical to the 5th mode of the A Harmonic minor scale or the Phrygian Dominant mode from E

First, lets look at how this scale is laid out. It starts all the way down from the the lowest E note. Note that we will study the E Hijaz this time, so the root note is E and it is also known as E Phrygian Dominant Mode in western music theory.

Positions to cover the beginning of the fretboard starting from low E

Positions to play down the fretboard

Positions to cover the middle of the fretboard

starting from E on fret 7 on A string

Positions to cover the upper part of the fretboard around fret 12 and above

For more about the “Egyptian scale” check my mini course here.

It will show you how to play tasty original guitar licks using this scale. It includes guitar pro tabs + audio + video + pdf + jam tracks and more

Arabic Guitar Licks with tabs and scale diagrams

Here is a sample of the licks included.

Arabic Guitar Jam Tracks / Practice Improvisation

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