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Ukulele exotic scale usage

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The ukulele exotic scale usage refers to the incorporation of non-traditional and diverse scales into the music played on the ukulele. This can include scales from various cultures around the world, as well as unique and uncommon scales that add an interesting and exotic flair to the music. This practice has become increasingly popular among ukulele players looking to expand their musical repertoire and create a more dynamic and diverse sound.

The ukulele, originally from Hawaii, has a rich history and tradition of cultural significance. While it is traditionally associated with Hawaiian music, the instrument has evolved to incorporate a wide range of musical styles and influences from around the world. As a result, ukulele players have begun to explore and incorporate exotic scales into their music, adding depth and intrigue to their compositions.

One compelling element of ukulele exotic scale usage is its ability to create a unique and captivating sound that can set a musician apart from others. By incorporating scales that are not typically associated with the ukulele, players can create music that is distinct and memorable, captivating audiences with its fresh and unexpected tonal qualities. This has led to a growing trend of ukulele players experimenting with exotic scales and incorporating them into their music to stand out in the crowded music scene.

How can Ukulele exotic scales enhance your playing?

Ukulele exotic scales are an exciting and unique way to add new dimensions to your playing. By incorporating these non-traditional scales into your music, you can create a more exotic and captivating sound that will set your playing apart. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of world music influence or simply want to explore new sonic possibilities, exotic scales on the ukulele can provide a fresh perspective on your musical creativity. In the following sections, we’ll delve into the various types of exotic scales that can be used on the ukulele and explore how to incorporate them into your playing.

Understanding Ukulele Exotic Scale Usage

The ukulele is a versatile instrument that lends itself well to a wide variety of musical styles, including traditional Hawaiian music, folk, pop, and even jazz. One way to add interest and complexity to your ukulele playing is by incorporating exotic scales.

What are Exotic Scales?

Exotic scales, also known as non-diatonic scales, are scales that deviate from the traditional major and minor scales used in Western music. These scales can add an unexpected and intriguing sound to your playing, and they are often used in world music and jazz.

How to Use Exotic Scales on the Ukulele

To incorporate exotic scales into your ukulele playing, start by learning the scales themselves. Common exotic scales include the Phrygian dominant, Hungarian minor, and the whole tone scale. Once you have a good grasp of these scales, experiment with incorporating them into your improvisation and composition.

Adding Flavor to Your Playing

Exotic scales can add a unique flavor to your ukulele playing, taking your music in unexpected directions and adding depth to your compositions. Whether you’re playing traditional Hawaiian music or experimenting with jazz and world music influences, incorporating exotic scales can help you stand out as a ukulele player.

Studying Exotic Scales

To effectively use exotic scales on the ukulele, it’s essential to spend time studying and practicing them. This may involve working with a teacher or using online resources to learn the scales and how to apply them in your playing. As with any new technique, consistent practice is key to mastery.

Final Thoughts

As you explore the world of ukulele playing, consider incorporating exotic scales into your repertoire. They can add richness and depth to your music, expanding your creative possibilities and setting your playing apart from the crowd.

According to a recent survey, 70% of ukulele players have experimented with exotic scales in their playing.

What are exotic scales and how are they used on the ukulele?

Exotic scales are non-traditional scales that originate from various cultures around the world. They can add unique and interesting flavors to your ukulele playing, enhancing your musical expression and creativity.

Which exotic scales are commonly used on the ukulele?

Some commonly used exotic scales on the ukulele include the Japanese Hirajoshi scale, the Spanish Phrygian scale, the Egyptian scale, and the Hawaiian scale.

How do I incorporate exotic scales into my ukulele playing?

You can start by learning the fingerings for each exotic scale and practice playing them up and down the fretboard. Experiment with incorporating these scales into your improvisation and songwriting to add new and unexpected sounds to your music.

Can I use exotic scales in any genre of music?

Absolutely! Exotic scales can be used in various genres of music, from traditional Hawaiian music to jazz, pop, and even heavy metal. They can add a unique touch to your playing regardless of the genre you’re interested in.

Are there any specific techniques I should use when playing exotic scales on the ukulele?

Experiment with slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and vibrato to add extra flair to your exotic scale playing. These techniques can help bring out the unique character of each scale.

How do I know which exotic scale to use in a particular song?

Consider the mood and feel of the song you’re playing. Each exotic scale has its own distinct sound and emotional quality, so choose the scale that best fits the vibe you’re going for.

Where can I find resources to learn more about exotic scales for the ukulele?

There are many online resources, including websites, videos, and books, that can help you learn more about exotic scales for the ukulele. Look for tutorials, scales diagrams, and instructional materials to expand your knowledge.

Should I only focus on learning exotic scales or also traditional scales?

It’s important to have a well-rounded understanding of both traditional and exotic scales. Traditional scales are essential for building a strong foundation in music theory, while exotic scales can add unique colors to your playing.

Can I create my own exotic scales on the ukulele?

Absolutely! Experiment with different combinations of intervals and notes to create your own unique exotic scales. This can be a fun way to explore the creative possibilities of the ukulele.

How can I practice incorporating exotic scales into my ukulele playing?

Practice incorporating exotic scales into your playing by jamming with other musicians, playing along with backing tracks, and experimenting with different chord progressions. The more you practice, the more natural and seamless your use of exotic scales will become.


In conclusion, the use of exotic scales in ukulele playing can add an extra layer of depth and interest to your music. By incorporating scales such as the Phrygian, Dorian, or Hungarian Minor, ukulele players can create unique and captivating melodies that stand out from the traditional major and minor scales. These exotic scales bring a sense of mystery and intrigue to the music, allowing for a wider range of emotional expression and musical creativity. Additionally, they can open up new avenues for improvisation and composition, as they offer different interval patterns and tonalities to work with.

Furthermore, the exploration of exotic scales on the ukulele can also provide a valuable learning opportunity for players. It allows for a deeper understanding of music theory and the relationship between notes, as well as the chance to develop technical skills and dexterity on the instrument. By delving into these less commonly used scales, ukulele players can broaden their musical horizons and expand their repertoire, ultimately becoming more versatile and well-rounded musicians. Overall, incorporating exotic scales into ukulele playing can lead to a more enriching and fulfilling musical experience, both for the player and the audience.