Having Fun With The Byzantine Scale: "Miserlou"

Not all exotic scales sound strange, or haunting, or are used exclusively by extreme metal players (*). Some of them are actually quite familiar and in fact you can associate them with a hit song or two.

The scale we are going to see today, the Byzantine scale, has been used in Dick Dales' version of the song "Miserlou" that you have heard in the movie "Pulp Fiction". Unless you have never seen "Pulp Fiction", or you've been living under a rock, or you're deaf in which case I'm wondering what are you doing reading an article on music theory.

But I digress.

The Byzantine scale is a great new tool with which you can play. Even if you just learn "Miserlou", this could be an instant hit with your friends - or you can use it to create some other interesting music.

Either way, there are worse ways to spend your next five minutes than learning how to play the Byzantine scale and its fancy chords.

Incidentally, this scale is the 5th mode of the Hungarian Minor scale - another great sounding scale that we covered here:

(*) Of course, the Byzantine scale can be used by extreme metal players. Have fun, gentlemen.

Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.

Tommaso Zillio