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Watch the Whole Tone online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Modes That Matter

These final two scales are just that: scales. They’re not modes derived from a parent scale or do they produce any modes themselves. What these scales do produce are musical clones of sorts since they are what is called “symmetrical”. Symmetry in music refers to a device--melodic or harmonic--that repeats itself in a way that comes full circle. Take this next scale, the whole tone scale, for instance. It’s made up of all whole steps so when you get to the end you just continue playing the same intervallic pattern. That allows you to start from any note and produce the same results. It’s an endless, symmetrical cycle of whole steps and man, does it sound cool!

Due to the whole tone’s scale makeup this means in practice there’s only two of them. This is also due to the fact this is a hexatonic scale. That means there’s only six notes as opposed to all the other scales we’ve check out, which had seven (heptatonic). Play two whole tone scales a half step apart and you’ve played all twelve pitches in our western system.

The formula for the whole tone scale is as follows: 1 2 3 #4 #5 b7. When it comes to tritones and the symmetrical factor there’s one for every degree! But, the one you should focus on for now is between 3-b7. Yup, one of whole tone’s roles is a V7 chord scale. The first setting--a jazz vibe--will have the whole tone scale played in that role while the second style setting--fusion--will be a static situation.